Change on the Horizon for Higher Education in Louisiana

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Louisiana’s new Postsecondary Education Review Commission convened for the first time week. The group meets with the charge of finding ways to streamline the state’s higher education system. Currently, three higher education systems operate in Louisiana, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the Southern University System, the University of Louisiana System, and the Louisiana State University System. Amidst state budget woes, one clear priority for the commission will be to find ways of eliminating academic and administrative duplication. In all likelihood, the commission’s recommendations will have to include the elimination or merger of university systems. The operation of all three distinct systems is neither cost efficient nor fiscally feasible in the present economic climate. It’s also possible that the commission’s recommendations could include closing or merging university campuses. There have already been serious talks of a merger of the University of New Orleans with Southern University of New Orleans.

Whatever the outcome of the commission’s work, one thing is certain, its recommendations will mean significant change and change is never welcomed by everyone. We will keep an eye on this one. More likely than not, the debate will be pretty heated.

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