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Financial exigency up in the air at Southern

POSTED: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 8:31pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 5:39pm

"Don't let this university go down under your watch. It means too much to the black community. Once you lose it, you'll never get it back," says Southern University graduate Everett Gibson.

Southern University students and graduates speaking out strongly against the possibility of financial exigency Friday at the Southern Board of Supervisors meeting.

Chancellor James Llorens says though that exigency is the only way to fix the university's financial difficulties, "We're asking for exigency to allow us to identify the furloughs, to allow us to not move to eliminate faculty, but allow us to maintain our academic programs, maintain the core academic structure that we have."

Faculty Senate President Sudhir Travedi disagrees. He says the move would be a mistake the school would never recover from, "By allowing this conversation of financial exigency and by ultimately putting it on the agenda, sir and madam, you have acted irresonsibiy. This is dangerous. You've already begun the process of wrecking this institution."

The only option on the table left to avoid financial exigency is for 90 percent of Southern professors to agree to two years of furloughs. The drop dead date to reach that number was supposed to be today, but now, Southern University Faculty Vice President Thomas Miller says the faculty needs more time, "What I'm going to ask the board to consider is a mechanism whereby faculty could be given a little more time to think about and to discuss."

The Southern Board of Supervisors agreed and has given the faculty until Tuesday to get the votes.

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