Southeastern anticipates nearly $1 million allocation from state's WISE Fund

Friday, October 31, 2014
by: Rene Abadie

HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University is anticipating an approximate $1 million allocation to go to additional teaching personnel, student scholarships and other program support through the state's newly initiated WISE (Workforce & Innovation for a Stronger Economy) Fund.

A recommended allocation of $965,102 for Southeastern was recently approved by the University of Louisiana System. The funding will be used to enhance efforts in several high demand areas. A total of $40 million was proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal and approved by the Louisiana Legislature in the session just concluded.

"The WISE allocations have been greatly anticipated by the higher education community in Louisiana, which has experienced significant budget decreases over the past several years," said Southeastern President John L. Crain. "This additional resource enhances our ability to meet critical workforce needs in the Louisiana economy."

Southeastern's plan proposed to the UL System anticipates spending to boost the numbers of teaching faculty through $467,927, providing additional merit and need based scholarships to students in the amount of $450,384, and $46,791 dedicated to operating expenses such as instructional supplies.

Among the departments and programs to benefit from the additional funds are computer science and information technology, accounting and finance, engineering technology, and the occupational safety, health and environment program.

Under the WISE plan, colleges and universities must match 20 percent of the total funding from business partners through cash and in-kind donations.

"Over the years, these programs have increased their partnerships with Louisiana-based businesses, which have contributed funds for academic use and have provided valuable internships for our students to get the real-world experience needed to make them competitive in the job market," Crain said.

Before full implementation, the plans and fund allocations for the universities must be approved by the WISE Council and the state Board of Regents.


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