The legislature only has ten days left to balance the budget, and if they run out of time, Louisiana colleges and universities could crumble.
Louisiana State University President, F. King Alexander, explains, “Now that the state has figured out it’s out of money and it’s a billion dollars short, the state has decided to reach into our universities and take what we have left to pay our faculty and staff for the remaining three to four months left.”
Alexander says, at this point, LSU doesn’t have enough money to fund its payroll through April, meaning the spring semester could be cut short.
“You’ll see basically all the other universities around the state along with us, won’t be able to make payroll either so Southern, the UL’s, community colleges laying off 1200 people” continues Alexander.
Even under modest budget cuts, summer school could be affected. Alexander explains, “Summer school will have to be reexamined, if we have to close short of the end of this semester, it will have significant implications on if we offer three terms of summer school, one term of summer school or summer school at all.”
Under NCAA rules, student athletes must meet certain criteria to play. That means if summer school isn’t offered, Alexander says, only half of LSU’s football team will be eligible to play next fall.
“Classes and sports go together, they’re student athletes and you can’t have one without the other” explains Alexander.
TOPS has also been on the chopping block lately. Right now, only 25% of next fall’s tops awards are funded.