High rankings for LSU/SU may not last through financial crisis
Louisiana State University and Southern University again rank among the best in their class, according to U.S. News and World Report. However, leaders at both schools worry the ranking won't last.
The universities' officials say the rankings are important for enrollment and grants, but they simply can't meet the requirements to keep those rankings without people and programs because the rankings consider degrees, enrollment and graduation rates. They're all things in danger in the near future as state and federal dollars dwindle.
"Inevitably, budget cuts will have an impact on the quality of education," said LSU Provost Jack Hamilton. "You can't cut the amount of money we're cutting out of this institution and reducing the number of positions and the services we can provide to students and expect to get the same quality education."
"We are in dire straits, as far as the state is concerned," said special assistant to SU Chancellor Margaret S. Ambrose, "but we're still going to be required to produce."
Students agree the cuts will cause a slump in several aspects of their schools, but they have hope something will change financially before the damage in the classroom can't be.
"If things continue to go the way they are going, that could be a possibility I feel like, but budget cuts can't continually happen," said LSU mechanical engineering senior Ian McMills.
LSU tied with five schools for 124th in the nation, while Grambling tied with Southern for 34th among black colleges.