Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration today proposed cutting funding for higher education by about $211 million in the coming year but left the door open for some plans that could generate additional dollars to close the gap.
Here’s how the leaders of Louisiana’s four college and university system boards responded to the news.
Southern University System President Ronald Mason: “While the budget cuts to higher education included in the proposed budget for 2015-2016 are much less than anticipated, they are still significant. The only manageable scenario is zero cuts. We appreciate the ideas put forward to further lessen cuts to higher ed. We are hopeful and will continue working with the Governor and the Legislature to come up with solutions to ensure the survival of public universities in Louisiana, and secure the future of our state.”
LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander: “These budget cuts are significant. We appreciate the Governor’s willingness to look at solutions, including his plan to offset $567 million in cuts with proposed tax credit changes of $372 million. We are also pursuing our own creative solutions for financial stability. This is the beginning of a long process where we will work with the Legislature and the Governor to ultimately restore funding for public higher education to its appropriate levels.”
University of Louisiana System President Sandra Woodley: “We are encouraged by the administration’s willingness to identify revenue options that could alleviate budget reductions to higher education. We are in the process of digesting all of the options laid out in the Governor’s Executive Budget to examine how it addresses our collective goal of maintaining current funding levels with minimal burden on our students. This is the starting point of a long process of working with the administration and legislators, as most of the revenue proposals are contingent upon legislative action.”
Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Monty Sullivan: “The announcement of Governor Jindal’s proposed 2016 Executive Budget is the first step in the budget development process. The different options being proposed to minimize impacts to higher education is encouraging. I am optimistic that collectively the administration, the legislature, and the higher education leadership will find budget solutions that work for the citizens of Louisiana. The focus of Louisiana’s community and technical colleges remains on educating and training the people of Louisiana and meeting the state’s unprecedented workforce demands.”