LSU applying pressure to stem higher ed cuts
BATON ROUGE - LSU President F. King Alexander continued his full-court press to prevent crippling cuts to higher education as the legislative session got underway.
Alexander sent an email Monday morning detailing the university's goals during the session to LSU alumni and those following the school's funding fight.
"LSU needs budget stability," Alexander said. "We are working with the Governor and state legislators to find solutions and remain confident that our goals will be met."
LSU created a website for alumni and students to get more information about the bills and measures Alexander said are a priority for the school. He also continued to call for more autonomy for his university to set their own funding and constitutional protections to secure higher education's funding base.
The LSU system president and Baton Rouge campus chancellor has become the most vocal opponent to more than $600 million dollars in cuts for colleges and universities, a reduction of 82 percent of their state funding.
Alexander said in the worst-case scenario, in which tax offsets proposed by Governor Bobby Jindal are not approved by lawmakers, LSU would have to cancel hundreds of classes and lay off thousands of employees. Even if Jindal's funding plan is approved, schools would have to shoulder an estimated $220 million in cuts.
"This year's proposed cuts to higher education are unprecedented, but we remain optimistic that our legislators will embrace solutions that allow LSU to remain nationally competitive and take greater control over our future," Alexander said Monday.
The legislative session begins at noon. Gov. Jindal will give the opening address, followed by the response from Louisiana Democrats in Alario Hall.