A Message from President Tate: Deepest Appreciation for ‘Scholarship Wins’

June 09, 2023

Honorable Governor Edwards, Senator Page Cortez, Representative Clay Schexnayder, and Members of the Louisiana Legislature:

On behalf of the LSU family, I am writing to offer my deepest and most sincere appreciation for the investments in our people and our infrastructure, which are also your people and your infrastructure. You all worked diligently and under great pressure to help higher education and LSU, and you have cemented a legacy for yourselves.

Your work has been recognized for the great value it brings to our state. This year, the Governor and the Legislature made more than $232 million in new budget and construction investments in our campuses. Most importantly, you and your fellow decision-makers made tough calls and made some real investments in quality; they put scholarship first.

I am sharing these “scholarship wins” for our friends and supporters:

Flagship Campus

The flagship will see about $9.9 million in funds for pay adjustments, mandated costs, and pay adjustments for campus police (excluding the roll-off of $3 million in one-time funds from last year). LSU will also receive $5 million for energy transition research, $8 million for graduate student support, and $800,000 for a litter abatement institute.

In capital outlay, the university received:

  • $153 million for an LSU library ($3 million for immediate planning)
  • $39 million to complete the Interdisciplinary Science Building
  • $14.5 million for renovations and additions to the School of Veterinary Medicine
  • $4.5 million to initiate the $22 million renovation of the Military and Security Science Building
  • $7.3 million for deferred maintenance and infrastructure projects
  • $5 million for athletic facility upgrades
  • $1 million in FY2024 funding and $50 million in future commitments related to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center

Safety and security improvements were advanced on several fronts. Higher education’s campus-based police officers will receive a pay increase to help us retain talented officers. Also, LSU will share in a higher education fund for security upgrades. Previously, the Legislature appropriated $4 million in lighting improvements on the campus and that is in progress, and this year, the Legislature approved the formation of the University Security District to expand the security and infrastructure improvements in the areas surrounding the campus.

LSU Agricultural Center

The LSU AgCenter received an estimated $5.1 million in funding to support investments in priority program areas, pay adjustments, and mandated costs. Additionally, $11 million was approved in one-time funds for equipment upgrades at research stations located around the state. Below is a list of the approved capital outlay projects:

  • $58 million for the AgCenter and Veterinary Medicine Innovation Center
  • $2.3 million added to complete the $6.3 million renovation project in Renewable Natural Resources
  • $4 million added to expand the Food Innovation Center
  • $1.5 million added for increased construction/repair costs at the Dean Lee Research & Extension Center (Rapides Parish)
  • Continued authorization for the Animal & Food Science renovations ($30 million) and Parker Coliseum renovations ($23 million)

LSU of Alexandria

LSU of Alexandria will receive approximately $1.1 million for pay adjustments, mandated costs, and base funding increases.

  • $8 million to proceed with the $22 million Martin Student Success Center
  • $10.9 million to initiate the construction of a new $40 million Downtown Health Education Services Center project 

LSU Eunice

LSU Eunice can expect to see about $548,218 for pay adjustments, mandated costs funds, and base support. There were significant approvals for capital projects:

  • $1 million to initiate planning of a new $28.9 million STEAM building
  • $2.6 million for renovations to Manuel Hall
  • $6 million to complete the next step of the $14.8 million athletics complex overhaul

The nursing program is also eligible to participate in a new $5 million fund for nursing and health professions.

LSU Shreveport

LSU Shreveport will receive more than $1.3 million for funding pay adjustments, mandated costs, and campus police (excluding the roll-off of one-time funds from last year). Another $1 million was added to the base budget.

  • $3.1 million for renovations to exterior walls and a new bridge

LSU Health Shreveport

LSU Health Shreveport is expecting an $18.4 million increase to support pay adjustments, mandated costs, and a base budget increase to compensate for changes in the state’s healthcare funding model. Another $1 million was allocated for graduate assistantships and $576,000 for analytical chemistry equipment, along with $350,000 for Student Success Center renovations in Monroe. LSU Health Shreveport is also the recipient of capital outlay funds, including:

  • $26 million to complete the Center for Medical Education & Wellness
  • $7.5 million for the Comprehensive Emergency Water Supply Project
  • $5 million to upgrade the Stonewall Research Facility

LSU Health New Orleans

LSU Health New Orleans will receive $7.7 million for pay adjustments, mandated costs, and base funding adjustments. $4 million was provided to liquidate debt, which will relieve pressure on the budget, and $1 million for security improvements. Significant capital upgrades were approved that will increase laboratory space and improve the student learning experience:

  • $75 million to complete the Medical Education Building
  • $44 million for the School of Dentistry modernization
  • $3 million for stormwater infrastructure upgrades
  • $2.8 million for the Center for Advanced Learning & Simulation building

LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Pennington Biomedical will receive $4 million in base funding, pay adjustments, safety enhancements, faculty recruitment, and mandated cost increases.

LSU Shared Services

I want to also thank the Legislature for $3.5 million to help with the cost of a new student information system that serves several of our campuses. Politically, a data management system is a tough sell because it is not initially visible to the public. However, it touches every part of the instructional mission and is a much-needed tool that will help us to become a more efficient and effective institution. Operationally, the new system not only stores grades, but also serves as an instrument to improve advising, signal the need for academic interventions, and help support students through to graduation.

Higher Education (to be allocated or awarded)

The Legislature appropriated money for a number of programs in which multiple institutions may participate. They include:

  • $25 million for a higher education deferred maintenance pool
  • $15 million for higher education initiatives related to workforce and master plans
  • $15 million for the Go Grant program, which provides need-based aid 
  • $10 million for power-based violence programs and safety
  • $7.5 million for cybersecurity software
  • $6.2 million for the GEAUX Teach program
  • $2.3 million for a National Guard scholarship program
  • $1 million for safety assessments at campuses
  • $1 million to support inclusivity programs for people with intellectual disabilities

This is a monumental investment in talent for our state, and we are grateful to Governor Edwards, Senate President Page Cortez, Speaker Clay Schexnayder, the Louisiana Legislature, and their respective staffs who worked diligently to support our work.

William F. Tate IV
LSU President