BATON ROUGE – During a professional development meeting Thursday the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System expressed concern over severe budget cuts facing its eight universities and the immediate steps that must take place over the next two months to plan for Fiscal Year 2011-12.

With multiple budget cuts to higher education over the past two years, the UL System projects to have $77.3 million less state funding in FY 2010-11 than in FY 2008-09. A projected loss of $94.8 million in federal stimulus dollars the next year brings the operating deficit to $172.2 million or a 37 percent reduction.

To date, campuses have laid off almost 500 employees, eliminated 600 positions, furloughed 800 people, eliminated over 300 courses and terminated 33 degree programs. According to UL System President Randy Moffett, campuses are continuing to plan for worst-case scenarios while hoping for revenue relief from the Legislature.

“These are monumental circumstances. You have to plan for the worst, but you don’t want to make the details of those plans public until it is clear you have to implement those tough decisions. Naming a program or department for possible elimination should the worst case happen essentially turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy as those faculty members, staff and students may begin to leave. However, we’re now approaching the point of no return,” said Moffett.

Board policies for program discontinuance currently require a one-year notice to be given to associated tenured and certain tenure-track faculty. In light of these timelines, the Board will discuss potential program discontinuances and/or reductions at its June 25 meeting and may need to schedule a special meeting in July to take associated action.

Moffett informed the Board that shutting down programs, whole departments and even multiple academic colleges may still not get our campuses to the potential shortfall.

“I think the university presidents have good plans, but you must remember that for every program you close you also lose associated tuition revenue. It’s not a dollar for dollar savings. I’m afraid we cannot meet an almost 40 percent reduction without very drastic changes,” said Moffett.

Current & Projected Budget Cuts:

Campus
Funding
7/1/08

Projected
Funding
7/1/10

Less
Stimulus
Projected
Funding
7/1/2011
Change
2008-11
% Change
Louisiana 101,147,753 84,702,106 20,797,964 63,904,142  (37,243,611)  -36.82%
Southeastern 79,340,431 65,666,765 16,237,016 49,429,749 (29,910,682)  -37.70%
La Tech 62,861,537 52,794,596 12,902,079 39,892,517 (22,969,020) -36.54%
ULM 57,132,430 47,631,610 11,666,957 35,964,653 (21,167,777) -37.05%
Northwestern 49,733,189 41,344,726 10,181,069 31,163,657 (18,569,532) -37.34%
McNeese 45,427,196 37,743,759 9,227,162 28,516,597 (16,910,599)  -37.23%
Nicholls 35,947,974 29,877,310 7,388,963 22,488,347 (13,459,627) -37.44%
Grambling 31,830,901 26,311,298 6,482,849 19,828,449 (12,002,452)  -37.71%
TOTAL 463,421,411 386,072,169 94,884,059 291,188,110 (172,233,301) -37.17%

The UL System is the largest higher education system in the state with eight universities comprising almost 82,000 students. The eight universities are the University of Louisiana, Southeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana Tech University, UL-Monroe, Northwestern State University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, and Grambling, 


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