Southern declares financial emergency
BATON ROUGE - Board members voted unanimously today to declare a financial emergency at Southern University, which gives administrators the power to make broad cuts to the budget and faculty.
The final count was 14-0 with two board members absent. The declaration lets administrators more easily fire tenured faculty members and cut academic programs in order to get back in the black.
The decision comes after months of debate between administrators, board members and faculty. It was staunchly opposed by faculty, students and alumni.
The motion to declare a crisis was a late addition to the board's agenda by Southern Chancellor James Llorens and Southern University System President Ronald Mason Jr. They argued that earlier layoffs and voluntary faculty furloughs didn't go far enough to correct Southern's budget woes.
News 2's Stephanie Ryan and Kristy Davis will have more on the decision and reaction from faculty tonight at 6 and 10.