LSU budget crisis could greatly impact veterinary school
Baton Rouge, La. — Louisiana State University (LSU) faces a drastically reduced state budget for higher education in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, which could affect the university’s veterinary school.
LSU veterinary school officials said they preferred not to comment on the ongoing budget-reduction effort, however. Spokeswoman Ginger Guttner said the situation was too “nebulous” at this time, as the entire budget was up in the air.
The school has twice been asked by state officials to “submit hypothetical budget-reduction scenarios,” according to a memo sent by Chancellor Michael Martin to LSU faculty, students and staff.
“A cut of this magnitude would be devastating for LSU and would result in the loss of hundreds of jobs on campus,” he wrote. “Please keep in mind that these reports are hypothetical. It will be months before we know what lies ahead for LSU.”
Martin went on to explain that the school has already reported a $42 million loss over the last 21 months, though he did not break down how the cuts have affected different parts of the school. What’s more, the university projected a $62 million loss in funding over the next fiscal year, according to a report it submitted to the state on Sept. 15. To cover that loss, LSU could cut up to 700 positions and reduce enrollment by up to 8,000 students.
State officials are reviewing the school’s proposal. Martin acknowledged, “We do not know what lies ahead or what we will be asked to do next, but we will continue to make the case to all constituents as forcibly as possible that these cuts would be destructive to the state’s flagship institution, catastrophic to the local economy and disastrous for the future education of the children of Louisiana.”