To say times are tight across Louisiana is truly an understatement. No where are they tighter than in the budgets for higher education across the state. Budget cuts and changes in TOPS funding have really put a financial choke hold on many of the state's colleges and universities.

There are four state universities that are now on a "watch list" according the Board of Regents. These universities include Grambling State, Southern University at New Orleans, LSU Health in Shreveport, and Southern University at Shreveport. These institutions are all being reported as being in poor fiscal standing.

Joe Rallo with the Louisiana Higher Education Commission explained to the Louisiana Radio Network why this report was deemed necessary.

This fiscal health test has been developed to allow the institutions to see where some of the challenges are but also allow the legislators to understand that these are ongoing structural problems.

Does this mean a certain demise for these schools? No, it does mean that administrators and lawmakers are going to have to understand the particular issues that each of these institutions are facing. Then they're going to have to come to grips with the best way to solve those problems.

They're are certainly not going anywhere, but at the same time they do have to remedy what is a consistent shortfall in their budget and I’m optimistic and hopeful they’ll be able to do that and continue operations the way they have.

Those comments in particular were made in connection with speculation by some in the state that LSU Health in Shreveport was on "life support".

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