Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fiscal crisis: eight colleges may close

Louisiana Board of Regents officials warned the Senate Finance Committee today that eight higher education campuses may close as a result of planned cuts to the state budget.

LSU System President John Lombardi included in joint testimony the loss of entire campuses, along with reduced freshman and sophomore classes at 4-year colleges as necessary to replace $300 million that will not be available to higher education in FY2011. According to Lombardi, as much as one-third of the higher education system could be lost.

Even with efficiencies and tuition increases, warned Regents officials, deep and substantial cuts are inevitable with the budget reduction. They predicted a 15-year setback in state higher education.

"Sadly, this is not the first wake-up call we've had about a crisis in higher education," said Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan. "But it begs the question: When will we listen? Losing an entire generation of students is simply not an option."

To read the rest of this story, please click here.
Advocate reporter Jordan Blum covered the issue for this story.

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