Mississippi State's furniture institute reorganizes in lieu of closure
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State University’s Franklin Furniture Institute’s former director said the center would close due to budget cuts, but university officials said it would, instead, reorganize. The center will, however, adopt a new name - The Franklin Innovation Center - to better identify with its new emphasis as it continues its mission to enhance the state's $7 billion furniture industry. 
For more than 30 years, MSU has supported the state’s furniture industry with furniture testing, fundamental and applied furniture-related research, technical assistance to the industry, graduate and undergraduate education and training and industry-driven specialized programming and activities. Gregory A. Bohach, MSU’s vice president for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine said it will continue to do so.
“[MSU is] reaffirming its strong commitment to the state’s furniture manufacturing industry by continuing to provide testing and research while broadening its focus to enhance innovation and technology," as stated in a press release. 
In order to build stronger ties between students and furniture-related curriculums, the College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach will work closely with the Franklin Innovation Center. 
"[The university’s commitment to the furniture industry] remains strong and unwavering," said MSU President, Mark Keenum, in a statement. "As we move into our fourth decade of support for this vibrant Mississippi industry, both MSU and our furniture industry partners are mindful of the need to bring innovation, cutting-edge technologies, and a fresh vision to how the industry will grow and thrive in the future.”

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Angeleen Kipfer

Angel Kipfer is an editorial intern at the Woodworking Network.