USM plans no layoffs this year

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The University of Southern Mississippi plans no reductions in faculty or staff or layoffs to balance the budget this year.

USM President Martha Saunders told a conference Thursday that the school will cut from a variety of sources including travel, equipment and contractual services to offset funding cuts from the state. But USM is not out of the woods yet, she said.

The turn of the calendar to April 1 means everything will be, in her oft-repeated phrase, "back on the table" for fiscal 2010. To head off impending 2010 cuts, Saunders said she told university leaders to anticipate a $10 million state budget reduction. She says an academic planning group, drawn from faculty, staff and students is currently working on providing budget recommendations.