Message from the President
June 5, 2018
Last night the Louisiana Legislature adjourned from the second special session this year without resolving the state’s fiscal challenges. As has been widely reported and discussed, a temporary one penny sales tax expires at the end of June, creating a significant reduction in state tax revenues.
Failure on the part of the Legislature to renew at least a portion of the penny sales tax leaves considerable uncertainty regarding the final state budget for next fiscal year, which begins July 1. As things stand at the end of the special session, the state budget for next year would include significant cuts in funding for both higher education and TOPS.
What is not uncertain is the position of Governor Edwards that the reductions in funding for higher education and TOPS coming out of the special session are unacceptable. As a result, it is widely anticipated there will be yet another special session called by the Governor at some point between now and July 1, in an effort to resolve the debate about renewal of some part of the expiring tax.
As we face what is clearly a disappointing outcome from the special session, I’d like to remind everyone of something I have shared many times in recent years. Over eighty percent of the total resources expended in everything we do at the university comes from self-generated sources. The preponderance of these self-generated resources is tied to student enrollment.
As exasperating as the gyrations at the Legislature are for all of us, there simply is nothing as important to the future success of our institution as the recruitment, retention and graduation of our students. I hope you’ll join me in keeping this in mind in the weeks and months ahead as we go about our daily activities that support their success.
As always, I will continue to keep the campus apprised of ongoing developments.
John L. Crain