Is Merging LSU-S With LA Tech a Good Idea?
The new legislative session is scheduled to begin April 8th. And there's a lot of interesting bills on table. But the latest one to be filed by Cedric Glover really caught my attention. House Bill 470 calls for LSU-S to merge with Louisiana Tech and become apart of the Louisiana University System.
My first thought when I saw this over the weekend was "haven't we already tried this?". And I was right, we did. About 7 years ago, a similar proposal was made. But, despite garnering a lot of support, ultimately went nowhere and failed.
My second though was "is this a good idea?" And that I'm still unsure of. I haven't yet talked to Mr. Glover about his bill or his intentions. What I do know is that LSU Shreveport needs some help. I haven't been on campus since I graduated about 10 years ago...but according to everyone I've spoken with, the place is in dire need of funding and support.
LSU-S seems to be the LSU system's red headed step child. They claim it...but just barely. The facility is in poor condition. From what I hear, when it rains, some of the buildings leak. And I know when I was there, the equipment on hand wasn't exactly the latest or greatest. In fact, during the budgetary battle the last few years, it was suggested that LSU-S just be closed to save the LSU System money. While no movement was ever made on that front, the idea was floated and wasn't exactly shot down.
But, is merging with Tech the answer? And honestly, I don't know. I know Dr. Jim Henderson, who runs the Louisiana University System, is a brilliant guy. I also know that the Louisiana system isn't exactly flush with cash. So, can they really help make the situation out there any better? That remains to be seen. When suggested in 2012, Tech was on board with taking over the LSU campus but said they needed at least 5 years to complete the merger properly. I think Cedric's bill wants Tech to take over immediately, i.e. August 1st (assuming the bill passes).
All I know is that something with LSU-S needs to change. And, back in 2012, the Louisiana Board of Regents and several other groups thought that moving LSU Shreveport into the Louisiana system would solve a lot of problems with the University. And, let's be honest here, if it keeps the school open and functional, what could this change possibly hurt? Because, in my humble opinion, our current set up isn't doing anyone any good.