La. Higher Ed Commissioner Says Focus Must Be On 'Mission Critical'

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, May 18, 2012

With Louisiana’s public higher education institutions facing a $225 million cut in state funding, colleges and universities are being asked to redefine what they consider to be “mission critical,” according to Higher Education Commissioner Jim Purcell.

Purcell was in Monroe on Thursday visiting with institutional researchers at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Much of the discussion was spent on the implications of the proposed House Bill 1, which eliminates the use of one-time funding. The result will be a $268 million shortfall in next year’s budget.

“When you get these types of budget situations, you really have to refocus and redefine what you think the core is and decide which academic programs matter most to your local community and to the state and how do we make sure we can maximize their efficiencies and success,” he said. “I think institutional leaders are constantly doing that, but I think now it will be a more intense conversation.”

Under the proposed HB1, the University of Louisiana System’s nine universities are slated to lose $105.7 million in state appropriations, which includes $12.3 million from ULM, $9.8 million from Louisiana Tech University and $5.5 million from Grambling State University.

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