Louisiana State University (LSU) Athletics will give the University $36 million over the next five years to assist in the University’s battle against budget cuts in a policy unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors. The LSU Athletics Fund Transfer Policy will donate $7.2 million a year to the University for five years.
The fund will support academics, research, public service and allow both the University and LSU Athletics to have more certainty when developing operating budgets, according to Interim System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins. If LSU Athletics earns a surplus of money during those five years, the University will also see an extra cut of the profits.
Of any surplus amounting to more than $3 million, 25 percent will be transferred to the University, and 50 percent will be transferred if the surplus exceeds $5 million. The policy also provides a one-time donation of $4 million to the University for the fiscal year in addition to $5.5 million given this year, totaling $9.5 million.
Over the past four years, the state has cut 43.6 percent from the University’s appropriations. To ease the cuts, the University has boosted self-generated funds by about $103 million, or more than 54 percent, mainly through tuition increases.
LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva said the policy is a “win-win” for both the University and LSU Athletics, allowing the University to share in the Athletic Department’s success and providing continuity in what he called a “random” track record of past athletic donations to the University.
In 2011, the Board of Supervisors approved a $7.9 million LSU System Flagship and Excellence Fund, one-time additional support for the University using self-generated money and interest earnings. The new arrangement is the first of its kind, Alleva said.
“It will put LSU in a position of envy among all the universities in the country,” he said.
Jenkins added that he is pleased with the approval.
“This is so important,” he said. “It’s clearly dependent upon our continued success.”
Student fees and football ticket prices will not rise as a result of the approval, Alleva said. Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope called the policy “a huge step forward” for the University.
“It integrates Athletics into the University in a way no one else is doing,” Cope said. “It’s an example of LSU leading the nation.”
During the meeting, the Board also approved a $3.2 billion operating budget for the LSU System — $445,388,799 of which was budgeted for the Baton Rouge campus.