A Message from the President

Campus Budget Update

Well, it’s done. The legislative session ended at 6:00 p.m. last Thursday. Without doubt, this was the most contentious and difficult session I have experienced. Fortunately, despite much consternation and high drama, higher education appears to have come through the session with what basically amounts to carry over funding - state support for the upcoming 2016 fiscal year at essentially the same level as the current year.

While this may not seem like exceptional news, it is because it allows higher ed to escape the potentially huge reductions that would have occurred if multiple revenue measures had not been adopted by the Legislature. Perhaps the most contentious development during the Session was the adoption of the SAVE credit, a measure that creates a new student assessment and offsetting tax credit that allows about $350 million in funding to flow to higher ed in what the Governor considers a “revenue-neutral” manner.

Whatever people may think about the SAVE credit, its adoption by the Legislature allows much needed resources to flow to higher ed while avoiding an almost certain veto by the Governor had the SAVE credit not been approved.

I want to thank our legislators for their efforts to sustain funding for Southeastern and all higher education institutions in Louisiana. Members of our delegation played key roles in the Session. Without their hard work and support, we could easily be facing significant additional reductions in state support with concomitant employee layoffs and furloughs.

While there are still challenges ahead for higher education, we have at least been given some breathing room to face our challenges and work toward resolving them.

John L. Crain