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Nicholls outlines budget reduction proposal

THIBODAUX – The University of Louisiana System office submitted its 2009-2010 proposed budget reduction document and those of its eight member institutions to the Division of Administration on Monday, Feb. 9.

As instructed by the Jindal administration, Nicholls created two scenarios – one detailing the impact of a 15.8-percent or $4.7 million budget reduction and the other detailing the impact of a 28.5-percent or $8.6 million budget reduction.

“The request for these two scenarios comes only one month after Nicholls was required by the Jindal administration to implement a 4.6-percent or $1.5 million budget reduction halfway through its fiscal year,” Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, Nicholls president, said. “Obviously, programs and personnel would be affected immediately should either of the two new scenarios occur, and we can only begin to try to project the long term effect not just on students, but on the entire region served by Nicholls.”

The proposed plan outlines the worst-case scenario, a 28.5-percent budget reduction that would result in the elimination of 17 academic programs, two student service centers and four academic support services. Reductions would be made to four academic services, six support services and 11 operational/administrative support services. A total of 123 employees would be affected: 45 faculty, 37 unclassified staff and 41 classified staff.

The plan also outlines the 15.8-percent budget reduction that would result in the elimination of eight academic programs, one student service center and one academic support service. Reductions would be made to three academic programs, two academic services, three support services, one student service center and nine operational/administrative support services.

A total of 58 employees would be affected: 23 faculty, 15 unclassified staff and 20 classified staff.

“Everyone must understand that the proposed plan was compiled hastily to meet the criteria requested by the Jindal administration,” Hulbert said. “The implementation of a budget cut at any level will require much thought, planning and input from interested parties before being finalized. I encourage members of the Nicholls community to remain optimistic during this planning exercise despite the negative impact of what has already been enacted.”

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