Make Your Comments Heard – Act 619 and the Future of Louisiana Higher Ed

I will be on semi-hiatus until we enter the 2017 legislative session later this spring. However, I did want to write a short post about Act 619. Passed in the 2016 Regular Legislative Session, Act 619:

requests a comprehensive analysis of the postsecondary system that allows the Board of Regents and postsecondary education leaders to evaluate and streamline academic offerings, stimulate innovative research and respond to local/regional workforce needs and, in turn, better prioritize resources.

Draft recommendations were posted to the Board of Regents website last week. Unlike other recommendations requested (or in some cases demanded?) by our Legislature in recent memory, these are posted for public comment before being finalized. The public comment period ends February 6.

I won’t get into much of a discussion of these recommendations now, but I do plan on submitting comments within the public comment period. Some of the draft recommendations include:

  • consolidating and merging administrative functions within systems and administrative, academic, student services, purchasing, etc. functions and services among state institutions within the same market areas;
  • limiting research doctorate programs to LSU – research doctorates at statewide institutions (ULL, UNO, LaTech) would be approved only under “extraordinary circumstances”;
  • in alignment with Complete College America’s “15 to finish” initiative, requiring TOPS recipients to complete 30 credits a year to maintain eligibility;
  • fully funding need-based Go Grants;
  • requiring new university admits to complete any needed co-requisite developmental requirements in their first semester.

There are many more… this is just a short list.

The entire report can be viewed on the Board of Regents website. I am also attaching a spreadsheet summarizing the draft recommendations that was distributed to interested stakeholders.

Please – I invite anyone who cares about the future of Louisiana public higher education to take this opportunity to make their comments heard.

We won’t be heard if we don’t say anything.

Peace out.

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