April 30th, 2015
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
HAS LSU DUG ITS OWN HOLE?
Chicken Little has got nothing on King Alexander. The LSU president is shouting from the rooftops that the state financial commitment is crumbling to the ground, the LSU fiscal sky is falling, and he is about to declare “academic bankruptcy.” Academic bankruptcy? I’ve been around and a part of Louisiana state government for some 44 years, and I’ve never heard of the phrase. You can’t even Google it and find any other example.
The LSU boss stirred up a real hornet’s nest of opposition with a number of voices, including many legislators, responding that Alexander was shooting from the hip and way overreacting. LSU quickly backtracked and put out a statement saying they were merely preparing for possible “financial exigency.” I haven’t heard of this one either, but the Prez is hoppin’ mad and want’s more money from the legislature for the state’s flagship campus.
Now in fairness to Alexander, he does have reason to gripe. The Louisiana legislature has marched in lockstep with Governor Bobby Jindal’s efforts to strip higher education to the bones year after year. The question is, just were has the educational establishment been al this time as funds were continually reduced? The answer is simply that those who live off the higher education spout didn’t want to rock the boat and draw attention to the number of enormous salaries that are being paid, many for non-academic work. Over two hundred higher education employees take in more than $200 thousand a year.
Presidents of even smaller Louisiana colleges average $350,000 a year. LSU lists 13 Directors of Academic Affairs, each making over $200,000. It can be lucrative if you can make it into the academic bureaucracy, so unless your job is at risk, there is little upside to “taking one” for the Higher Ed team. Continue Reading…..