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‘Last-minute amendment’ to Senate bill would transfer operations at MUW to Mississippi State

Tuesday was the deadline for bills to come out of committee in their respective chamber, and one piece of legislation that survived could seriously impact the future of the Mississippi University for Women.

Senate Bill 2715, which passed the committees on education and appropriations, was frantically amended to transfer operations at MUW in Columbus to under the purview of Mississippi State University, which has its main campus located in nearby Starkville.

The legislation, as initially filed on Feb. 21, was intended to move the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science from its on-campus home at MUW to the Starkville campus of Mississippi State by the 2026-27 academic year. While the bill would still do that, it would now also change MUW’s name to “The W at Mississippi State University,” adding another layer to the coeducational university’s two-year battle with its highly-criticized rebranding process.

Sen. Dennis DeBar, a Republican who serves as chair of the Senate Education Committee, said the bill would strengthen all parties involved if passed by both the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Tate Reeves.

“The intent of this transfer is to honor the important legacy of the Mississippi University for Women and ensure that ‘The W at Mississippi State University’ shall become a successful, regional university and remain located in the city of Columbus,” DeBar vouched during Tuesday’s committee meeting.

“The campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, and ‘The W at Mississippi State University’ in Columbus benefit from their mutual connection. By the session of next year, in 2025, the IHL shall provide oversight staffing in needs and other resources to ensure the transfer is complete, and they shall also ensure that we have a plan for the continued success of the math and science school.”

Following the bill’s passage by both committees, MUW President Nora Miller sent an email to alumni, informing them that she was not informed by lawmakers before the “last-minute amendment” but is open to ideas regarding the school’s future.

“We became aware of the last-minute amendment made to Senate Bill 2175 this afternoon,” Miller wrote. “The proposed actions to

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