UL System Board Begins Work to Address Budget Reductions
BATON ROUGE – The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System took initial steps today to address the projected budget shortfall for next year. The Board passed a resolution that outlines general guidelines for its eight universities to implement employee furloughs, authorized increases to campus housing and meal plans, and endorsed a five percent tuition increase pending approval by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.
“The measures taken today by the Board address less than 15 percent of the proposed budget shortfall,” said UL System President Randy Moffett. “In order to reach the $67 million cut our campuses will be forced to terminate 317 employees, eliminate 260 additional positions, terminate 26 academic programs, eliminate 11 academic support, community service and research programs, and reduce 27 community service and research programs. That is in addition to plans to furlough 4,444 employees for an average of 7.5 days.”
- Any furlough plan will not exceed 15 days in a fiscal year.
- The plan will include mandatory furloughs for all employees, except for tenured faculty and contract employees, those fully funded (100%) restricted grant positions, employees on H-1B visas and those whose compensation is otherwise reduced. This does not preclude voluntary participation with any of the above (except those on H-1B visas). Any modification of a written contract or grant must be in writing. Exceptions may also be granted for critical categories such as emergency personnel and campus security.
- The selection of furlough days or furlough half-days will not result in the cancellation of classes.
- The plan should take employee compensation levels into account when establishing the number of furlough days.
UL System universities that pursue furloughs must develop specific plans to be approved by the Board. According to current campus budget plans, furloughs only account for $9.4 million of the $67 million cuts planned for the UL System next year.
“It is important to note that no furloughs will take place prior to July 1, as the budget situation is still being reviewed by the Legislature. However, it is imperative that campuses begin to take action now, as many reductions will have to be implemented within days of the close of the Legislative Session,” said Moffett.
In addition to the furlough resolution, the Board approved increases in rates for residential and meal plan services at the eight universities, as well as increases to undergraduate and graduate tuition. Under Act 915 of the 2008 Legislative Session, colleges and universities are authorized to increase tuition up to five percent each year for three years. The Board approved a five percent increase for each of the eight universities.
The following outlines the increase and new tuition rate for each campus, pending approval by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and how it compares to peer college tuition rates in the Southern Region:
ACT 915 Tuition Plan Percentage Increase
Annual Increase Allowed
Southern Regional Peer Tuition
The five percent increases in tuition are projected to generate $13.6 million system-wide. This amount is equal to the projected unfunded mandated costs in the FY 2009-10 budget outside of the $67 million cut.
“The Board and our universities are pursuing all possible avenues to meet the projected shortfall. Unfortunately, everyone will be impacted if the current budget remains unchanged. That is why we are grateful for any show of support for higher education,” said Moffett.
Before concluding its business, the Board also passed a resolution commending The Shaw Group, Inc., its chairman, Jim Bernhard Jr., and its Board of Directors for declining $172.5 million of incentive payments from the state and asking it to be spent instead on higher education.
The resolution, which is available in full at www.ulsystem.edu, includes “that the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System hopes the actions of The Shaw Group, Inc. will set an example for others to follow, as the future vitality of our state rests in the education of its citizens; and … that the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System do hereby urge and request the Governor and Legislature of the State of Louisiana to act favorably on The Shaw Group, Inc. request to consider using monies from the Rainy Day Fund, the Economic Development Mega Fund, and other funding sources to restore all cuts to higher education, as we believe there is no better investment in economic development for Louisiana.”
EIGHT UNIVERSITIES STRONG: The University of Louisiana System is the state's largest higher education system with over 80,000 students enrolled at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
FOR MORE INFORMATIONContact: Cami Geisman
225.219.0270 | Cami.Geisman@la.gov
UL System Campus Budget Reduction Plans Available Online >>
University of Louisiana System Has $3.4 Billion Annual Impact >>
UL System Working to Save Costs >>
UL System Distributes $66.6 Million Cut to Campuses >>
UL System Preliminary Impact of Budget Reductions >>