NSU president says closing is “last option”
Nicholls State University President Bruce Murphy said Monday that the school has “no intention of closing unless there is no other option.”
Higher education officials are on edge as legislators decide over the next three weeks how to close a $940 million budget shortfall with a mix of tax increases and budget cuts.
University of Louisiana System President Dan Reneau said Monday that Nicholls submitted the documents to outline how $70 million in cuts to higher education institutions would affect the university. Higher education officials have been told by Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne that in a best-case scenario, they will need to absorbthat much in cuts to close the state's shortfall.
Murphy said state officials asked the university to submit a list of hypothetical scenarios regarding how the campus might handle mid-year budget cuts.
He issued this statement in response to Reneau's comments:
"Nicholls State University has absolutely no intention of closing unless there is no other option. Nicholls was asked to provide a list of hypothetical scenarios regarding how the campus might handle varying degrees of mid-year budget cuts. Nicholls submitted a financial planning document listing several options that the university is considering. One of those options includes temporarily closing the campus for several days. Obviously, that is the absolute last option that Nicholls would ever take."
Legislators said they were concerned that higher education officials are releasing information that causes unnecessary worry among students and parents. They emphasized the closure was presented as an option if legislators don't raise revenue, saying it should be made clear that the Senate Education committee is working to avoid these scenarios.
Posted on Tue, February 16, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette