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Jan 30, 2012 9:40 AM by A

SU begins laying off employees

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The financial emergency that Southern University declared in October is showing up now as the Baton Rouge university begins to lay off tenured faculty members and staff.
Chancellor James Llorens said Friday that the immediate layoffs include fewer than 10 staff employees and tenured architecture professor John Delgado, who will lose his job as of Feb. 15.
A few more tenured faculty cuts were expected this month, Llorens said, but a few resignations and retirements offset that need.
The Advocate reports that 30 more tenured faculty members could receive termination notices in March,
The chancellor said the extra cuts this month were required because of an extra $2.94 million state budget cut to Southern that came down in December because of declining state revenues.
Delgado, who said he plans to appeal his firing, informed the Southern Faculty Senate on Friday that he is being let go. Delgado said he was surprised and saddened.
The termination letter was dated Jan. 10, but Delgado said he did not get it until Monday because it was placed in his campus mailbox without any other notification. The letter states the termination was necessitated by the "current financial state of Southern ... resulting largely from decreased state funding ..."
Southern declared a financial emergency, called exigency, in October as a result of ongoing state budget cuts and student enrollment losses. Exigency, which is generally considered a serious blemish to a university, allows Southern to more easily lay off tenured faculty and ax degree programs.
The expedited layoffs of an estimated 52 non-faculty staff members are being "staggered" throughout the semester, Llorens said. In addition to eliminating more than 10 percent of the Southern faculty, the plan calls for staff layoffs in human resources, information technology and campus maintenance and then other terminations around the rest of the university, Llorens said in December. The academic college consolidations also will mean fewer deans and academic department heads, he said.

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