Document Type


Publication Date



As the economic recession persists, state appropriations for public higher education continue to decline. As a result, institutions of higher education are increasingly reliant on federally funded research to subsidize operational costs and maintain financial stability. Federal research funding is not immune to politically driven cost-cutting initiatives. In fact, federal congressionally directed appropriations, often referred to as earmarks, have been targeted for reduction and even cessation. The diminishment of earmark funding will certainly impact higher education, potentially leaving research universities in Mississippi and throughout the nation financially unstable. The long-term effects of earmark funding cessation on higher education remain to be certain. However, senior level administrators in Mississippi’s institutions of higher education are developing contingency plans to address the issue and offset losses incurred as a result of the earmark cessation. Personal interviews with Dr. Martha Saunders, President of USM, Dr. Jim Borsig, Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education for Government Relations, and Dr. Vafa Kamali, Director of University Research Centers and Institutes at USM – were conducted to obtain insight regarding the scope and impact of reduction or cessation of federal earmarked research funding at public institutions of higher education in Mississippi, particularly, USM. These leaders suggest that competitive grant funding will become more important to the financial sustainability of research enterprises in higher education.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.