Grambling State University to reduce budget by $10 million

Here is a news release from Grambling State University concerning their plans to reduce their budget by more than $10 million over the next two years:

Grambling State University Announces Budget Reduction Plan

GRAMBLING, LA---Grambling State University officials announced the university's effort to reduce the operating budget by more than $10 million over the next two years during a community meeting on August 11.

Since 2008, Grambling State has lost nearly $10.8 million in state support with expectations of even more cuts on the horizon.  With dwindling state support and the anticipated loss of $6.4 million in federal stimulus funds, Grambling State officials called for shared sacrifice across the university community to address the mounting fiscal constraints.

GSU President Frank G. Pogue noted, "The university has made a great effort to avoid massive layoffs and the closing of academic programs, but these latest reductions will affect everyone at the university as well as the way the university does business."

With more than 80 percent of the university's budget supporting salaries and benefits, the university has no other choice but to implement initiatives that affect employees.

Over the next two years, the university will implement a mandatory furlough for all eligible employees, restrict merit increases, continue the hiring freeze, continue the limited freeze on overtime, reduce select faculty and staff from 12-month to 9-month employees, initiate an early retirement program, restructure the laboratory schools and transportation systems and implement a campus-wide energy conservation program.  In 2011, the university anticipates the layoff of approximately 20 university personnel and the merging of several academic programs.

In athletics, the university has already dropped the men's golf and tennis squads and women's golf team.

Dr. Connie Walton, interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, stated, "We want to continue to ensure that we have quality academic programs and that any mergers we create support the growth of the affected departments."

During his closing remarks, Dr. Pogue discussed the implementation timeline for the budget reduction plan as well as several opportunities to inform the university community of steps taken to move the institution forward during challenging economic times.  Pogue stated that the Budget Reduction Plan is just one element of a comprehensive planning process underway at the university which includes faculty, staff, students, community members and alumni.

Pogue called on alumni to do their part by assisting with student scholarships, adopting a building, purchasing billboards, identifying donors and recruiting students.   The university is planning to generate non-state revenue by fundraising and increasing student numbers through an aggressive recruitment and retention program and developing partnership agreements with community colleges and K-12 programs.

Pogue said, "This is a new beginning, a time in which we will build on the history of Grambling State University, its excellence and successes throughout its nearly 110 years of service."