“You’ll never get any more faculty.”

Skipping past the time honored stupidity of the people running the great state of Louisiana assuming the oil money never runs low, the question I’ve got about LSU making contingency plans to file for financial exigency (academic bankruptcy) if state higher education funding doesn’t find a way out of the ditch it’s currently in, is what happens, if the school is forced to pull the trigger, on the sports front.

I mean, this sounds like some serious shit here:

Being in a state of financial exigency means a university’s funding situation is so difficult that the viability of the entire institution is threatened. The status makes it easier for public colleges to shut down programs and lay off tenured faculty, but it also tarnishes the school’s reputation, making it harder to recruit faculty and students.

“You’ll never get any more faculty,” said Alexander, if LSU pursues financial exigency.

The Louisiana Legislature is closing out its meetings this week without having made much progress in finding more funding for universities, colleges and others. Louisiana’s higher education community is facing an 82 percent funding cut if no extra state money is found.

The change would bring state funding for LSU from around $3,500 per undergraduate student to $660 per undergraduate student next year.

“States around the country spend more than that on their community colleges,” Alexander said.

If LSU ceases to operate in a way that gives it academic credibility, does the SEC do anything in response?  I’m not joking – remember all the highfalutin’ talk we heard about schools being good academic matches for conferences during the last round of realignment musical chairs?  If that has any meaning, what do you do about a school that’s going Third World, metaphorically speaking?

And what exactly does Les Miles sell to mamas on the recruiting trail in terms of academics?  “We’ve got nicer facilities than the JUCOs your son is looking at”?  Or does he just go all in and say, “screw it, we were never that serious about academics anyway”?

I’m not trying to be overly dramatic here.  It’s just that it’s a very strange situation and I’m curious where things go if the shoulder shrugging never gets LSU out of the ditch.

39 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Political Wankery

39 responses to ““You’ll never get any more faculty.”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    I agree that politicians of all stripes have less than zero restraint in budgeting when tax revenues are flush. However colleges seem to think they’re exempt from the laws of economics, and they have an emotional hold on states. I’d be interested to how LSU spent its money during the flush times.

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    • Speaking of the laws of economics, the house education committee tried to allow a hike in tuition but that was shot down by the legislature, so that isn’t an option for LSU.

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    • PatinDC

      Well. In a sense they are exempt from normal economics. They do not operate in market conditions like a business. They are non-profits and IMHO, a common good that deserves government support. Without an educated populace, things go downhill real fast.

      You can mention for-profit colleges all you want, i you want to go there as an example, but they have done crap for educating students. They are predators leaving destruction in their wake with little to no success to account for except in the eyes of shareholders.

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  2. ASEF

    If LSU/Louisiana operated like most state educational funding does, they spent whatever earmarked funds the legislature gave them on the things the funds were earmarked for. Then they went to their athletics crazy alumni and raised more money to fund the stuff the legislature wouldn’t. Then their faculty went out and wrote a billion grant proposals hoping to fund a billion in research.

    Universities are not immune or exempt from anything, but they are especially sensitive to legislators who simply can’t understand why these sorts of institutions exists in the first place or how to measure their value.

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  3. PansyTheDawg

    Looks like there aren’t any rich people in Louisiana who care enough about LSU to get some tax dollars thrown their way.

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  4. Les Miles recruiting pitch will be, “No one at the NFL combine looks at the US News and World Report academic rankings. Besides, how many first rounders came from Harvard?”

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  5. Monday Night Froetteur

    1) The other members of the SEC probably won’t do much but say, “there but for the grace of [x], go I” since all SEC schools are located in states run by irresponsible Republicans.

    2) Athletic conferences have nothing to do with academics. That was disingenuous piffle from the administrative renteirs running that game.

    3) It will be very interesting to see what happens if this is particularly prolonged and LSU’s football facilities get “lapped.” LSU has the money to pay for those, it’s just unseemly at the moment. What if that moment stretches and it starts to affect recruiting outcomes?

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    • Gravidy

      The political stuff always gets out of hand on this blog, but I do have an honest, snark-free question for you. Can you give me a list of states run by responsible Democrats which are in demonstrably better financial condition?

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      • Noonan

        California and Illinois are the poster children for Democrat fiscal (ir)responsibility.

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      • DawgPhan

        9 of the 10 states with the highest per-person income voted Blue in the 2012 presidential race: Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Virginia and Washington. The only Red state on the list: Alaska.

        9 of the 10 states with the lowest median family income were Red: Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana and South Carolina.

