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BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana State University will draw up a financial exigency plan, equivalent to college bankruptcy, as $608 million in budget cuts proposed by Governor Bobby Jindal threaten to cripple the state's higher-education system.

Exigency, declared when schools face insolvency, would allow the state's flagship institution to restructure and fire tenured faculty.

''We know the worst-case scenario, we know the timeframe, and we know what's at stake,'' LSU president F. King Alexander said in a statement.

He said he wants legislators to ''mitigate the devastation these budget cuts promise.''

State cuts to higher education have sent tuition soaring across the United States, adding to the more than $1.2 trillion in student-loan debt.

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Associated Press