Financial diet discussed with DSU faculty
by Haley Ferretti
Oct 15, 2013 | 2338 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DSU President Bill LaForge with Interim Provost Butch Caston
DSU President Bill LaForge with Interim Provost Butch Caston
President Bill LaForge held a meeting Friday at Broom Hall to discuss the budget cut that Delta State University is expected to endure for approximately the next two terms.

LaForge began by explaining that the budget cut is simply an exercise in "belt-tightening" in order to trim unnecessary expenses.

"For the last eight to 10 years we've had a decline in enrollment," said LaForge, "not only a student enrollment decrease but also our cash reserve … as our enrollment has gone down, our expenses have gone up.

"We can't deny that we need to go on an expense diet," said LaForge. "This is a great opportunity for us to take a look at how we do business."

LaForge reassured that the budget cut would not affect students financially or academically.

"There is no effort to go after anything that is the meat of our programs," said LaForge.

He explained that the cuts would essentially be left up to the deans and chairs of the departments.

Intermim Provost Dr. Butch Caston and Chief Financial Officer Steven McClellan will be working with the deans and chairs to help them decide where unnecessary money is being spent.

"These guys (Caston and McClellan) are working through the deans and chairs," explained LaForge. "If you have ideas, tell them … so yes, it is a trickle down in a sense, but it will work straight down."

An advisory is currently in the works in order to help departments find and trim unnecessary expenses.

McClellan showed a slideshow that revealed how enrollment has steadily decreased over the last 10 years.

It also showed that in 2002, DSU had a cash reserve of approximately 8 million. As of 2013, the cash reserve has decreased to a mere $600,000, an amount that LaForge described as "unacceptable."

McClellan also noted that their next mission would be solving the retention issue.

A question and answer session followed the meeting.

Some of the faculty expressed concerns about whether they would be able to eventually "get back" the luxuries that they will be cut.

"Our short and intermediate mission is looking for ways to trim our expenses …” said LaForge. "This is a hiccup. We will get over this. In two years from now, we can talk about better compensation for staff."

"Give me a chance," said LaForge. "Give me a little trust … We really want to make this a temporary thing."