LSU President F. King Alexander went before the House Appropriations Committee and expressed concerns over a possible 16th budget cut in nine years. Alexander says they can’t be much more efficient when LSU is already 46 out of 50 flagship universities in per student spending. He says at some point we need to invest in the next generation of students.
“Help us do more, we’ll do more with less than anybody else in the country, we’re showing that. But help us with a little bit more and we’ll do a lot more in terms of graduating class, our enrollments have never set records like they have.”
Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo is asking the legislature to increase funding by $189-million in next year’s budget. But the state has as an estimated $600-million budget deficit for this year. Alexander says the University of Alabama is in the process of hiring 300 new teachers, while LSU has lost over 500 in the past nine years.
“Some of those they’re hiring are ours that are going to Alabama. Now, we would take notice if we were losing football coaches.”
The state’s budget problems have forced TOPS students for the upcoming semester to pay over 50-percent of their tuition. Alexander says they've already seen a 3.5 percent drop in enrollment for the upcoming semester.
“LSU is the best opportunity for us to keep our best and brightest. That’s why this TOPS cut is so detrimental to us. 70% of our kids from Louisiana are bringing TOPS into our institution.”