A Message from the President
June 30, 2016
At its meeting yesterday, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved the distribution
of State funds to higher education institutions for the upcoming 2016-2017 fiscal
year based on the most recent version of its funding formula.
Efforts of Governor Edwards' administration and many of our legislators during the recent legislative sessions resulted in stable total operating support for Louisiana higher education institutions. Despite these efforts, I am disappointed to report that the Board of Regents distribution methodology via its funding formula results in a reduction of state funds to Southeastern of nearly $1.4 million. I am also disappointed that I have not been able to discern a rational and succinct explanation for this that I can share with our campus community and other interested stakeholders.
My frustration over the Board of Regents funding formula notwithstanding, I am pleased to report that Southeastern successfully passed its GRAD Act performance measures for the sixth and final year - an accomplishment that not every institution can claim. Given our GRAD Act results and ensuing tuition autonomy, we are evaluating whether we will request from our Board of Supervisors the authority to increase tuition again this coming fall semester.
While the Regents distribution methodology for state funds is disappointing, I would like to remind everyone that we now receive nearly 82% of our total enterprise resources through self-generated tuition and fees, meaning that only about 18% of our resources come from the State. As a result, more than ever in the history of our institution, we are the masters of our own destiny. The quality of the educational opportunities and experiences we offer to our students, as well as our customer services, drive student enrollment, which is far more important than the Regents funding formula.
As we continue to study and seek additional information about the funding distribution, TOPS awards for students, and the prospect of a potential tuition increase, I will keep the campus apprised of additional details. In the meantime, I ask that we stay focused on serving our students' needs, and that budget unit heads exercise patience as we pause to evaluate critical budget requests in light of current and future developments.