Sinking flagship: LSU prepares paperwork for declaring bankruptcy

By Robert Mann

LSU President F. King Alexander’s stunning announcement Wednesday that he’s drawing up official bankruptcy papers for the school is just one step short of naming the colleges and departments that he will close if the Legislature does not raise the funds to close the $1.6 billion budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year.

Unless Gov. Bobby Jindal and legislators come up with a budget solution very soon, you can cancel just about every ongoing faculty search at LSU and watch as the exodus of faculty accelerates.

Students, especially incoming freshmen who have offers from out-of-state colleges, will start bailing out, too, as it increasingly appears there could be no fall semester at the state’s flagship university.

As reporter Julia O’Donoghue wrote in NOLA.com on Wednesday:

Louisiana’s flagship university began putting together the paperwork for declaring financial exigency this week, when the Legislature appeared to make little progress on finding a state budget solution, according to King Alexander, president and chancellor of LSU. 

“We don’t say that to scare people” he said. “Basically, it is how we are going to survive.

Moody’s Investors Service also announced this month (April 22) that it was downgrading LSU’s credit outlook from positive to stable, based on concerns about the the university’s overall financial support. A downgrade is LSU’s credit rating will make it more expensive to borrow money for campus building projects, and is another sign the school’s finances are in trouble. 

Being in a state of financial exigency means a university’s funding situation is so difficult that the viability of the entire institution is threatened. The status makes it easier for public colleges to shut down programs and lay off tenured faculty, but it also tarnishes the school’s reputation, making it harder to recruit faculty and students. 

“You’ll never get any more faculty,” said Alexander, if LSU pursues financial exigency. 

Read the full story at this link.

Late on Wednesday afternoon, Alexander sent the following message in an email to all LSU students, faculty and staff:

Screenshot 2015-04-22 16.56.49

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This entry was posted in Bobby Jindal, Education, Louisiana Politics, LSU, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Sinking flagship: LSU prepares paperwork for declaring bankruptcy

  1. Pingback: Sinking flagship: Times-Picayune reports LSU pr...

    • John Staller says:

      Goodbye to ALL the southern flagship universities. Y’all repubs and conservative religious folks got to cut budgets to pay for your tax credits to the rich. And your bomb makers, who need all kinds of money. Wallow like the narrow minded pigs you are in your uneducated, racist slop.

      Like

      • Albert says:

        Trolololo….glad to see the time honored tradition of discussion and debate based on substance is still respected by all

        Like

  2. Fredster says:

    Bob, it’s the members of the lege too. Somebody needs to grow a pair let lil bobby know this can’t stand. And voters need to contact their representatives and tell them that now they are harming the futures of their kids! 👿

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  3. Gene Sands says:

    Bob, as I commented on this when your e-mail showed up on my e-mail listing, this may cost LSU its accreditation, I’m still convinced that many of our citizens don’t understand why LSU is important to our state for reasons other than football.

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  4. Robert Mann says:

    I’m afraid you are correct, Gene.

    Like

  5. Mark says:

    So you just ripped off a Getty image, watermark and ID number and all? That’s not just stealing, that amazingly lazy stealing.

    Like

  6. James Blain says:

    Shocking.

    Like

  7. ulyankee says:

    With all due respect, I think we have more important things to worry about than whether or not the Getty images were used properly or not. I am personally assuming that the Manship Chair knows a little about copyright.

    Back to the real subject at hand, I know I am personally dealing with an ethical dilemma recruiting students to an institution that may not even have classes this fall. No one has actually said that could happen, and I hope that I am wrong, but I’m not blind and I’m not stupid. Several other institutions are about to declare exigency as well. If LSU is seriously talking about cancelling classes, what about us in the smaller regionals????

    It would be a very cruel irony if, on the 10th anniversary of Katrina, we once again have a population of expatriate students trying to go to school wherever they could. And sadly, our state knows how to cancel college and university wide classes no thanks to Katrina, and how to deal with it. It is looking more and more like it could actually happen. It’s so unbelievable that no one believes it but the other options are running out.

    Bob, I hope to get to meet you tomorrow night in Hammond and really look forward to the panel discussions.

