Inside the Board of Regents’ 2015 Legislative Agenda–Asking for GRAD Act Autonomy Institutions Never Got

The Louisiana Board of Regents has announced its proposed 2015 legislative agenda, which it will discuss at its monthly Board meeting on February 23. As might be expected, the ability for colleges and universities to raise tuition without legislative approval is being floated again, and it will sink again too.

However, as a self-described student of GRAD Act, I was struck more by the fact that the Regents are requesting more autonomy for its institutions overall. They seek “operational autonomies,” and in surprisingly strong language, “relief from unfair mandates” for its institutions.

What does the A stand for in GRAD Act? AUTONOMIES!

GRAD Act passed… twice! The original law passed in 2010 and modifications to the law in 2011.

According to Bobby Jindal:

“The GRAD Act works to answer the call from higher education for increased flexibility and autonomy needed to reform their systems and improve their outcomes for our Louisiana students. This legislation will give institutions the flexibility they asked for, while also mandating that their autonomy be directly linked to improved outcomes and more of our students graduating with degrees they need for successful careers. Through this legislation, we want to increase graduation rates for students, so they have the skills they need to compete in the 21st century workforce.”

So, here we are going on our fifth year of GRAD Act.

The vast majority of our state’s institutions have passed their GRAD Act objectives. Despite the fact, as I discussed in an earlier post, that the GRAD Act linked admission criteria do more to keep students out of college than in college.

Where are the autonomies? We don’t need another law since SUPPOSEDLY they are in GRAD Act.

Interesting how GRAD ACT has been conveniently and selectively enforced.

Again, I am proven right. It was, and is, a Trojan horse.

The whole point of GRAD Act was to (1) keep students out of four-year universities and direct them to cheaper two year institutions (and the fact that students are going out of state is a bonus since those students don’t cost any TOPS dollars) and (2) save at least $400 million a year just on each year’s high school graduation class/incoming freshman cohort.

Not all the pretty things like increased autonomy and graduation rates. No.

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