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.
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.