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March 16, 2007

Cofer praises governor’s budget proposal

Citing the need not only to rebuild Louisiana but to rebuild the state stronger and smarter, Governor Kathleen Blanco today detailed a 2007-08 budget appropriation for public post-secondary education that provides unprecedented support across a broad range of critically-important funding areas.

Among other features, the 2007-08 Executive Budget Proposal provides for faculty and employee salary increases, a financial aid initiative for disadvantaged students, and full coverage of mandated (non-controllable) cost increases for such items as insurance rate hikes and civil service employee salary increases.

Moreover, the proposed appropriation provides general operating expense funds sufficient to bring all of Louisiana’s public colleges and universities up to a funding rate at least commensurate with the average of their peer institutions across the south – a level of financial support Louisiana’s institutions have not enjoyed for more than 25 years.

In response to the budget proposal, ULM President James Cofer said, "We are deeply pleased that Gov. Blanco recognizes the importance of supporting higher education. We are especially grateful for the governor's recommendation of salary increases for both faculty and staff. ULM faculty and staff spend countless hours inside and outside of the classroom working with and for our students. This continued recognition of their hard work is greatly appreciated,” he said.

Of the recommended $1 million allocation to the ULM Pharmacy Accreditation Plan he said, "We are of course pleased with the continued financial endorsement of Louisiana's only state-supported pharmacy program. This visionary support will yield great results for Louisiana."

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