The recent education budget cuts have given community college leaders more ammunition in their fight to keep freshmen and sophomores away from USM Gulf Coast.
State community college board director Dr. Olon Ray spoke to the Biloxi Kiwanis Club on Monday.
Dr. Ray believes the state can't afford to turn the Long Beach campus into a four year university. After his speech, he said better education alternatives exist for the coast and for Mississippi.
"I think a new university center with community colleges doing the primary part of the freshmen, sophomores, not exclusively, and inviting the universities, with Southern being the primary, is a wonderful way to start that using the existing resources," Dr. Ray said.