Monday, 03 December 2012 11:59
by IND Monthly Staff
The high cost of higher ed cuts
Since April, two system presidents and three campus leaders have either retired, been dismissed or announced they would retire from Louisiana’s higher education system, The Advocate notes in a Monday story analyzing the long-term effects of the Jindal administration’s decision to cut $425 million from higher ed budgets since 2008.
Those cuts have also led research faculty to look elsewhere — taking with them the millions in research grants. Now department heads, deans, faculty — and yes, even students — are checking out of the state. What’s more, some universities’ accreditation may be at risk, not to mention the blows being dealt to quality education.
Other universities see the state as fertile recruting ground, according to the story:
Former LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said Louisiana’s dire budget outlook led other schools to target him in the months before August when he left the Baton Rouge campus to lead the Colorado State University system.
On Friday, Martin said he’s heard from several people at LSU who have asked him to be a reference as they look for new jobs.
“There’s always going to be people leaving, but what we’re seeing at LSU is people making lots of lateral moves,” Martin said. “The image of Louisiana among higher ed folks is of a state still struggling. It makes Louisiana vulnerable. I hope people choose to stay because LSU really is a fine institution.”
Louisiana’s solution to balancing the state budget has just been cut, cut, cut higher ed, while other states have found more creative ways to keep higher education adequately funded, the story points out.
Barry Erwin, head of the Council for A Better Louisiana, which lobbies on public policy, told the newspaper Louisiana has a good example of how to protect higher education next door in Texas.
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OCT 22 This entertaining short (15 minutes) film on Munchies is all about Boudin. Thank goodness it's just a documentary-style piece filled with the voices and faces of south Louisiana, as opposed to outsiders waxing poetic about our regional specialties. But be warned, there is some pretty graphic pig butchery going on here, so if you're squeamish it may not be for you.
OCT 22 A state judge threw out the lawsuit of a former employee of the LSU Alumni Association, the Advocate reports here. The employee had claimed the former director of the group gave her a job so she'd have sex with him, and after she left agreed to continue to pay her -- so she'd have sex with him. Apparently you get no points for hutzpah.
OCT 22 Education blogger Mike Deshotels writes about the retraction of the Cowen report in this post. However you slice it, the Recovery School District is still failing, he says. (But Mike, doesn't that depend on what the intention was? If no one ever meant the RSD to fix public education, it's working perfectly, isn't it?)
OCT 22 A major Jindal donor was allowed to avoid the competitive bid process in the purchase of a state office building in Monroe, blogger Tom Aswell reports in this post on Louisiana Voice. The circumstances he lays out here are pretty stinky.
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OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the amoeba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
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