SLU struggles with mounting budget cuts

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 29 at 10:17 AM

HAMMMOND, La. - Louisiana colleges are crunching their numbers once again.

After sorting through last minute budget cuts that take effect before the end of the month, the colleges are facing even more cuts this coming school year and Southeastern Louisiana University officials are scrounging for anything to fill the holes.

University leaders say a spending freeze helped stave off almost a million dollars in last minute budget cuts, but the outlook for 2012-2013 is grim, and the overall future for SLU could be ugly.

Four years of financial slicing and dicing, because of state budget cuts, now leaves the school with a little more than half of what the state used to spend on it.

"I think we're very close to that point where our enterprise is going to cease functioning if we don't find some other answers or some other alternative than to just keep reducing funding," said SLU President John Crain.

But budget reductions will keep coming, at least for classes kicking off in August, to the tune of between $9-$13 million. So far, cuts have resulted in programs like French and Liberal Arts being pulled all together, and at least 100 people being left without jobs. Crain says it'll be harder to figure out this time. Students say they're already facing the consequences of the cuts with fewer classes and higher tuition. The faculty is worn down by the constant bad news, but most are staying positive.

"This is where we are and what we need to do is just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and do what we need to do," said Randy Settoon, Dean of the College of Business.

Crain is meeting with faculty to fill them in on what's coming. The budget is due to the UL System Board of Supervisors by the end of July.

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