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Last Minute State Budget Wrangling Worries Local University

By Empriss Campbell
By ecampbell@wbbjtv.com

While the University of Memphis-Lambuth students are studying for finals, state lawmakers are studying the state budget and attempting to eliminate funding to the new satellite campus.

As of now, the state legislature has taken away the funding for the University of Memphis-Lambuth Campus.

It has been three months since U of M acquired the deed to the former Lambuth University campus and Dean Dan Lattimore said the school could not make it without state funding.

"It would be devastating, it would stop things, we just couldn't go on...It is the funding for us to do what we need to do here," said Lattimore.

Lambuth University went bankrupt last year and earlier this year the University of Memphis officially took over the campus.

Lattimore said the new campus was supposed to be funded in a step-down method.

"In other words, each year we would get less and less from the state to pick up the tuition revenue and other revenue that we have to make it a growing proposition in four years. But, if it were to stop before the second year, it would just kill things," said Dan Lattimore.

Lattimore said enrollment is growing and they want the campus to do the same.

"We've been working since January to begin to do remodeling on some of the classrooms, get the labs, get up, do some work on the student center. And we've got a great group of freshman that are ready to come next year," said Lattimore.

Lattimore said if funding for the university is taken away, the people in the city of Jackson would be the real losers.

"The people that we have working here, the staff, the faculty, the students, the city in terms of it anchoring this part of town. It would be a really bad thing," said Lattimore.

The legislature is also threatening to pull $25 million from the mega site in Haywood County.

However, many are hoping this is just part of a political back-and-forth between legislators from different sides of the state.

The outcome could be known by late Friday night when the legislature is expected to adjourn for this session.

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