Louisiana colleges learn proposed program cuts

Friday, January 28, 2011 - 10:07am

The Louisiana Board of Regents announced on Wednesday that more than 450 academic programs could be terminated due to low-completion rates at certain public universities.  These cuts could affect the only four-year university in the Shreveport-Bossier area.

Physics, economics and speech are only a few of the proposed 16 degree programs that could be eliminated from LSU Shreveport due to statewide budget cuts.  The university has time to make recommendations in response to the Regents proposed cuts.  They can either agree with some of the cuts of the degree programs, suggest to combine programs or defend certain degree programs from being cut at all.

Either way, many LSUS undergraduates are not pleased with the cuts that could be coming their way.  LSUS Senior Christopher Szabo told us, "I was kind of disgruntled by that because a lot of the things like chemistry, math, biology, computer sciences, like big programs here at LSUS, are under scrutiny of getting a budget cut."

Skylar Fusilier, a sophomore Psychology major at LSUS, was not happy to hear about the proposed cuts.  Although it would not directly affect her degree program, she said that she is still concerned that cutting from other programs could lead to the downfall of more programs.

Faculty, administrators and students say that they hope to work together to avoid seeing students transferring away from LSUS to other schools in order to finish their desired degree programs. "We're not going to leave our students high and dry in this endeavor at all if we have to eliminate some programs," said LSUS Chancellor, Dr. Vincent Marsala.  "They would be given an alternative to complete the program."

While students do not look forward to seeing any programs disappear, combinations of concentrations may be the only way to keep certain degree programs available at all.  Fusilier said that she would not like to see the programs combine, but she would not mind if that was the only way for the programs to exist at all.  Szabo was more optimistic saying that he would feel better to first off try to find a way to not change those programs at all before the school thinks about combining them.

Schools in the Louisiana Community and Technical College, the Southern University and the University of Louisiana systems could also see programs cut.  All universities must have their recommendations and responses to the Board of Regents by the end of February.  The Regents will vote on the permanent changes in April.


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