Budget cut talk unnerving for LSU's best and brightest
Budget cut talk has some of LSU's best and brightest employees heading for the hills, and students worry their education will suffer because of it.
When sophomore Jennie Garland enrolled at LSU, she expected to have the best professors money could buy, but with looming budget cuts threatening jobs and degree programs, the money just may not be there.
"It's very frustrating for me. I could have gone somewhere else with professors that are going to be there, that are really good," says Garland.
Just talking about additional cuts has some of the flagship university's best looking for work in other states. "They're saying, 'maybe life will be better in Texas or North Carolina or some other places," says Chancellor Michael Martin. "Those are the very people we don't want to lose."
Students don't want to lose those professors either. "That's not a good look for LSU. I mean, if you have all of your main professors leaving, that's going to deter students from coming over here," says senior Adam Dunmars.
Students worry that they won't see their favorite professors at the front of the classroom next year, or even next semester. "We don't know where LSU is heading. We don't know if LSU's going to keep its flagship status," says senior Lauren Call.
That uncertainty has students on edge, but many feel helpless to change the situation. "There's nothing that I personally can go do about it. I can't be like, 'don't leave! Don't leave!.'" says Garland.
Students we talked to today say keeping those professors here should be the administration's number on priority. It's a responsibility Chancellor Martin takes very seriously.
"We're trying very hard to convince them that we can make our way through this. The cuts won't be that severe. The state does value what they do," Martin says.
Martin will not be following some of his colleagues to other states, or even to other colleges. Instead, he says, he's here to stay. "I get up every morning, go to work, even if it isn't a perfect day budget-wise, knowing that its an exciting place to work."