THIBODAUX – The first emergency town hall meeting called by Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, president of Nicholls State University, resulted not only in a packed Talbot Theater, but a packed theater lobby, where latecomers watched the president’s address on closed-circuit television.
Hulbert’s purpose at the Sept. 24 gathering was to encourage engagement among Nicholls faculty, staff and students – to persuade them to unite in the fight to save Nicholls from devastating budget cuts in 2011.
A second university town hall meeting, open to the public, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in the much bigger Peltier Hall Theater on campus. And this time, the public is not only welcome, but encouraged to attend.
“This affects the entire Bayou Region of Louisiana,” Hulbert said. “We want to engage everyone so that they will not only understand the educational, economic and cultural necessity of Nicholls to the region, but also receive the tools necessary to spread the word to our officials in Baton Rouge. We simply cannot remain silent.”
Nicholls has already sustained a 29-percent reduction in funding over the past two years, resulting in the elimination of eight degree programs, four concentrations and 117 full-time positions.
Now, Nicholls is projected to lose an additional $10.8 million in state and federal support, effective July 1, 2011, which would put 18 of the remaining 27 academic programs at risk – sabotaging the education of thousands, eliminating hundreds of faculty and staff positions, and inflicting economic damage on the businesses and consumers of the Bayou Region.
For additional information, see the “Nicholls State University Notice” on the university homepage at www.nicholls.edu.