ULM hosts forum "Higher Education: The Future of Louisiana"
ULM and several institutions have experienced historic losses in funding over the years, but leaders say it's time to stop bandaging the wound, and find a long term solution.
Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says a few things will inevitably happen if higher education continues to be placed on the chopping block: funding for TOPS will be cut, tuition will increase, therefore putting more burden on students.
As a result, Stockley says more students will choose to get their education somewhere else, and if they do that, he says our institutions are in trouble.
"Now we're offering fewer degrees, we're hiring fewer people, we cannot attract top academic talent from across the United States to come here and assist the university is offering high value degrees," says Stockley.
Stockley says local businesses would be in jeopardy too.
"If these universities aren't getting enough for a future investment and then they're not producing enough graduates and if we don't have enough people we can hire," says Stockley. "What's the incentive for this company to stay in Louisiana, instead of moving somewhere else where they can find all the labor they need."
When asked if there was a solution to the problem, Stockley says it's simple.
"It starts with tax reform and it starts with guaranteeing where our money is coming from," says Stockley. "I don't think we have to do this with tax increases, but being smart means being smart with who you tax, how much you tax, and what that tax looks like."
A forum is being held in Sandel Hall Room 238 on ULM's campus at 2 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.