A published report says Nicholls State is considering closing its doors for 12 days because of a lack of state funds. But Nicholls president, Doctor Bruce Murphy, says closing the campus for several days is the last option they would ever take. University of Louisiana System president, Doctor Dan Reneau, encouraged the Senate education committee to do what they can to keep college campuses open.
“Higher education’s at a tipping point. The next 50 years probably lies in your hands in the next three weeks,” Reneau said.
Lawmakers have until March ninth to come up with a funding solution that would spare higher education from deep budget cuts. Metairie Senator Conrad Appel is upset to see a headline that Nicholls plans to close, when that’s not the case.
“I don’t think there’s one person on this stage, whether they be Democrat or Republican, that sincerely thinks we’re gonna close a school, and yet the news media has got this. Every time I turn around, ‘Oh, we’re gonna shut down schools,’” Appel said.
Reneau says depending on the size of the cut in state funding, mid-year closures could occur as some universities. But Appel warns higher ed leaders that these kinds of threats could become a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”
“And make sure these news media folks know that this is not Nicholls is planning closure. It’s Nicholls is planning closure if we don’t take sufficient action to solve their problem,” Appel said.