Gov. Jindal to unveil budget recommendations, could include hist - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Jindal to unveil budget recommendations, could include historic cuts to La. colleges

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Gov. Bobby Jindal unveils his budget recommendations Friday, which could include historic cuts to Louisiana's colleges.

The president of LSU – the state's flagship university worries other colleges and universities might see the cuts as an opportunity to poach faculty members and the research grants that go along with them. Sometimes those grants can be worth more than $150,000 each.

"Last year we started coming out and we went on the offensive- started recruiting faculty from other institutions, going after some of their faculty,” F. King Alexander said.

"I'm a little concerned that as more and more of this information gets out that we'll become a much bigger target."

Another concern- the ability to produce graduates to help attract and fill jobs in the state. The Southern University System President, Ronald Mason says they are just starting to get ahead of the curve and now is not the time to cut them off at the knees or much worse.

"It's more than the knees, we're starting to get up to the chest and neck now," mason said.

"We're bringing more jobs into the state than ever before- right? - which means we have to produce more workers than ever before and higher education is in the workforce production business."

The University Louisiana System President, Sandra Woodley agreed.

"I think that's progress that we don't want to lose, even that progress was just a little bit of daylight for this huge problem we have in Louisiana," Woodley said referring to what she calls a need for more graduates.

The governor will release any proposed cuts this Friday and then state legislators will take it from there.

"Where I can't go, I can't go back home and cut Higher Ed anymore," said Chuck Kleckley the Louisiana Speaker of the House.

"I can't support a budget, I can't vote for a budget that cuts Higher Ed like that is being talked about today."

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