|To LSU friends, alumni and supporters,
Much has been said and written about LSU’s . Given the consequences, it is important for LSU’s closest friends and supporters to know the pertinent facts about this situation. So over the course of the next several months, you will be presented facts that will help you consider the impact of these cuts to your university.
First, it is important to know where LSU has been and where it is going. LSU’s state appropriation increased throughout the last decade, reaching a high in 2008 that allowed LSU to add faculty to better serve its students and conduct richer research. At the same time, LSU reached the Top Tier in the US News & World Report rankings for the first time while also enjoying a spike in graduation rates and . LSU proved it can perform with the best when given the proper resources.
Since that time, though, LSU’s state appropriation has dropped. In the last two years alone LSU has had $47 million cut from its budget. That’s an average of more than $2 million per month. And in the last several months LSU has been asked to prepare for cuts of 23 percent to 33 percent. But with the $47 million that has already been erased, any cut – even 5 percent – would be erase the progress of the last decade and would be detrimental to the future of LSU.
The damage that has already been done has largely gone unnoticed, but it has been substantial. For instance, more than 140 faculty positions have been lost. Those were mostly unfilled positions that have been cut, but it represents 140 faculty members that today could be teaching our students and giving them the education they deserve.
You will hear more about this in subsequent letters. Meanwhile, I encourage you to go to lsu.edu/budget for more and updated information on LSU’s budget crisis and go to flagshipfriends.org to find out how you can make a difference.