A popular LSU-Shreveport faculty member, Wayne Hogue, was told this week his year-to-year contract with the university will not be renewed after this year. He says it's retaliation for being an outspoken advocate for a merger between LSUS and Louisiana Tech.
"I was right," said Hogue. "My conscious is clear. If we did it again, I'd be even more adamant."
Interim chancellor Paul Sisson says the decision was strictly based on finances.
"There's been a 50-percent reduction in state appropriations just since 2008-2009," said Sisson.
Hogue's departure is just the latest in a series of personnel changes at the school. Sisson says they've experienced a 20% cut in faculty in recent years. A trend that leaves other teachers nervous about their own futures.
"All of us- including myself- are at risk so the question is not whether or not any individual professor is fired as much as we're having to let people go because we don't have the money to pay for their continued service," said Faculty Senate President Mary Jarzabek. "When we lose somebody as valuable as Wayne Hogue, you know we have a serious problem."
Even though staff numbers are down, the merger talks prompted the LSU system to commit to new programs in Shreveport. They're adding two programs this fall: petroleum engineering and construction management.