LSUS reacts to state budget cuts

As she sits in a lecture room taking her American History mid-term the last thing Freshman Bridget MacDonald wants to worry about is tuition costs.  With $35 million cut from Louisiana higher education Friday, that concern is very real.

"If it does go up, then I will have to pay more, which is definitely gonna be hard with my personal financial situation. I would like to see it stay the way it is, but it's not looking that way," said MacDonald.

"The load will become heavier on students and their families as the state decreases its support for higher education. That's unfortunate," said LSUS Chancellor Vincent Marsala.

Since 2008 public universities across the state have seen about $280 million slashed from their budgets.  Because of that, LSU Shreveport's state funding has dropped significantly in the last few years.

"It will be a minimum of $8 million cut out of what was I think a &19 million state appropriation," said Marsala.

Those cuts have already cause tuition to increase about $300 a semester for each student in the last 2 years. LSUS has already cut more than 100 positions.  About half of those were faculty, and students have noticed.

"I know some of the adjunct professors even have been laid off recently, which also isn't very helpful for getting students through the program.  It's making it actually take longer to graduate," said Senior, Patrick Nolan.

The chancellor fears the new budget cuts could force the school to eliminate some of its 38 degree programs. Marsala feels a big problem is that the state constitution won't allow lawmakers to cut money from a lot of government agencies, so most cuts come from education and health care. He would like to see an effort to change those parts of the constitution.