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(3) SWAC Schools to Merge? Mississippi Gov. Proposes Change

Category: Featured News, NCAA News, SWAC Expansion & Realignment

Citing the state’s growing economic constraints, Gov. Haley Barbour has proposed a merger of Mississippi Valley and Alcorn State University into Jackson State University, as well as Mississippi University for Women into Mississippi State.

If the proposal were pushed through, The SWAC would be down 2 schools.

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  • Well, if this works, other states MIGHT consider it. Some of these schools are not doing well, as evidenced by Winston-Salem State deciding to stay in Division II. The SWAC schools seem to be doing better than the MEAC schools. I don't know what will happen here. It will be interesting to watch.

  • Nathan

    As a current student at a HBCU, I see that financial difficult that these school go through. However, I do not how combine all these school is good. Mississippi Valley State, Jackson State, and Alcorn State are in various part of the state. The state will still have to fund those faclities without alumni donations.
    All those other senarios, do not make sense. Why would Texas Southern and Pairie View A&M; merge together? Is Texas in economical trouble to merge two school? That can not be right because Mack Brown just got a pay raise to 5 Million. Please explain your thinking or reasoning.

  • Maybe not Maryland-Eastern Shore merging with Howard. The schools are a bit too far apart. But it could happen with Coppin State and Morgan State if they consider it.

  • "Maryland-Eastern Shore merging with Howard."

    You do realize that Howard is a private university, right? Maybe you were thinking of the University of the District of Columbia?

  • The alumni will generally kill any efforts to merge schools, even if the move makes sense on all other counts.

    With regards to Mississippi's moves:

    1) I'm not sure what they'd gain with regards to making MUW "MSU-Columbus" aside from the cost of dropping one athletic program.

    2) Alcorn State (Lorman) and Mississippi Valley State (Itta Bena) aren't close to Jackson; if you merge these, you run the risk of killing the towns around these schools. If I had to close one, close MVSU and merge it with Delta State in nearby Cleveland.

    As far as other SWAC schools, merging Texas Southern with anything in Houston, Alabama State with Auburn-Montgomery, and Alabama A&M; with UAH ("Alabama Tech"?)

  • Read my past comments.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Brice, I check in on a monthly basis.

    On the surface as an uninformed bystander I would have to say that this is an aggressive move that could work or could fail horribly. Creating a single stronger HBCU presence in the area could actually work towards building momentum for growth of the HBCU community. The largest questions would revolve around a timetable for expanding the infrastructure of Jackson State. You can't just say "poof" and throw double the enrollment of Jackson State in to the same environment that currently exists. Increasing the capacity of the campus would be a massive undertaking probably surpassing the economic commitment currently allotted to the HBCUs mentioned. Also, does the Jackson State campus have the area to build out?

    I do like the idea of a more centralized and focused HBCU, as long as the state would continue to fund the school to meet the demands. HBCUs are still completely necessary to meet the needs of the black community, but that's an argument I'm not willing to get in to at this time.

  • I fail to see how anything Mississippi does with their HBCU's is going to affect any of the HBCUs in other states, especially since if this was implemented, I think it will end up killing all three HBCUs. If you think alums from Alcorn or MVSU are going to donate to Jackson State, you're out of your mind. I think the governor is just an idiot shooting off his mouth, I seriously doubt anything becomes of this proposal.

    And actually you outlined WHY HBCU's need to be preserved: to ignore the mistakes of the past sets yourself up to repeat them.

  • I see that I am the only one with big enough balls to say anything about this.

  • Who knows where this is going. This might lead to Florida A&M; joining the SWAC as well as some other things. Other HBCUs, as we affectionately call them, might learn from this and merge as well. Candidate could be Prairie View A&M; merging with Texas Southern, Coppin State merging Morgan State, and Maryland Eastern-Shore merging with Howard. This could also lead to Tennessee State and Savannah State getting into the MEAC. The former and the latter are the only Division I HBCUs not in the MEAC or the SWAC. This could also lead to the SWAC and the MEAC merging just a little farther down the line. I really do hope that this happens because HBCUs are a stigma of past mistakes and are not completely necessary in the 21st Century.


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