At Southern Miss we're celebrating our centennial on a good note. Enrollment is at an all-time high, graduation rates are up, student retention and satisfaction are up, as are professional achievements for our faculty, private giving and research funding.
Like most of you, like many businesses and so many other universities, we're facing a financial shortfall because of the recession and fewer state dollars. Just like you, when money is tight, we make adjustments, redefine priorities, and tighten our belts.
To meet our budget for next year, we've decided not to renew the contracts of several good teachers, and have made cuts to good programs, but programs in which few students are majoring. At Southern Miss we've identified programs and services that can be eliminated - or restructured - in the best interest of a sound university.
We've also identified our strengths and the courses our students want. As the economy gets better, and it will, we'll push forward in areas that have the greatest student demand. We're shaping the future of Southern Miss, and we'll be ready for the needs and plans of our students.
So as this new school year begins, we see a strong, attractive, quality university that will thrive in the face of competition, the economic climate and fast changing technology. That's the Southern Miss we want, and the Southern Miss we are shaping.
Dr. Martha Saunders