LSU instructors upset about coach pay increases

By David Spunt - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - During a monthly meeting of LSU faculty Wednesday afternoon, non-tenured instructors who could lose their jobs found out some coaches could get raises. The news is not sitting well with the hundreds of instructors waiting to find out their future at the university.

According to LSU, coaches' salaries come from directly from the athletic department, which has long been self-sufficient. In fact, the athletic department gives back to academia. This year, $6 million from athletics will go to the new business school complex and the general fund.

"I think it's a difficult thing when you tell your kids the importance of education and you promote that across the state," said Chris Tusa, an English instructor at LSU. "And at the same time, you have massive firings of instructors who make $40,000 or $50,000 a year. The same time, you are hiring coaches for millions of dollars a year."

Sharon Andrews, another English teacher, is also upset. She and hundreds of colleagues are waiting for possible pink slips by mail. Official letters are in the process of being delivered.

"Yesterday was the day we were told we'd be receiving our termination notices, so I checked my box and I did not find a termination letter, but did find a certificate congratulating me on my ten years of service," she said.

The news of possible cuts was made known just over two months before the start of the legislative session. Gov. Bobby Jindal said he's still upbeat, while a nervous uncertainty swirls around campus.

"At LSU, they are not talking about laying these people off now," Jindal explained. "They are talking about getting ready for next year. We are doing everything we can to mitigate those impacts on higher education so the good news is I think there will be an opportunity to help higher education and we're going to push the legislature."

The LSU Board of Supervisors will meet on Friday, Jan. 29 to discuss increasing coaching salaries.

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