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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cuts shave $2 million from Southern budget

Ten Southern University (Baton Rouge) faculty will lose their jobs as result of state budget cuts this month.

Most of the faculty members losing the jobs contracts ended in December and were not renewed. Southern had sent letters to as many as 100 faculty members on Christmas eve notifying them that they would be laid off.

“Rather than under-notified, we over-notified,” explained Chancellor Kofi Lomotey apologetically as to why termination letters were hurriedly sent out to too many employees, including a handful of tenured faculty.

Southern had braced itself for an expected $4 million in mid-year cuts, but were relieved to only be hit with a $2 million cut.

Still, Lomotey warned additional layoffs could be necessary after the spring semester if budget cuts increase.

To deal with the budget cuts, Southern imposed a hiring freeze that will save nearly $500,000 in the spring, according to Lomotey’s budget reduction proposal. Another nearly $900,000 will come from saved salary and benefit costs from personnel reductions. The last $600,000 in savings will come from cutbacks in travel and supplies and equipment purchases.

Classes cut
The budget situation forced Southern to cut about 125 class (sections) from the spring semester, about half of those were in the College of Science.

SUBR Chancellor Kofi Lomotey said students enrolled in the classes are being counseled and moved into other course offerings. Any impacted students set to graduate will be offered independent study to ensure no one is kept from graduating on time, he said.

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