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  8. Robert Mann says:

    Looking forward to meeting you (that if, if Getty doesn’t send the copyright police for me in the meantime). Seriously, I believe that the last couple of days have demonstrated that everything these legislators thought might work to balance the budget will not pass or will not produce the needed revenue. That was the low-hanging fruit. Everything else is much harder and involves raising taxes that Jindal will veto. I’m not aware of any rabbits that can be pulled out of our collective hat. Either Jindal cries “uncle,” or legislators muster the courage to override his veto. I think the latter is more likely but neither is likely at all. I very much hope I am wrong. But I do think it’s very possible that most of higher ed will only be able to stay barely alive through massive tuition and fee increases, which will still require massive layoffs and make LSU and other schools so unaffordable that students will either forgo college or will go to other states. Alabama would love to have our good students. They are already luring too many of them as it is.

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  9. It is evident that the Administration/DOA did not think their budget saving suggestions through to the end, and that’s being generous; or more likely employed a December 2015 strategy, similar to their initial non-funding for the Louisiana presidential primaries. It is also evident that some members of the legislature lack the capacity for governance and are only now learning the consequences of blind devotion.and selfishness.

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  10. Chucku Farely says:

    In my mind- LSU should fail. And no- it’s not too important to fail. It’s a business wrapped in Black Gowns, varied colored hoods and hats. As a State School which markets it’s Logo in almost every Wal-Mart in Louisiana and every beaten pick-up truck…they are failing? Who the hell is running that business anyway?

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  11. Fredster says:

    My my, the trolls have been busy tonight.

    Like

  12. Precious says:

    Hi Mr. Mann,
    I think your best bet at finding students who had financial struggles is to contact the Trio Program staff at the institutions you want the information from. The Trio program works with students who are first generation college students and/or low socioeconomic status. The program is split into Upward Bound which works with High school students and Student Support Services which provide services to college students on campus financial and academic support. I’m sure Dr. Decuir or Dr. Broussard at ULL would be more than happy to help. I am a product of the Trio program and they were a VITAL part of my success for the financial assistance but for the academic tutoring and support they provide for first generation college students as well. Let me know if I can help in any way. I would share my experience as well.

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  13. Pingback: Thursday Morning Links | Gerry Canavan

  14. Pingback: Will potential LSU bankruptcy shut football down? | Statesman U

  15. Robert Broussard says:

    This scares me to death. I was a student at LSU during the bleak budget years of 1984-88 when the oil & gas industry tanked and real estate values crashed. I stayed for three more years and completed law school in 1991. The general economic health of the state of Louisiana is much better in 2015 than it was in 1986, but despite relatively better economic conditions, our legislators seem content to let institutions of higher learning just die on the vine or shift the burden of funding to unaffordable increases in tuition and fees. And the state budget is geometrically

    Every tax has an exemption that in total drains billions in dollars that would otherwise be put into the state general fund. And part of the administration’s “fix” is to allow colleges to raise fees on students this year then let their parents get the increased fees back on their 2015 tax return through a credit that would be financed by an increase in the cigarette tax. Whoever thought this “shell game” is a good idea (ahem, Kristy Nichols) should be fired immediately.

    I HAVE TWO QUESTIONS: (1) HAS EVERYONE TAKEN LEAVE OF THEIR SENSES? (2) WHERE ARE THE ADULTS?

    My son is now a senior in high school and has committed to attend LSU in the fall and will major in music education. He picked LSU over Southern Mississippi, which recruited him vigorously. He chose LSU because he did his research and determined that (1) the LSU Music program is incrementally better in some respects than the one at Southern Miss, which by the way has an outstanding program; (2) attending LSU would be significantly less expensive with TOPS, an academic scholarship, marching band stipend, and parental support. I hope and pray that he made the right decision. Only time and bold action by a thus far cowardly legislature will tell.

    Yours truly,
    A disenchanted Republican who is ashamed to admit he voted for Jindal twice

    Like

    • moreofthislessofthat says:

      Well, your son has a well educated lawyer father and the option of having Mississippi subsidize his education. It seems he will get an education regardless of whether the state pays for it. Why should the state subsidize it when others can, should, and will?

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  16. Pingback: LLSU prepares paperwork for declaring bankruptcy - VolNation

  17. Katie says:

    I am confused. College costs a lot of money and yet the colleges themselves are going into enormous debt? What is happening here? It screams theft, scam and for a change.

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  18. Marie Dornan says:

    Not a mention on how to make cuts only whining on saving tendered teachers. The stories from family and friends on how some professors conduct themselves in classrooms is shameful. The system of protecting derelict professors is never addressed. Now is the perfect time to clean out those who do not care about education. Only keeping their jobs and retirement.

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