Keenum: StatePride sees success

Funds directed to outstanding faculty at Mississippi State University will provide $2,500 in spendable money, university officials said Monday.
MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum delivered an update to the Starkville Rotary Club Monday, covering many topics he’d addressed in his message to faculty on Friday.
These include an upcoming potential loss of revenue totaling approximately 24 to 25 percent, yet record enrollment at MSU totaling 19,644, with 1,043 more than fall of last year.
On Monday, university officials announced spendable money for faculty awards and student scholarships available through MSU’s StatePride campaign.
The four-year, $100 million effort launched last year has already raised $42 million, university officials said in a statement.
The faculty awards total $1 million and are broken down to $2,500.
“Every college — including the library — selected outstanding faculty members from within their ranks ... who have excelled in teaching, ... research and service. ... It’s a way for us to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication. ... I wish could give pay raises but in lieu of that at least we can give these awards out to the faculty,” Keenum said.
In the statement, MSU officials said the student scholarships would total about $1 million for the fall semester.
The MSU president also said: “We want to see more endowed professorships and chairs, which help us to maintain as well as recruit faculty,” Keenum said.
Additionally, Keenum also addressed how he hopes to work toward developing the funds for needed new facilities, including classroom space.
“...Our primary focus is faculty and students. ... We’re going to be working to raise money for facilities next. We’re not going to slow down what we’re doing in faculty and staff support but we’re going to have an additive” and that’s to raise money for money for new facilities, he said.
Classroom facilities are a “high priority for us,” Keenum said.
“I’m ... not realistically expecting to get all the money from the legislature ... next year. But I am going to tell the Legislature” that for every dollar lawmakers give for classroom buildings, “I’ll match it with a gift,” he said.
“That’s a great deal for the citizens of Mississippi. They are asking us to produce more college graduates to serve our state; to move our state forward. We’re doing that,” Keenum said.
...We’re going to build you a building for half of what it would cost. So it’s a great investment for the taxpayers of the state to continue our mission of producing even more college graduates,” Keenum said.