On Friday, Dr. Shelby Thames told USM faculty that his plan will more effectively run the Hattiesburg and Long Beach campuses.
Here's how Dr. Thames explained the changes to USM faculty during his 20 minute state of the university address.
Southern Miss will no longer have four of its degree granting colleges. Those programs will be absorbed into the five remaining colleges. In this equation nine minus four equals five. And Dr. Thames said five equals a cost reallocation of one million dollars.
"The intent here isn't to lose people from their positions, but to try to reorganize in an efficient and an effective way," the university president said.
The money USM saves will go into academic programs. That's something the state college board mandated. Carl Nicholson sits on the college board. "This is something we're pursuing and we're pushing very hard," Nicholson said during a news conference after the address. "USM is the first institution to make this change."
A similar restructuring plan will be implemented at USM Gulf Coast. Dr. Tim Hudson is the provost at USM Gulf Coast. "In the next few weeks, we'll be harmonizing our structure with the structure at USM to do the same things that have happened here," Dr. Hudson said, "to reallocate resources from the administration into instruction and research to better serve students."
Dr. Hudson said the changes being made will not impact the four year program offered in Long Beach.