LSU president requests immediate budget cut planning

The following is a news release from the LSU System:

BATON ROUGE, LA - LSU System President Dr. John Lombardi on Thursday requested system administrators begin planning how best to deal with an estimated 23 percent budget cut for the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year.

"The obligations imposed on higher education by the anticipated 2011-12 budget will require the institutions to reduce, consolidate, and in many cases eliminate colleges, schools, and research and service activities affecting students, faculty, and staff as well as the communities that our institutions serve," Dr. Lombardi wrote to system administrators in an e-mail memo on the budget cut planning.

Louisiana higher education is expected to absorb almost $300 million in new state funding reductions as Federal stimulus support ends next year.

In his memo, Dr. Lombardi explained, "We will need to issue dismissal notices early in the 2010-11 fiscal year if we are to close programs and terminate activities in 2011-12. We will need to notify and advise students who must find alternative locations and institutions to complete their academic activities as some degree programs close. Some research faculty and staff who have grants and contracts will need to identify alternative universities where they can continue their work as we reduce the state support that provides baseline funding for large grants and contracts. The list of actions will be long and the collateral damage significant."

The LSU president also pointed out that while the recent session of the Legislature provided "significant assistance" with the approval of additional tuition and fee authority, the hikes "will not replace most of the anticipated lost state revenue."

"The tuition increases anticipated for the next few years will help cover unfunded mandated cost increases and a portion of the reductions, but they will not address the consequences of the end of Federal stimulus funding expected for 2011-12," Dr. Lombardi said.

As the chart below indicates, over the past two years, LSU System institutions have been hit with nearly $150 million in budget cuts, including a system wide $22.7 million reduction for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.

A copy of Dr. Lombardi's budget memo along with supporting documents, including supporting spreadsheets and graphics are attached.

Preliminary recommendations are expected to be presented to the LSU Board of Supervisors at its July 16th meeting.

"There is no good news in this process," Dr. Lombardi told campus officials.  "Each unit has already taken significant actions to meet the various revenue reductions of the past years and the remaining activities are enterprises of great value to their many student and state constituencies. Nonetheless, we will proceed in an effort to save what is possible in these exceptionally difficult circumstances."