FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 24, 2009
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
MUW Faculty Senate speaks out against proposed merger
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Faculty members of Mississippi University for Women are speaking out against a proposed merger with any institution.
A statement unanimously endorsed by the MUW Faculty Senate in its Nov. 20 meeting said, “Faculty of Mississippi University for Women support making all efforts possible to keep MUW open as a free standing institution providing quality educational opportunities to students in a small university environment.”
“It is imperative to note that the decisions made today will have long term implications on the economic and educational opportunities of our state. MUW provides an outstanding educational environment which is nationally recognized for academic excellence. MUW students specifically choose to attend a university with an extremely supportive and personalized learning environment. These are characteristics inherent to our institution. We urge your support for MUW and its continuation as an independent institution in the Mississippi IHL system.” This statement was supported by the MUW Council of Department Chairs.
MUW boasts a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. Small classes are taught by professors who are not only experts in their fields but also demonstrate a genuine concern for their students.
Dr. Hal Jenkins, who is currently serving as MUW’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, “At MUW, outstanding teaching is our primary focus. Many universities treat teaching as something faculty may do if they have time after research. At our school, quality teaching is prized. Our faculty does research that contributes to their discipline but also improves the quality of their teaching.”
MUW’s focus on teaching was recently recognized by U.S.News & World Report. MUW was the only Mississippi institution to appear in the strong commitment to teaching category, landing No. 7 among other Southern institutions including Elon, James Madison and Mercer universities. MUW also was ranked No. 34 in the Best Universities—Master’s Southern region category and the highest ranked school from Mississippi in this category as well.
Dr. Mark Bean, professor, chair of the MUW Department of Health and Kinesiology and chairman of the Council of Department Chairs said, “There is no scenario that I can imagine where merger with MSU would be good for this institution, Columbus or the state of Mississippi. I sincerely hope that does not occur.”