GRAMBLING, LA (KSLA) - Grambling State University is slated to lose $5.5 million in state funding if a budget bill, HB1, is not amended by the Louisiana legislature.
This will bring Grambling's total state funding reductions since the fiscal year 2008-09 to $17.8 million. As the current budget proposal stands, total reductions in state general fund support for all of higher education since 2008-09 would reach $585 million.
"The budget reductions over the past several years along with anticipated cuts, will result in a financial emergency for Grambling State University and threatens to undermine our ability to achieve our core mission. These cuts will lead to further restructuring at the university, a decline in program offerings and course availability, a threat to program accreditations, additional faculty and staff layoffs, curtailing enrollment growth and our ability to meet the requirements of the LA GRAD Act. It will also continue to negatively impact our ability to support student events and activities. In as much as Grambling is primarily state dependent, an additional cut of $5.5 million will seriously impact the future of the university," says President of Grambling State University Frank G. Pogue.
Pogue says over 70 percent of the State of Louisiana's operating budget is protected through constitutional or statutory dedications, federal mandates, and unavoidable obligations. Higher education does not enjoy any constitutional protection from cuts. He says when the state faces significant shortfalls, higher education, along with healthcare, are the first to have budget cuts.
"Higher education has been notified that of the $268 million shortfall in the budget for next year, $134 million will be taken from our allocations," says University of Louisiana System President Randy Moffett.
Over the past four years, reductions to higher education have been mitigated in part by one-time funding and raising tuition and fees. Even with modest increases in tuition over the last few years, it has not been enough to close the gap in funding. To date, Grambling has taken several steps to address declining resources including campus-wide furloughs, elimination of programs, administrative reorganization and reduction in positions and employees.