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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Senate Bill 2726 Naming Three Mississippi HBCUs Dies At State’s Capitol



The Senate instead moved with Senate Bill 2725, which would establish a taskforce to study the “efficiency and effectiveness” of the state’s eight public schools.






Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi
Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi

Senate Bill 2726, naming eight public universities, three of which were historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs): Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and Jackson State University in the state, failed to pass at the state’s Capitol.

On Monday, the Senate instead moved Senate Bill 2725, (introduced by Sen. Nicole Boyd) which would establish a taskforce made up of several appointees and lawmakers to study the “efficiency and effectiveness” of the state’s eight public schools regarding enrollment, graduation rates, and how many students actually stay in the state after they leave college.

Three Mississippi HBCUs mentioned in Senate 2726 Bill: Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University | Photo via Clutch Points.
Three Mississippi HBCUs mentioned in Senate 2726 Bill: Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University | Photo via Clutch Points.

“We had hearings earlier this year where we were looking at things, and we now have a lot of data and information that was presented and that was about the enrollment cliff that we’re seeing across the country, and how that would impact our Mississippi universities,” UC Chair and bill sponsor Sen. Nicole Boyd, R-Oxford, told the committee Monday at the Mississippi Capitol.

“We’ve seen declining enrollments at smaller universities, we’ve seen increasing enrollments at some of our other universities. This would give us an opportunity to look at that over the summer with the task force.”


A taskforce, named the Mississippi University System Efficiency Taskforce, has been created to determine the challenges faced by each school due to demographic changes and nationwide enrollment declines. The task force will also examine the impact of declining birth rates throughout the early 2000s, which may lead to fewer young adults going to college.

The taskforce will include Senate Appropriations, Universities and Colleges, and Finance Committee chairpersons or their representatives, as well as House chairpersons from Colleges and Universities, Ways and Means, and Appropriations committees, the director of the University Research Center, the state economist, and three individuals with an undergraduate degree from a regional college, a historically Black college or university, and a research school, appointed by the governor.

Boyd stated in the meeting that she would not propose Senate Bill 2726, which would’ve mandated the Institutions of Higher Learning to select three state colleges for closure by 2028. John Polk, who sponsors the bill and serves on the Universities and Colleges Committee, said he only wanted to initiate a conversation with the press.

“Please everyone get that message out,” Polk told the Clarion Ledger. “The chair has killed my bill. That way, I can sleep at night.”

Senate Bill 2725 will now be taken up by the full Senate for a vote on the floor.

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