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17 September 2010

Time Killing Game of the Week 

Park your car. I dare you.

16 September 2010

Reggie makes sense! 

Quote:

"Obviously something has to be changed. You've got universities making millions of dollars off these kids and they don't get paid. The majority of college athletes who come in on scholarship come in (with) nothing. That's where you have a problem. You're making all this money off these kids and you're giving them crumbs and then you're surrounding these kids with money and telling them not to touch it."

Defend LSU ONE night? 

And reality kicks you in the face...

"I was fired because I wouldn't play the game with the system staff," he said at a midday news conference in the Administration Building. "I always put the concerns and the well-being of our students, faculty and staff first. Now I have paid the price with my job."

...

Until a permanent replacement is found -- a process that, Ryan said, could take nearly a year -- Lombardi will be interim chancellor as well as system president, and he will run the campus with two system vice presidents and Joe King, the UNO provost, according to a news release from the system office.

At his news conference, Ryan said this plan looks like the first step toward making UNO a feeder for LSU's Baton Rouge campus, the system's flagship school.


Upheaval in our state university system will not begin and end at UNO, but they seem to be the current whipping boy. This will spread around as schools are asked to account for cuts of nearly 1/4 of the monies distributed to them by the state. Should be equally fun and depressing to watch.

In comments to my previous post Richard P. mentioned that we have too many four year institutions in this state. Surely this might be true, but then that puts us in the very difficult position of deciding which ones get folded into some kind of glorified community college system and which ones get shuttered so that we can reallocate resources to the "schools that matter." Is UNO, the only public university in the state's largest city, an institution we should be treating as though it doesn't matter?

15 September 2010

Holding my nose... 

Old readers of this blog will know the disdain in which I generally hold the "Flagship," but when the struggles in funding of higher education fall at the doorstep of LSU it's hard to ignore.

Yesterday news arrived that LSU faculty are teaming up with some unnamed national union to begin a drive for union membership.

"We're looking for a way to increase faculty leverage as we attempt to save this institution, save the state," said faculty senate president Kevin Cope, "and with that, ask the state to be honest in its dealings with its most trained personnel."

However, professors said at this point, it seems the only way for them to defend themselves is to pull together.


From this morning's story on the NBC affiliate in Baton Rouge, it seems the Chancellor may feel generally sympathetic to them.

Chancellor Michael Martin responded to the idea of a union.

“LSU embraces shared governance. The current system we have is working well especially during these difficult times, but I always welcome dialogue among all parties. The input from the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and Student Government is critical to being a strong university. We are open to any discussion that will help to advance the mission of the university and service to the people of the LSU community.”


LSU followed up today with the release of a study that suggests that proposed and already implemented cuts by the Jindal administration will have a worse than dire effect on higher education at the state's largest and most important institution of higher learning.

The closure of colleges and the loss of nearly 700 positions – including 350 faculty positions – would likely send thousands of Louisiana high school students seeking an education out of state if LSU were stripped of $62 million in state support in the next fiscal year, according to the results of an exercise requested by the State Division of Administration.

...

A reduction of $62 million in state funding, added to the $42 million in budget cuts already incurred by the university, would have an even greater actual impact because of the resulting revenue loss from a drop in student enrollment, loss of grants and contracts as a result of fewer faculty, and a reduction in funds brought in by auxiliary units such as residence halls, the Student Union and other self-generating units that depend upon student enrollment. Those additional revenue losses would result in the layoffs of hundreds more faculty and staff.


Details of cuts here.

The amazing thing about all those links and heavy words about these looming and already executed budget cuts discussed above is that the man primarily responsible for them is barely mentioned. Where's Bobby Jindal in all this talk of unions, laid off faculty, and disappearing students? Read all those links and try to find Bobby Jindal even mentioned. The Advocate's political blog brought up the study today, but typically doesn't link to anything and only obliquely suggests where these cuts are coming from.

The hypothetical budget cuts released late Wednesday are part of a state-mandated, budget-cutting exercise of higher education and other state agencies in preparation for the loss of federal stimulus dollars and some state revenues next summer.


Read them all, I dare you (my emphasis on previous quote).

Someone needs to get out there and kick some shins in Baton Rouge, but no one really seems interested.

[update]

...fucking ridiculous, copied and pasted without edit from WBRZ:

Numbers are in for LSU's worst case budget cut scenario the state asked for. It's $62 million, which would lead to layoffs, degrees cut and lost students.

University leaders described the situation as heartbreaking. They said people's passion for LSU is what's so special about the university. It's also what's most on the line if the cuts come to life. No students, no programs and no learning are in LSU's future if the state's financial crisis comes to campus next year.

"Maybe we're crying wolf. We get accused of that, but I think the wolf has been here already, and the next time around, the wolf is gonna be a hell of a lot bigger," said Chancellor Michael Martin.

The next time, "the wolf" could devour almost 700 jobs, half of that faculty, along with half of the colleges at LSU, which leaves every person at the school vulnerable.

"I fear that around the country, they're looking at us as a fire sale, go get their very best and leave the rest," said Martin.

The possibilities enrage educators.

"It's absolutely absurd to consider that LSU would go down the tubes, but that's what's happening," said professor of voice Pat O'Neill.

Students said they are also sad.

"If my degree is affected, I'm gonna want a good education elsewhere," said sophomore Catherine Threlkeld, "and I do think students will leave if this comes to reality."

With predictions of fleeing students numbering in the thousands, the community is scared.

"We depend heavily on LSU students, faculty and staff to support our businesses, and so if they were to have a cut that dramatic, it would really affect our sales," said business owner Clarke Cadzo.

Critics of the cuts said the very soul of LSU is at stake, and that's something administrators said the state cannot live without.

"Take us out of the equation, and ask what the world's gonna look like," said Martin. "I don't think it's gonna be that pleasant for anyone."

The university will have a better idea of what's to come early next year, but legislators will have the final say on what to give and take from higher education. Session wraps in the summer.

The Board of Supervisors will approve the 2011-2012 budget a month before classes start.


Where is the Governor in any of this reporting? It's absolutely impossible to understand.

14 September 2010

Not much to say right now 

I'm not there. I'm gone.



Not really, just busy at work, and when I'm not at work I'm busy either drinking or watching the NFL, which apparently is pretty boring this year if not for all the hilarity. Also the election season is a super-boring one too.

In the meantime in one of the great hypocrisies of modern sport, Reggie Bush (who is really pretty much a big douche bag) is giving up his Heisman Trophy because the NCAA and the assholes at the Heisman Trust thought he got a little uppity in the way he flaunted their rules about payment to athletes.

12 September 2010

Kicking Arse and Taking Names (and Money) 

Succinct discussion of Jindal's recent out-of-state fundraising activities in relation to his climb through the GOP hierarchy from Stephanie Grace editorial at NOLA.com this morning. Included is an obvious explanation of why Jindal has no reason to endorse Vitter (even if he does get pressured by the national GOP at some point). Jindal looks afield for friends, allies:
If Jindal-supported Minn. GOP candidate for governor Tom Emmer does end up winning perhaps Bobby can use his influence to convince Minnesota leadership to enforce term limits on NFL quarterbacks. No more career Fav-re's!

One interesting development this weekend was the fact that "The Jindal administration has formally applied for $147 million in education funding Louisiana is eligible to receive from a recently passed federal stimulus bill." Wha!? I thought everything about the stimulus was evil and just part of the PELOSI/OBAMA socialist agenda (I love when they capitalize those names in LA GOP candidate press releases.) I'm glad he's at least allowing this sorely needed money for education. The questions is how's he going to spin it - he already did the publisher's clearing house big check thing.

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