Report: Jackson State Cash Reserves Down $33 Million in Four Years

University has one week of operating cash on hand.

University has one week of operating cash on hand.

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning yesterday disputed rumors of the firing or resignation of Jackson State University President Carolyn Meyers, but today revealed that the university has lost more than $33 million in cash reserves in four years, a crisis that system officials say requires immediate intervention.

IHL has engaged an independent accounting firm to analyze the spending structure at the flagship HBCU, following two years of communication with JSU leaders about the draining of cash reserves.

“Since May 2014, the Board of Trustees, the Commissioner of Higher Education and IHL Staff have communicated concerns over the university’s financial position to Jackson State University personnel, including the Chief Financial Officer and President,” said Dr. Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education. “The annual financial statement for FY 2016 received by IHL Staff in August 2016 indicated that the situation has escalated from a concern to a level serious enough to require immediate intervention.”

Jackson State, one of three historically black institutions classifed as a high-research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Insitutions of Higher Education, captured national attention for increased enrollment while other black colleges suffered admission losses between 2012 and 2014.

Dr. Meyers, who has overseen historic enrollment and campus growth since her arrival and was named HBCU Female President of the Year at the 2014 HBCU Awards, faced scrutiny last year surrounding the exit of multiple athletic coaches and high profile executives, and expenditures from the university’s foundation which drew concern from IHL officials.

Last week, the university received more than $5 million in federal funding to promote minority access to advanced degrees and careers in STEM fields.