Jul 24, 2013 8:04 PM by Alex Labat
State budget cuts are having an affect on higher education in Acadiana.
Faculty and staff at South Louisiana Community College wrote to us at KATC, concerned about contract changes, and cuts to various programs.
13 programs are being affected.
Six programs will no longer be offered at SLCC.
The other seven will only be offered at select campuses.
Administrators say these programs typically have low attendance, and will be replaced with other, highly requested courses.
In their letter to KATC, faculty and staff write their contract terms are being reduced from 12 months down to nine.
That means 26 faculty members will see an estimated 31% reduction in their salary.
"Cutbacks are something we never want to do but it has to be done when we're facing double digit budget cuts and declining enrollment", says Christine Payton, Public Relations Director for SLCC.
Those affected will see their new contracts take effect on August 19th. However, since their current ones end August 12th, that leaves a four-workday gap during which the employees won't be under contract, and therefor won't be paid.
An average of $1,000 per employee for those four days means SLCC would save $26,000.
While times might seem tough for the campus, Payton hopes higher student enrollment might turn things around and start bringing in some much needed dough.
"They can come in, get registered at any of our campuses and we're trying to boost out enrollment and offer the programs that our students want", says Payton.