CLEVELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – With Delta State University facing enrollment and budget challenges, President Dr. Dan Ennis held a series of meetings to address faculty, staff, students and regional stakeholders.
“There are good things Delta State can and will do to increase our appeal to students. But at a certain point, it must be acknowledged that the institution’s DNA, it’s very ethos, was built around giving educational opportunities to the people from the Delta. And there are just less people in the Delta. The goal is to get Delta State to the point where we have a sustainable future,” he stated during a campus forum.
Ennis said he’s determined to increase revenue at the university by finding new revenue streams through licensing and partnerships, as well as doubling the recently announced Centennial Capital Campaign from $50 million to $100 million.
Ennis met in September with the Board of Trustees of Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and informed them of the current financial situation at DSU. During that meeting, he told trustees that he likely won’t be able to reduce the university’s previous budget of $51 million to a $40 million budget based on actual revenues.
On October 2, Ennis announced the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Budget Sustainability to advise the university administration. Composed of constituents from across campus, the committee is tasked with identifying strategies to reduce the university’s budget by another $5.5 million (in addition to the $4.4 million cut which took place earlier this year), and to identify sources of funds to support DSU’s growing programs appropriately, while adjusting to the university’s enrollment and financial realities.
The committee convened for its first meeting on Tuesday, October 17 and will continue to operate during the next 9-12 months, advising the president and cabinet on ways the university can meet the fiscal challenges while protecting the student experience.