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LSU Alumni form grassroots lobbying effort

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BATON ROUGE - LSU announced Wednesday that a group of alumni have formed a grassroots advocacy group to lobby legislators in Louisiana not to make further cuts to higher education in the upcoming legislative session.

The group, called Tiger Advocates, is sponsored by the LSU Alumni Association. Association president Cliff Vannoy said the group's first goal will be to protect the flagship university from more cuts, but they will also work toward preserving higher education funding for other schools statewide.

"Our mission is to be a collective voice for LSU to help ensure it is the best it can be - a top-ranked university that educates Louisiana's future leaders, drives the state's economic development, produces breakthroughs in scientific research and serves the people of Louisiana," Vannoy said.

The state faces a projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall next year because of plummeting oil prices. The Jindal administration has asked higher education institutions to be ready for up to $400 million in budget cuts.

The Tiger Advocates group says the proposed cuts could hit LSU even harder, because they could lose up to $152 million in grants. LSU President F. King Alexander also said Wednesday the cuts could mean the university would have to freeze 125 new hires and cut 250 to 300 existing positions.

More information about the new lobbying group can be found on the Tiger Advocate website.

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