Hawkeye P.O.V.: Budget cuts sad but necessary for school’s survival

ULM Hawkeye

You know the parable of Jesus feeding a crowd of thousands with five loaves and two fish? That’s ULM right now. The loaves and fish are the funds and the thousands are the faculty. Only there’s no Jesus to make a miracle, so cuts have to be made.

Unfortunately, none of those cut were excess staff. which means the remaining faculty will gain increased responsibilities.  Bruno says these moves are all an adjustment rather than a fix for the school’s problems.

It’s a shame the school’s going through the fifth straight year of budget cuts considering all of the good things that have happened during that same time span.

Since these cuts started in 2008: the online MBA has been named a 2013 “Best Online Education Program”, the football team finally reached a bowl game, former Miss ULM Jaden Leach became the fourth ULM student in five years to be named Miss Louisiana, more freshman each year have higher GPAs and ACT scores; and the graduation rate has risen by almost 10% with steady increases each year.

All of these accomplishments have come despite ever decreasing funds from the state. The state provides nearly 54 percent less funds to ULM than in 2008, while we’ve produced around 46 percent more. That’s problematic. But this isn’t just a ULM problem, even though charts indicate we’ve been hit among the hardest.

Before Jindal became governor, Louisiana’s state funding for higher education was at the Southern average for the first time in 25 years. Under Jindal, who calls himself “heroic” in protecting higher education, Louisiana higher education funding plummeted. Per the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Louisiana is ranked 50th in state funding for higher education. This is nearly twice as bad as the second worst state, West Virginia and is nearly five times worse than the national average.

Until the state government decides to make education a priority again, who knows how long ULM will be adjusting to broken system.