BATON ROUGE – The University of Louisiana System has distributed $66.6 million in budget reductions to its eight universities based on a phase-in of the new performance-based funding formula. These reductions planned for Fiscal Year 2009-10 are in addition to the $19.6 million mid-year cuts, bringing UL System cuts to $86.2 million. “Our university presidents have been planning for significant reductions in funding, and the realities of these cuts are sobering,” said UL System President Randy Moffett. “An $86 million drop in funding in one year is drastic and will impact the ability of our campuses to deliver services to students.”
Grambling State has been asked to cut more than $4.88 million from its budget.
“The universities’ priorities are to protect the integrity of their core missions to educate, although the magnitude of these budget reductions will certainly have impacts on personnel, students, academic programs and community services. Everyone will feel the impact,” said Moffett.
UL System campuses will be reviewing academic and student programs. Any type of program elimination will have associated reductions in personnel.
Any elimination of programs and jobs would translate into increased class sizes, decreased class offerings, decreased student activities, and decreased availability of academic advising and student support. Thus, the progress made by UL System schools over the last several years in the area of student access and success could be negatively impacted.
There is also a high probability of a drop in student enrollment due to eliminated programs, loss of scholarships, and a decrease in student programming activities.
Remaining students and their families may feel the impacts as they share in the financial burden. Absent state funding, universities may be forced to increase tuition and fees.
The Legislature has authorized higher education to implement a five percent tuition increase for next year, but other tuition and most fee increases must be sought through Legislative action.
“We’ve worked hard to increase the number of scholarships available to our students and alleviate financial roadblocks to college attendance.,” said Moffett.
“The State is facing significant financial challenges, and higher education must do its share. However, in these tough financial times, Louisiana must invest in its people, and higher education is the key to the State’s long-term economic prosperity,” he added.