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University of verge of bankruptcy blames state budget cuts for fiscal woes

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How do I file for bankruptcy?”

 

The State of Louisiana’s funding shortfall for higher-education spending is over $608 million, and that has the Pelican State’s flagship public university—Louisiana State University—on the brink of bankruptcy, according to NBC News.

LSU Charlotte Debt Lawyer Mecklenburg Bankruptcy AttorneyThe prospect of a major-university bankruptcy has observers speaking in hyperbole, with the associate general secretary of the National American Association of University Professors telling NBC News that he did not know “if anything that drastic has occurred anywhere in modern times or perhaps ever.”

Move over history, here comes an LSU bankruptcy.

Except if it happens, it will not exactly be a bankruptcy, and the university does not even call it that—although the process would work in a fashion similar to large bankruptcies. F. King Alexander, the president and chancellor of LSU, told NBC News that school needed every tool at its disposal “to survive,” but if possible, it wanted to avoid a “financial exigency.”

Financial exigency is “a bankruptcy-like status that gives institutions a legal pathway to change contracts and other financial obligations” in order to deal with the kind of crushing debt that has LSU’s senior-most officers using terms like “survival.” The status also would give the university the ability to lay off professors, eliminate programs and, potentially, shutter entire university departments.

The university may also turn to its students in order to stay afloat financially. Tuition and fees paid by students have climbed by nearly two-thirds since 2009; during the same time, state funding to the Pelican State’s nine universities has dropped by fifty-five percent, or by a total of $90 million. The president of the University of Louisiana system, Sandra Woodley, said students are already bearing too much of the burden, and wants the state legislature to find general fund dollars to fill the spending gap, according to NBC News.

Woodley said she is already seeing the negative effects of what she calls “legislative gridlock.” She said the system is seeing enrollment declines at state universities, which she thinks is due in part to affordability issues. Those that can afford the tuition and fees, said Jon Kurland of the National Association of University Professors, will look to colleges and universities in other states to receive their education.

Kurland added that the budget woes would also affect the ability of state universities to attract top professors. The loss of top professors coupled with top in-state students looking elsewhere for higher education could hurt the Pelican State’s ability to compete for businesses and jobs, Kurland explained.

The State of Louisiana faces an overall $1.6 billion funding shortfall. Higher-education funding is not protected by the state constitution, leaving it vulnerable to the kind of large-scale cuts that have been made in recent budget cycles.

The university’s 2014 fiscal report shows it receives a small percentage of its funding from state and federal government sources.

If you find yourself needing the services of an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.

 

 

About the Author

Bryan 1Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/amid-funding-cuts-will-lsu-have-declare-bankruptcy-n347951

http://theadvocate.com/news/11514751-123/anxiety-on-louisiana-college-campuses

http://www.fas.lsu.edu/acctservices/far_b/supplements/2014/BR/pdf/SNP-LSU_FY14.pdf

 

 

Image Credit:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LSU_OLE_MISS_6.JPG

 

 

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