Since the 2008-2009 academic year, Southeastern Louisiana University has been stripped of over 50 percent of state funding. To date, the university has lost $40 million in state general funding. As a result of this budget, tuition has skyrocketed at least 10 percent year-to-year. Olivia Marceaux, business major, stated, “I am a senior this year, and I have seen a steady increase in my tuition dues each and every year.”
The effects of the money shortage are seen all around the campus. Some 20 degree programs have been completely eliminated on account of insufficient funding to sustain them. More than 200 faculty and staff have been terminated in order absorb money and streamline programs. An assistant vice president, two department heads, and four deans also got the boot throughout this process.
To begin this fiscal year, an additional $2.7 million has been slashed. Over the past five years, Southeastern has become somewhat accustomed to cutting back. President Crain stated that several people are working to alleviate the issue, and it is simply something the institution will have to move through.
Academics is not the only entity to bear the blows of this crisis. Athletics, clubs, arts, and others are struggling to uphold their traditional standards. The Lionette Dance team for example, suffered a nearly $20 thousand decrease in its annual budget. Coach Paige Hall says, “We are making cuts in all areas possible to absorb the budget loss.”
Advancing the technology of the university will help cut costs and spending. According to university technology staff, more online classes are set to be established. The new website for Southeastern was launched September 3rd as part of the movement toward a more tech savvy campus.
Ironically, Crain says despite the major issues at hand, enrollment at Southeastern Louisiana University is up and rising.