BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration has notified universities across Louisiana of severe potential cuts to higher education.
LSU President/Chancellor F. King Alexander sent a letter to students Friday morning indicating the university is looking at cuts due to Louisiana's budget shortfall.
Alexander stated LSU officials were notified by Commission of Administration Jay Dardenne late Thursday that the state's $750 million budget deficit would require $131 million in cuts to higher education, with the LSU system bearing about $65 million of that total.
Alexander added LSU has four days to provide a plan for handling those cuts.
The cuts will affect all state universities. More information on those cuts is being gathered.
Jay Dardenne, Commissioner of Administration for the State of Louisiana sent a memo about the LSU cuts:
In follow up to this morning's meeting, please advise your member institutions that, as we prepare for the budget challenges of the current fiscal year, I would like for each system to prepare a budget reduction plan that anticipates no new revenue being realized before the end of the fiscal year. We will work on the assumption that the Legislature will authorize use of the Rainy Day Fund ($128 million) and redirect the BP non-coastal dollars ($200 million), which addresses a portion of our projected shortfall. We also anticipate the universities suffering a significant reduction as part of the $160 million we expect to get by reducing stat deds. Nevertheless, there remains a presently anticipated shortfall of $262 million. If this scenario develops, we obviously will look at further reductions in all department and agencies receiving State General Fund dollars, but, unfortunately, the brunt of this shortfall will hit Higher Education and Healthcare. Accordingly, I am requesting that Higher Education prepare for one-half of these potential cuts, i.e., $131 million.
The percentage amount of state general fund allocated to each system is based on the proportion it receives in the current FY budget. Accordingly, please direct your member institutions to submit me a budget reduction plan as follows:
- style="margin-left: 40px;">LSU System: 49.62 percent
- style="margin-left: 40px;">Southern University System: 5.94 percent
- style="margin-left: 40px;">University of Louisiana System: 29.03 percent
Louisiana Community and Technical College System: 15.42 percent
i will ask that the Board of Regents coordinate the gathering of this information and get it to me as quickly as possible. Thank you for your cooperation, and please know that this is not the plan we look forward to executing, but one that we feel is necessary given the uncertainty of new revenue.