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Program Elimination or Reduction

TO: The University Community

Last week, this office released the entire Nicholls State University Budget Reduction Plan, 2009-2010 to the University community and beyond.  That plan, as previously submitted to the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, did not include the detail of specific academic programs and administrative services that were subject to elimination or reduction in size nor did it list the specific faculty and staff that were being affected.

Since last Friday, my senior administrative colleagues and I have been notifying affected faculty, administrators, and staff.  Our intent was to allow those Nicholls colleagues to hear the difficult news from us rather than through Baton Rouge or the media.  While that process of notification is continuing, we are now releasing a more specific listing of programs, services and positions affected by the budget reduction initiative.

Please note that while identifying positions to be affected, we are still not naming individuals.  This approach is being taken because we consider the actual personnel transactions to be covered by privacy requirements through action to be approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.

One final point needs to be made here and that is the reality that the $5.3 million Budget Reduction Plan contains $1,062,365 of tenured and tenure-track faculty each of whom require one year of notice.  As such, the Nicholls budget plan is not balanced.  If there is no reduction to the proposed budget cut, steps will have to be taken to cut the University budget another $1,062,365 or to generate and/or identify other revenue sources.

Every effort is being made to work with current and newly applied students who are affected by these program eliminations.  We are writing directly to each new student indicating that we will work to find another appropriate area of study.  For current students, we are indicating that they have until May 2010 to complete major course work toward their degree requirements and until May 2012 to complete the remaining requirements (general education and/or electives).  Each affected student is being referred to the Academic Advising Center for personalized service focused on their particular needs.

As indicated in past communications, none of us know what the funding outcome will be for the 2009-2010 fiscal year ahead.  Nicholls State University remains a strong, healthy university.  It is the state of Louisiana that is financially challenged and forcing these difficult budget reductions on the University, its staff and students.  Together we will work to minimize to the greatest extent possible the impact of this loss in state support upon the University, its programs, staff and students.

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