Barbour's proposed budget would merge the state's three public historically black colleges into one public historically black college. Then, for good measure, Mississippi University for Women would be merged into Mississippi State University.
While his plan stressed that the various merged institutions would survive in some form, he also said that this major reorganization should result in the elimination of many programs, which supporters of black colleges fear will come largely from their institutions. The governor's budget statement said that all of the state's public colleges would see "a rationalization of class offerings.... Every university would be expected to reduce costs by consolidating or eliminating programs not pulling their financial weight." (The plan in total would turn eight universities in the state system into five.)
No better way to get your state out of a financial crisis than to reduce opportunities for minorities, women, and the poor and middle-class to receive quality, affordable education! If only Mississippi had a historically Gay Atheist university whose budget he could slash!
(The Supreme Court found Mississippi's attempts at providing black people with educational opportunities to be somewhat lacking, back in the '90s, and the state promised to heavily fund its HBCs to make up for it. But: "the state's pledge to create a $35 million private endowment to support black colleges never gained more than the initial $1 million that was used to start the endowment seven years ago.")