Dear LSU Eunice Alumni and Friends:
Well, it's official! LSU Eunice is 45 years old this year, 2012, marking four and one-half decades of service to the Acadiana region of Louisiana as the premier, two-year, comprehensive, open-access campus of the LSU System. Moreover, as the campus continues its "growth towards the gold"-its 50th or golden anniversary-we can all be proud, as LSU Eunice's alumni, supporters and friends, of the reputation of excellence which our campus has accrued over this time, for the outstanding academic achievement of its programs, its faculty and its students; for its notable community service contributions; and, for its nationally-recognized student athletic programs.
Moreover, although LSU Eunice continues to grow with an enrollment this Fall of 3,074 students-up 3% over fall 2012-the cuts in our state support, with concomitant shifts in the fiscal burden on to the student, has had its impact in a variety of measurable and concerning ways. For example, since 2008 with the onset of the recession and state budget cuts, the LSU Eunice faculty to student ratio has increased from 1 to 23 to now (2012) a faculty to student ratio of 1 to 27. Moreover, along with the shift in the fiscal burden of support from the state to the student from that of 63.9% to 36.1% in 2008, to that of 40% state to 59.2% student funding now in 2012, the percentage of students seeking financial aid has not only increased from about 60% in 2008 to 68% in 2012, but, of particular note, has been the increase in the average student financial aid package from that of about $6,300 per student/academic year in 2008, to now more than $10,052 per student/academic year in 2012-an increase in incurred aid of 59% per student-all occurring at an institution (LSU Eunice) which now has the lowest tuition among all four- and two-year public colleges and universities in the state of Louisiana! Moreover it's important to point out that the shift in LSU Eunice's annual fiscal funding, i.e., from state support to that of more student support, belies the fact that the fiscal shift in source of funds has, however, not fully-covered the original campus budget of 2008, since the current budget for FY 2012-13 has a shortfall of $1.33 million in revenue, representing about a 10% overall cut in LSU Eunice's operating budget and, adjusting for inflation, a shortfall equivalent to $1.5 million.
So, clearly, LSU Eunice is in need of your financial support more than ever before-particularly if the campus is going to be able to sustain, if not enhance, the levels of faculty and student achievement which it has accrued over the past 45 years! Therefore, I respectfully request and urge your support of LSU Eunice through your tax-exempt gift to the LSUE Foundation and the LSUE Alumni Association for support of student scholarships and faculty excellence funding. Clearly, your support is needed now more than ever!
In closing, my thanks for your commitment to LSU Eunice; and, my thanks, in advance, for your support of the campus' annual fund drive for AY 2012-13.
I offer you my best wishes for a wonderful Christmas, along with my hope for a happy and healthy New Year for both you and yours!
Dr. Bill Nunez, Chancellor