As I mentioned in my previous message to the university community, Nicholls State University is facing a $5,272,819 reduction in state support and self-generated revenue even after the tuition increase. Therefore, it is with much regret that I must inform the University community that we will again face reductions in faculty and staff. Even more regrettable, is the effective date that we are forced to implement the reductions to some of our staff colleagues, which will be August 1, 2012. Official notification to those affected by the reductions will begin this week.
With that said, we have made every attempt to reduce non-personnel expenses or to cut vacant positions in order to avoid the elimination of filled faculty and staff positions. The following is a summary of the initiatives that we are implementing in the 2012-2013 budget.
- Continue to eliminate vacant and projected to-fill positions. Only fill those vacancies that are absolutely necessary to maintain core services.
- Reduce operating budget allocations for all but mandated and absolutely critical travel, supplies, equipment and other operating expenditures. For all practical purposes, we will start and end fiscal year 2012-2013 with a spending freeze.
- To the extent allowable by state regulations, funding to offset operational expenses will be transferred from auxiliary enterprises to operations.
- Once again, there will be no merit increases for all employees.
To be very honest, there is little good news these days from Baton Rouge, with no one in leadership roles speaking out on behalf of higher education, its colleges and universities or the students each serves. However, as I have so often said, down here in the bayou region, we survive and, on occasion, even flourish in spite of Baton Rouge. We are blessed with rich natural and human resources. Our people work hard and ask little but the opportunity to work. Together we will get through these difficult times.