LSU students: Jindal responsible for university's money troubles

LSU students: Jindal responsible for university's money trouble

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU students blame Governor Bobby Jindal for the university's financial problems.

They voiced their concerns after learning LSU's credit outlook dropped from "positive" to "stable."

Moody's Investors points to big budget cuts to higher education and the state's control over tuition as reasons for the drop.

Students at LSU walk the campus with pride.

"It's a great school," Darrion Jackson said.

They each have different reasons for becoming a Tiger. Getting a good education is something they have in common, but cuts to higher education in recent years have left many students, like Michael Benton, disappointed.

"I've already had classes I was supposed to take that I cannot take not even before these cuts took place. Courses have been limited as a result of this," Benton said.

Following the credit outlook from Moody's, LSU President F. King Alexander has announced the university is in the process of filing paperwork for a possible academic bankruptcy. Students are not taking the news lightly.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous and kind of embarrassing," Benton said.

"It's kind of discouraging because we want to come here and learn and excel, and this pushes us to go elsewhere, somewhere cheaper," Jackson said.

If the credit score gets downgraded, it will raise borrowing costs for the university, thus making it harder for LSU to invest. Student, Debbie Goldgaber, blames elected leaders.

"The government officials who have been entrusted to shepherd this institution have failed it by letting this happen," Goldgaber said.

State Treasurer John Kennedy agreed. He said lawmakers should have seen the cuts coming.

"For seven years they've done what they've been told to do and look where we are, and they know this is serious," Kennedy said.

Governor Jindal said state lawmakers are focused on getting rid of a more than half billion dollars in corporate taxes and considering other moves to save higher education. However, he does admit it is cause for concern.

"I think high education leaders and students and professors have a right to be worried. I think there are good solutions on the table but I think we need to convey that sense of urgency so that folks downstairs (legislators) can continue work together to adopt these and other solutions," Jindal said.

The governor said he is confident lawmakers will make the changes to find a fix that does not include raising taxes. However, students said they are already feeling the bite, and at this point they fear it might be too little too late.

"I think they should think seriously about what it would take to secure public higher education in the state of Louisiana," Goldgaber said.

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