Louisiana HBCU in trouble

With what seems like an over abundance of reports being published questioning the validity of HBCUs, this questioning is finally turning into what appears to be the beginning of an all out assault. The future of Southern University at New Orleans now hangs in the balance of the Senate and House Education Committee later this week as the SUNO merger bill comes to vote first tomorrow May 4 and Thursday, May 5.

Here is the proposal below:

Senate Bill 183 and House Bills 391 and 537

Louisiana Senator Conrad Appel (Dist. 9, Metairie) filed Senate Bill 183 which aims to create the University of Louisiana-New Orleans.

According to an April 15th press release from the Louisiana Legislature, “The new system of higher education for the region proposed by this legislation will have two parts: a new University of Louisiana at New Orleans (ULNO), within the University of Louisiana System, and a branch campus of Delgado Community Technical College. ULNO will have two colleges. The first will have a selective urban research focus,offering scientific and technical courses of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The second will offer a more traditional four-year undergraduate experience for those students who do not meet the admissions criteria of the research college. Students with demonstrated academic success will be able to transfer from one college to the other.”

Louisiana Representative Jim Tucker (Dist. 86) has filed two bills. House Bill 391 calls for “the Board of Regents and the management boards” to transfer “their powers, duties, and responsibilities to a newly created La. Postsecondary Education Board of Trustees.” HB 537, which calls for the merging of SUNO and UNO.

The Merger Proposal

On January 18, 2011, Governor Bobby Jindal made a request of the Louisiana Board of Regents to study the feasibility of merging SUNO and UNO and moving both institutions under the umbrella of the University of Louisiana System. The study was completed, and the results were delivered to the Board of Regents in a March 14th meeting.

On March 15th, the Board of Regents voted 9 to 6 to accept Gov. Jindal’s proposal to recommend theNational Center for Higher Education Management Systems’ “Alternative B” plan to “include a comprehensive community college and a new multi-unit University of Greater New Orleans. The University of Greater New Orleans would include an urban research university unit and a metropolitan university unit each headed by a chief academic officer under a single president located on the current site of the University of New Orleans.

“The University College would be co-located with the Metropolitan University unit and be under the jurisdiction of the community college. The two academic units of the University of Greater New Orleans would have distinct missions. As units of a single multi-unit university, the urban research university unit and metropolitan university unit would be co-located on the same campus and share many of the core administrative and support services.”

Within that same vote, the Board recommended including the Southern University System’s proposal“A Focused Learning Approach to Strengthen the Role of Public Higher Education in Building a Greater New Orleans: The Honore Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement”. On March 14th, Gov. Jindal announced that he would write legislation recommending Alternative B.

taken from: http://suno.edu/Alumni_and_Friends/merger_proposal.html


4 thoughts on “Louisiana HBCU in trouble

  1. “Southern University and A&M College is a publicly supported, coeducational, land-grant, historically Black, comprehensive institution…”http://www.subr.edu/aboutsubr.html

    Although it’s disheartening that HBCUs are being merged in this way, as publicly funded institutions there isn’t necessarily an obligation to keep the schools as they are. The honest truth is that state budgets for educational funding being cut deeper and deeper, and streamlining resources is an obvious choice.I’ve heard of similar rumblings of mergers at NCAT as well.

    Instead of being upset at news such as this, HBCU alumni and administration should really be INNOVATIVE in how they approach the future of their institutions. Relying solely on legacy alone is not getting them the students or income that is necessary to sustain them into the future. I feel like a lot of times there is righteous indignation (we deserve to be here!), but there needs to be more organizing in a cohesive way around this issue. I’d be interested in seeing what black social organizations (Links, Greeks, Boule) are doing to collective address the myriad issues HBCUs have. Maybe this blog will be a conduit for that collaboration, who knows…..


    • You are absolutely right. Until HBCU’s work collectively and become innovative, the HBCU’s will disappear slowly one by one. I had some ideas to share, but so far have not gained an audience. HBCUs can generate 100 million a year and gain dependable donors with some effort.

      • Thank you for your post Derrick. Please share your thoughts on the efforts HBCUs need to generate capital. Our visitors stop by at different times and would love to continue this conversation with you.

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