In response to multiple requests by the media for information about potential campus impacts of the proposed budget reductions, UL System President Sandra Woodley released the following statement:
“While we are certainly having discussions with our nine universities about strategies in case a solution is not found to mitigate the proposed cuts to higher education, it is very difficult to find a strategic way to implement a 40 to 60 percent cut to state funding in one year. The reality is that when you are looking at cuts of this magnitude all institutions are vulnerable.
“After seven years of budget reductions, our universities have already been through rounds of layoffs, furloughs, program consolidations, spending and travel freezes, incentivized retirements, and administrative reorganizations. We have implemented cost saving strategies through expanding online delivery and joint degree programs, collaborative purchasing, consolidation of services, and energy conservation.
“Last year, Louisiana took an important step toward revitalizing the state’s economy through the stabilization of higher education’s funding and the unanimous passage of the Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy (WISE) fund. Instead of going through budget cut scenarios, we should be focusing our efforts on increasing enrollment and degree production to meet the state’s workforce demands. We believe our partners in the Legislature understand Louisiana’s economy cannot afford any steps backward and will work with us to find funding solutions.”
ABOUT THE UL SYSTEM: The University of Louisiana System is the largest higher education system in Louisiana enrolling almost 89,000 students at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the University of New Orleans.