Four Louisiana Universities have been placed on the fiscal watch list by the Board of Regents. It has been determined that Southern University at New Orleans, LSU Health Shreveport, Grambling State and Southern University at Shreveport are all in poor financial standing. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo explains why they put out this report.

“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.”

Rallo says these schools are facing financial challenges because of a decline in state funding for public universities and enrollment is down.

“If you have more reliance on tuition and you have fewer students coming back, that’s going to also take some of the budget away and then some of the institutions are still trying to cope with the construction from Katrina.”

Rallo says they established this test to raise visibility to legislators that these universities are really struggling. He says there has been a lot of concern about the future of the LSU Health Center in Shreveport with many people worried it’s on “life support.”

“There 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.”