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Southern University System

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SUSLA responds to proposed budget reduction - Thursday, May 17, 2012
Southern University at Shreveport is slated to lose $2,647,305 in state funding if a budget bill, HB1, is not amended by the Louisiana legislature.

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 Southern University System, the nation's only Historically Black College and University system, totals five campuses, SUNO, SUBR, SULC, SUAC and SUSLA. The total proposed budget reduction for the SU System is $19 million. As of fiscal year 2008-09, Southern University, Shreveport has endured $4,799,390 in budget cuts.

"Suffice it to say, a cut of the magnitude we are witnessing today would be catastrophic for the Southern University at Shreveport campus. In effect, the ability of this institution to respond to its role, scope, and mission will be severely compromised," stated Southern University, Shreveport chancellor Ray L. Belton.

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. When the state faces significant shortfalls, higher education, along with healthcare, are the first to have budget cuts.

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, SUSLA has taken several steps to address declining resources including campus-wide furloughs, elimination of programs, administrative reorganization. and reduction in positions and employees.