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LSU leader asks for budget cut plans

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LA State Wire

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – LSU System President John Lombardi asked college officials Thursday to begin drafting plans now for deep budget cuts that he expects will fall on higher education in 2011 and that he said will cause widespread layoffs and program shutdowns.

In a letter to chancellors, Lombardi said the LSU governing board wants preliminary proposals at its July 16 board meeting for coping with the cuts, an anticipated reduction of $133 million across the university system in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2011.

He asked chancellors to devise recommendations for 23 percent cuts in state funding at each campus, though he said he expects the LSU Board of Supervisors won’t ultimately make across-the-board cuts after reviewing the plans.

“The scale of the reductions anticipated will almost certainly require the elimination of vital programs, the dismissal of employees including faculty and significant disruption of student academic careers,” Lombardi wrote.

He warned, “The list of actions will be long and the collateral damage significant.”

State lawmakers have told higher education leaders that public colleges face a likely $300 million cut to state funding in the 2011-12 budget year, when the state loses a billion dollars in federal stimulus money. Tuition and fee increases authorized by the Legislature won’t raise enough money to offset the steep reductions schools face.

Lombardi said campuses will need to prepare now for the reductions because many layoffs and program changes will take a year to implement, due to faculty protections and other administrative hurdles.

He said he’ll be visiting each campus within the next week to discuss budget cut scenarios.

“We will proceed in an effort to save what is possible in these exceptionally difficult circumstances,” Lombardi wrote.

Written by demon53

June 25, 2010 at 5:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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