LSU chancellor talks about possible cuts

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU Chancellor Michael Martin faced the public for the first time since news surfaced in January about hundreds of possible layoffs.

Chancellor Martin spoke for about 90 minutes and answered questions ranging from budget cuts to the state of LSU's economy. Last month, letters were sent to over 400 non-tenured faculty advising them of possible cuts within one year.

"I would much rather give someone a year's notice, than give them 30 days notice," said Martin.

Chancellor Michael Martin says there are three possibilities for the future, with respect to the letters.

"One is indications that some share of those letters, some proportions will likely be exercised, or some or all (of the letters) will be extended, or some or all will be revoked," Martin said.

Martin says it is something the school won't know until July 1, when the state's financial hole will become clearer.

"I understand those letters could be revoked given the budget projections, but I seriously doubt they will be revoked," said English Department chair Anna Nardo.

For Biological Sciences associate professor Kurt Svoboda, this is publicity the university does not need. He's considering another alternative.

"I have a very good offer elsewhere and I am looking seriously at taking that position," Svoboda said.

Others at the meeting proposed changing the state constitution to protect higher education and healthcare from budget cuts. Currently, the constitution states both are not exempt from cuts.

Governor Jindal will release his budget on Friday. His office says he is in favor of giving schools more control over their budgets, but he wants better graduation rates and performance before that happens.

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