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03/10 - Higher Ed Challenges and Opportunities

How will proposals to alter governance and funding impact the role of colleges?

Higher Education dodged the budget-cut bullet for the next fiscal year, but still faces pressure for significant change. How will proposals to alter governance and funding impact the role of colleges? Watch “Higher Ed Challenges and Opportunities” on Louisiana Public Square, airing Wednesday, 24 at 7 p.m. on LPB.


While Governor Jindal’s proposed budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year doesn’t include any new cuts to Higher Ed, the state has made cuts of more than $250 million to two and four-year colleges over the last 14 months. These cuts are likely to be permanent. Factoring in the loss of federal stimulus money in 2012, some analysts say that a total budget cut to higher education approaching 40% is not “an unlikely scenario” in the coming years. Burdened by impending reductions, Higher Ed faces pressure for significant change but also the opportunity for rethinking how it operates. Barry Erwin, with the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) says, “The budget is dictating really a lot of questions, a lot of discussion and a lot of debate about what higher education is going to look like in the future. Can we afford it the way that it looks right now? Does it need to be downsized? Does it need to be retooled in some way – rebalanced between technical and community college and four year schools? All of those are huge issues and they’re being driven by the budget discussion.” So, what recommendations are out there and how will proposals to alter governance and funding impact the role of post-secondary education?

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Our Panelists:

Related Links:
La Postsecondary Education Review Commission Recommendations
Board Of Regents
University of Louisiana System
Louisiana Community and Technical College System
Louisiana State University System
Southern University System

This program was also funded in part by the Louisiana Forestry Association

We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.

I agree with Kathleen ,  continue to offer funding to all eligible stidents and make them sign a contract that states , if they drop out without a legible reason then they are responsible for that debt… And help the state to stop spending
money that it doesnt even have…

Posted by Patti  on  03/24  at  07:49 PM

It is all Louisiana Scools and I believe that all schools should be unified in all levels of education. No school should be on ground level and others on top. We should help each other with shareing ideals to see every school on the top level. Not just in higher education, but pre K-12th grades as well. If we put as much pride in our children education as we put into our selves, education in Louisiana would be awesome!! Some seem to have their pride in the wrong places.

Posted by Angela Pikes  on  03/24  at  10:33 PM

As a state employee at a public university, why are classified employees - who don’t make much above poverty level already - being tapped to absorb the budget deficit? It would be much more equitable to cut government spending across the board by 1/2 to 1 percent, rather than threatening to furlough our employees, or eliminate any merit increases - which, by the way is the closest to a cost of living increase the classified employee has gotten over the past decade or more.

Posted by Sherrie Mevis  on  03/25  at  09:23 AM

The TOPS program should revert to what was known as Honors scholarships in the past. Honors scholars were given a “full ride” at state schools if they had a 3.5 GPA and a certain ACT score. There should also be a needs test. I saw a report a couple years ago that said if the family income level was cut off at $300k/yr, the state would save over $18M on TOPS. TOPS standards are too low and too much public money is wasted on underprepared students. People had ways to pay for college before TOPS was created, and those ways of paying for college are all still available. There are grants, scholarships, loans, family savings, or you can even work to pay your own way in the military or any other job.

Posted by Robert L  on  03/29  at  09:26 AM

I am all for Louisiana Collages raising their rates. The free market will tell them when their prices are too high. When they reach that limit people will either not go to collage, go to other collagesin the state or go to other states where the prices are more in line.
There are already too many collages in the state. Those that price themselves accordingly to the market will prosper. Those that don’t will bankrupt themselves and close their doors. That’s how capitalism works. Simple ;~)

Posted by TKTPLZ  on  10/27  at  08:26 PM

I don’t get a cost of living increase. In 5 years I have gotten a 3% increase in my pay, yes 49 cents in 5 years. I got a 49 cent pay raise this year. From 28,000 to 29,000 a year. I know teachers in this state getting 60,000. So don’t tell me we are not putting enough towards education. School board directors are in the 6 figure region. Give them $90,000.00, that’s all.
In Alexandria they gave the head of the school board 1.5 million just to leave and not put up a fuss after she wasn’t doing what the people wanted. Just so she wouldn’t ask for her full contract pay. This was in the early 1990’s. Come on folks. If their not doing their job put it in the contract you can kick ‘em to the curb. It’s only right. If they don’t agree, they don’t get the job, simple. Let me have my money to send my kids where I want instead of paying it in state taxes. It’s only right…..right?

Posted by TKTPLZ  on  10/27  at  08:45 PM
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