NATIONAL OPINION: College mergers make slow progress in Louisiana

By New Orleans Times-Picayune

The state Legislature took a modest step toward streamlining its higher education system by adopting a bill to merge the Northeast Louisiana Technical campuses with Louisiana Delta Community College.
The legislation calls for the merger of six campuses of the Louisiana Technical College with Delta and is intended to enhance services and programs.
“The merger will also help us become more efficient over time and better leverage available resources,” Delta Chancellor Luke Robins told the Monroe News-Star. “The merger is less about the colleges than it is about students and better serving their needs all across northeast Louisiana.”
That should be the focus, and it’s encouraging that state lawmakers moved forward with the merger bill, which Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law last week. The merger still needs the approval of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board and must be approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Unfortunately, another proposed merger, between Louisiana Tech in Ruston and Louisiana State University at Shreveport, didn’t fare as well. It needed a super majority to pass. When it became clear that the votes weren’t there, the sponsor, Rep. Jim Fannin, pulled it in favor of a resolution asking the LSU System to live up to promises to improve the Shreveport campus.
The point of that merger was also to strengthen higher education offerings for students, this time in northwest Louisiana, and it’s a shame that didn’t happen. But the progress in the technical college merger is a step in the right direction.
-New Orleans Times-Picayune

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