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SUBR Chancellor: Deep cuts would crush SU restructuring, recruitment efforts - Thursday, May 17, 2012
The proposed budget cuts to the higher education could derail Southern University's effort to climb out of exigency and to lift furloughs from hundreds of employees on the Baton Rouge campus, Chancellor James L. Llorens said today.

The budget cuts on the local campus could range from $4 million to $10 million for the 2012 -13 school year.

"The proposed additional cuts will be catastrophic and would place the Baton Rouge campus in a tenuous situation," Llorens said. "Remember these new budget reductions follow more than $20 million in cuts over the past three years that helped drive us to declare financial emergency this past school year."

"Can we survive the new cuts of up to $10 million? It’s uncertain. But we may not be able to offer the quality and diverse educational opportunities that schools of higher education should provide," Llorens said.

Southern is in the midst of full scale education reorganization that includes merging programs and eliminating others as a result of the loss of over $25 million in state appropriations in the past four years. Now, with the possibility of up to $10 million more in cuts to absorb next fiscal year, "we will probably find ourselves in the same situation with other colleges in the state where the integrity of our education programs will be threatened," Llorens said.

"There is little doubt that these deeps cuts will send the wrong message to the rest of the nation about how seriously Louisiana values the importance of higher education and research," Llorens said.

Over the past four years enrollment has declined at Southern. Llorens has led an aggressive student recruitment campaign in Louisiana and especially the three border states - Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas. Alumni groups across the country have also pitched in to encourage students to attend Southern.

"Now, with these staggering budget cuts, this promising effort could be seriously damaged," Llorens said.


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