Cuts to University still unknown - lsureveille.com: News

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Cuts to University still unknown

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 12:25 am

As the state budget for the new fiscal year unrolls, it’s still largely unclear how the cuts will affect the University.

Tommy Smith, University budget and planning director, said the numbers are still being worked out and a final plan on how the cuts will take toll won’t be known for certain until around August.

However, he said a new development occurred around midnight on Wednesday morning. A tuition swap with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System resulted in a $1.4 million from the University after recalibrating the numbers from the swap, according to Smith.

He also said $10 million was allocated to the LSU System, but of that money, $1 million will be going to Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

“So there’s $9 million that was allocated to the System Office that they’re going to allocate to the campuses — the LSU system campuses, and we don’t know what that distribution’s going to be yet,” Smith said.

To balance out the expected cuts, annual fees for resident students will be raised by 10 percent and non-resident fees will be raised by 15 percent for the Fall 2013 semester.

Smith said the building use fee, which is $48 per full-time student and covers acquisition, maintenance and operation of buildings on campus, will be a new fee introduced next semester.

The 2012-13 year saw a midyear budget cut of roughly $3.5 million, which was alleviated largely by money from increased enrollment. Smith said they’re hoping enrollment will continue to increase to produce a similar situation if the University faces another midyear budget cut.

He said savings will also come from tightening of scholarships and GRAD Act, which will result in savings of about $1 million.

Smith also said the system hopes to raise University faculty and staff member’s pay.

“One of the highest priorities is to try — since it’s been four years without a pay increase, they would like to do something for faculty and staff,” Smith said.

As of right now, the LSU System is still waiting on the Board of Regents to finalize the cuts before any action can be taken.

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