Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds said Friday that leaders at the eight universities were told weeks ago to look for ways to handle a possible budget reduction of up to 5 percent.
“We are trying to figure out how we make budget cuts without losing people,” Bounds said. “We also want to make certain we protect the academic integrity of our programs.”
Mississippi’s revenues in July fell nearly 11.3 percent short of what experts had predicted. That was a shortage of $26.2 million for the first month of the state fiscal year.
The year-to-year comparisons looked even worse. State tax collections in July 2009 fell $56 million below where they were in July 2008. That was nearly a 22 percent decrease.
The state’s August tax collection figures could be available next week.