Budget Frequently Asked Questions
WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENT BUDGET GAP NUMBERS?
WHAT IS A TUITION SWAP?
When institutions increase tuition, the projected additional revenue from the increased tuition is backed out of the institution’s state funding. This may give a false impression of higher education support. With the exception of 2014-15, this has been the practice since 2009.
WHAT ARE THE PAST BUDGET REDUCTIONS?
Louisiana has lost approximately $700 million in state funding since FY 2008-09. University of Louisiana System campuses have lost $293 million (-55%) in state funding and $90.2 million (-10%) in total funding. Click here for a breakdown by campus.
HOW MANY EMPLOYEES HAS HIGHER EDUCATION LOST?
There are 4,374 less employees in higher education than in 2008-09, including 859 less faculty (-7%) and 590 less administrators (-25%).
WHAT HAS HIGHER EDUCATION DONE TO OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY?
Louisiana’s colleges and universities have eliminated 336 academic programs and consolidated an additional 226 program. Institutions also added 131 new programs including online degree offerings, programs offered jointly by two or more institutions, and programs created directly to meet workforce needs.
SHOULD HIGHER EDUCATION LOOK AT REALIGNING, MERGING, AND/OR CLOSING CAMPUSES OR GOVERNANCE BOARDS?
We are not focusing any efforts on exploring mergers or closures, instead investing our time in finding funding solutions.
Several past commissions and studies have exhausted these issues with consistent findings that significant changes such as mergers, closures, and realignments do not yield immediate savings. In fact, such changes would take considerable front end costs. For example, it would cost the state $111 million to close a university that receives $31.6 million in state funding due to $142.4 million in obligated funds ($95 million in bond debt for facilities; $28.4 million in employee release costs for first year; and $19 million in recurring annual employee expenses such as retirement payments).
- Following are excerpts and links to recent legislative commissioned studies:
- "Contemporary studies have shown that there is no ideal postsecondary education governance structure and that there exists no correlation between the type of governance structure and improved outcomes. Furthermore, the act of restructuring brings with it substantial costs and no guarantee of a positive return on investment." - Board of Regents Response to HR 93 (Higher Education Governance) of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature
- A National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) Study of the Postsecondary Education Needs of the New Orleans Region, March 14, 2011 rejected a proposed merger of SUNO and UNO because it would:
- Deny opportunities to thousands of youth and adults in the New Orleans region who could not meet the necessarily higher entrance requirements of a high-performing urban university,
- Place a significant burden on the urban research university to serve comparatively under-prepared students and threaten the changes of the institution to achieve its long-term aspirations,
- Do little to advance the collaboration between the community college and the university, and
- Ignore the fundamental concerns and differences in culture that are essential for successful mergers.