        9 of the 10 states with the lowest median household income were Red: Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

        9 of the 10 states with the lowest per-person income levels were Red: Mississippi, Arkansas, Idaho, West Virginia, Kentucky, Utah, Alabama, South Carolina and Oklahoma.

        8 of the 10 states with the lowest high school graduation rates were Red:
        Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee.

        Not sure that anyone would say that Mississippi or Louisiana is in better financial shape than Connecticut or Massachusetts.

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        • Gravidy

          So, I assume you aren’t going to give me what I asked for? MNF’s original implication was that states run by “irresponsible Republicans” have state budgets that are in terrible fiscal shape. What I asked for was MNF’s long list of states run by Democrats with state budgets which are in demonstrably better fiscal shape. So far, he hasn’t given me that list, and neither have you.

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        • Normaltown Mike

          Great factoids to conflate population with operation.

          Switch the populations of Vermont & Mississippi and Vermont becomes a football worshipping idiocracy and Mississippi the most literate and erudite state in the country.

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        • JCDAWG83

          Take a look at demographics in all the states you cite. I think you will find the answers to the “why” questions there as opposed to the politics.

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      • PansyTheDawg

        It’s hard to find a state that exemplifies responsibility of any sort. Most politicians’ main goals seem to be only to gain and keep power and to gain and keep money. We could vote everyone out, but where would we get the candidates to replace them? The DNC and the GOP – from the politicians themselves.

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      • Monday Night Froetteur

        OTTOMH, California, NY, District of Columbia.

        There are states in better shape run by responsible Republicans too, like Governor Snyder in Michigan.

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      • Monday Night Froetteur

        ….Oregon, arguably Minnesota (caveat; Rs have the state house of reps and technically the G and SS are DFL, not D).

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  6. Scorpio Jones, III

    Since Les and so forth all get paid by the Athletics Department at LSU, which has, no matter the state legislature, plenty of money of its very own, maybe Joe Aleva down there should just secede from the university.

    Then Les could tell kids “Come on down heah and you kin just play football and you don’t have to mess with going to class over at that bankrupt school.”

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  7. Russ

    It’s just sad to me that an institution like LSU (or any educational institution) would be looking at an 80% reduction in funding.

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    • StatGal

      I agree it seems absurd and like a exaggerated threat. Sort of like when I tell my kids to behave or they won’t get until they are 15 (years away from now). Seems like there should have been intermediate steps of cuts.

      But, yeah, if they start laying off tenured faculty they will never get another good hire. And even the talk of it will to doubt give potential faculty hires pause now.

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  8. Cojones

    Since La’s parishes get money from the state, how about a school sponsored by the Catholic Church? I mean they could recruit in Chicago plus all the prominent Catholic Schools in the South…..uh…what?…there already is a Catholic college football team? Why didn’t someone say something? But LSU can still recruit in Chicago….whaat?….the other school already recruits that ground heavily? Damn! How about a camp in upper U.S. Indiana. It’s dominated politically by people who have the same political ideas as many Southerners, have a demagogue in place in DC (and we know how La’s citizens love demagogues) and is remote from all that Catholic….what?..who’s located there? And the kids don’t speak Cajun? Who do they think they are, God Almighty? We can still have a camp and compete by naming it the Under God Almighty football school then recruit for good ole UGA….what?….

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  9. W Cobb Dawg

    So goes the state’s flagship university. If I were Grover Norquist I’d re-think getting season tickets.

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  10. Dog in Fla

    They’re going to need a bigger boat

    http://bobmannblog.com/

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  11. Ray Watts

    Bobby Jindel was reelected with 66% of the vote in a blanket primary with 9 candidates on the ballot. His closest competitor got only 18%. Those Loozeyanner folks are reaping what they have sown.
    I worked in higher ed there for almost 8 years. That place is screwed. Fortunately, I got the hell out and came to… Alabama (we ain’t doin’ much better)

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  12. IndyDawg

    The American higher education system is broken.The costs relative to family incomes are way higher than when I attended UGA. So many kids are shackled with debt they’ll spend the rest of their lives repaying; delaying or making it impossible to start a family, own a home, save for retirement….

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  13. Normaltown Mike

    They have teachers at LSU?

    I never got that impression.

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    • Dog in Fla

      Piyush Jindal is mowing them down as fast as he can. He just needs a little more time to finish the mission

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    • Mayor

      IMHO the LSU situation is a problem for the SEC and the NCAA, too. What are those athletics organizations going to do when the SACS suspends, then expels, LSU. How can LSU continue to play other colleges when it has been defrocked as a college?

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