The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 19th, 2015
Add another state to the list of budgetary showdowns playing out between Republican governors and higher education.
First there was Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker proposed dealing
with a $2-billion deficit by giving the public-university system more autonomy
and, in exchange, cutting $300-million in state funding over two years.
Then a close examination of Mr. Walker’s budget proposal showed his
office wanted the popular “Wisconsin Idea” and its public-service
emphasis stripped out of the system’s mission statement. He later dropped that part of the proposal, saying it was a result of “confusion.”
Second came Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal is expected to propose
a $400-million cut in higher education to help close a $1.6-billion
deficit (he is scheduled to formalize the proposal this month).
Educators in Louisiana are wringing their hands over the possibility
that it will be necessary to close campuses or lay off faculty members