Legislators in Louisiana have closed the gap on mid-year budget cuts expected to wreak havoc on public college and universities campuses across the state next month, and officials say that schools like Grambling State University and the Southern University System campuses are not expected to close – for the time being.
The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that a potential $200 million budget cut to public higher education has been whittled to $86 million spread among the state’s two and four-year campuses, leaving the schools enough room to survive through the rest of the academic year, but still uncertain about the stability of student services and adjunct positions. From the Advocate:
“Southern University campuses also would endure widespread furloughs, affecting all nontenured faculty and staff paid more than $30,000, according to the budget plan. Schools also would reduce the number of courses available during summer school, and student aid services and personnel.”
At an address last week for middle and high school students in Jefferson Parish, Grambling State President Willie Larkin reiterated the school’s goal of engaging lawmakers to think of higher education as a long-term investment.
“If we don’t address the issue of higher education, we’re going to put ourselves in a predicament that we’re not going to rebound from,” said Larkin. “We’re trying to convince the legislature to look favorably on education, because that’s the thing that’s really going to improve the state. You cannot cut your way to prosperity. So we’re encouraging our legislators to look at the future of the state and invest in education.”