Louisiana State University hit by state budget shortfall

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 1:53 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Louisiana State University (LSU) is exploring contingency plans in light of the state's $1.6 billion budget shortfall which has resulted in proposed spending cuts, but has not declared "financial exigency", the institution said in a statement on Friday.

LSU said that contrary to some media reports, it had not begun the process of filing for financial exigency, defined by the American Association of University Professors as a severe financial crisis that results in terminating tenured faculty appointments.

LSU's president F. King Alexander "has not formally requested, nor has the LSU Board of Supervisors voted, to declare financial exigency," Duplessis said.

LSU, ranked 129th by U.S. News in terms of U.S. university quality, however said it is postponing issuing $114.5 million of 2015 revenue and refunding bonds.

"Under the current circumstances and due to the continued unpredictably of our state budget, we believe this is the responsible thing to do, and we will reevaluate the offering once the state's financial picture becomes clearer," LSU said in an emailed statement on Friday.

Falling oil revenues have contributed to a projected state budget shortfall of $1.6 billion. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is proposing spending cuts to close the shortfall.

"Not only are our students academically at risk, thousands of LSU business partners ... will be economically adversely impacted by cuts of the magnitude being contemplated," said Ann Duplessis, chair of the LSU Board of Supervisors in a separate emailed statement on Friday.

(Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by David Gregorio)