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Nicholls facing $2.5 million in budget cuts

THIBODAUX — The University of Louisiana System, of which Nicholls State University is a member, was notified Friday afternoon by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Administration that higher education will face a mid-year budget cut in excess of $109 million.

The 7.82 percent across the board cut will affect all university systems with the ULS system’s share estimated to be approximately $33.5 million. The impact to Nicholls will be to cut approximately $2.5 million between now and June 30, 2009.

“This news comes at a time when Nicholls received no new operating dollars for the current fiscal year and is addressing the loss of revenues from hurricanes Gustav and Ike.” Stephen Hulbert, Nicholls president, said.  “In order to meet this challenge, all areas of the university will be impacted.  Despite this unfortunate situation, our goal has been and will be to maintain academic quality and service to our students.”

Each ULS system institution has been asked to submit a plan outlining how it will implement these cuts.  Hulbert and his top-level administration met Sunday morning to begin reviewing options to address the Nicholls situation.

As a result of these initial discussions, Hulbert has mandated the following actions that affect operations funded by both the operating budget and auxiliary services:

1. All personnel positions are frozen, and any position that is in the process of being filled will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

2. All discretionary spending, including travel, is frozen.

The ULS system has indicated that each university will be expected to submit its plan during the week of Dec. 15. “Although not completed, Nicholls will be looking at all positions and programs campus-wide when making decisions about its plan,” Hulbert said.  “We are facing tough economic times in state government, and this will require very difficult decisions that will impact all of the Nicholls community, including faculty, staff and students.”

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