LSU Facing Massive Cuts

LSU is facing some potential deep cuts in its budget.

Via WAFB:  LSU president warns of deep cuts and dismissals

Lombardi said Louisiana’s higher education system will need to absorb nearly $310 million in state funding reductions as federal stimulus support comes to an end.

Lombardi said the university might have to cut 23 percent from its current budget. Random departments might face deeper cuts than others.


An LSU employee close to the budget crisis acknowledged LSU has “cried wolf” in the past when it comes to announcing potential budget cuts. “But this one is the real deal,” the source said. “We are being asked to prepare for deep, drastic cuts.”

It certainly isn’t unusual for universities to overstate financial needs.  I recall, for example, a particularly bad year at my own institution in which the press releases talked about having to close down the NPR station and cancelling all arts programs and so forth—none of which happened.  For that matter the local school district frequently makes threats about having to close down sports, especially football (which never happens).

However, given the state of the economy and especially given the expiration of stimulus funds, which states used last year to ameliorate the effects of the recession on their budgets, it will not surprise me if these cuts come to pass at some significant level.  We have already seen across the country such outcomes as furloughs, pay cuts and significant personnel reductions in higher education.

And, of course, to add insult to injury as it were, is the fact that the BP oil spill will make the economic circumstances in Louisiana even worse.  It will, amongst other things, divert limited state resources and decrease tax revenues (since decreased economic activity will lead to lower sales tax revenues and so forth).

Back to the text of the piece, I can’t imagine that “random” is the right word for which departments might get cut.  Random cuts would suggest putting everyone’s name in a hat and pulling out the targets for cutting.  Such a situation would make no sense.  Some departments/faculty bring money in, while others do not, for example.  Further, some classes are requirements that have to be offered and others are not.  As such, I have no doubt that some departments would suffer deeper cuts than others.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Education, Oil Spill, US Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Judging by what I’ve seen from a little googling rolling back top administrators’ salaries back to what they were just eight years ago would save millions.

  2. Indeed 😉

  3. JKB says:

    So I take it you don’t want to study business or economics from LSU. Seems if you have to make such drastic cuts, management isn’t one of the strong disciplines.

    While the oil spill will impact Louisiana (revenue streams will shift), it won’t decline revenues as much as the drilling moratorium imposed without good cause by Obama.

  4. Rick Almeida says:

    I don’t know about LSU, but an acquaintance of mine teaches at a lower-tier LA university, and it recently announced that it was cutting 25 programs, including chemistry and physics. Tough times, and I think they’re just beginning.

  5. Perhaps this is the education bubble bursting.