Method in UNO/SUNO merger madness?
However, when it comes to using his personal political capital to implement the politically-difficult, but necessary structural changes needed by our state, the “Roads Scholar,” and I’m being kind here, suffers from risk aversion.
Jindal’s proposal to merge Southern University at New Orleans (“SUNO”) and the University of New of New Orleans (“UNO”) makes a lot of sense from a fiscal and management standpoint. However, doing so without having discussions with key leges doesn’t make a lot of political sense.
The political insiders at the Capitol believe that while the merger might get the necessary two-thirds vote in the House, it is unlikely to pass the Senate. The term “dead on arrival” comes to mind.
The media and pundits around the state are scratching their heads wondering why Jindal would be taking on such a divisive issue in an election year. It’s not as if he doesn’t have his hands full trying to keep the state from running off the “fiscal cliff.”
Perhaps the timing of the merger talk is not as strange as it appears. Perhaps it is really a strategy to simply move UNO into the University of Louisiana System.
Merger or not, House Speaker Jim Tucker, former UNO Chancellor Tim Ryan and other long-time supporters of UNO have publicly indicated that moving the school into the UL System may be better than remaining within the LSU System.
Legislation to combine the two schools and then put them into the UL System will in all likelihood be introduced in the House during the 2011 Regular Session.
At some point during the session, Team Jindal could strike a compromise with the Lege Black Caucus which is opposed to merging SUNO and opposed to removing it from the Southern System. In return for their support to move UNO into the UL System, SUNO would remain as an independent campus in the Southern University System.
The legislation could easily be amended to eliminate any reference to SUNO and to simply move UNO into the UL System.
Given the budget issues the LSU System is facing in the regular session, it would be unlikely to invest too much lobbying or other capital into the fight to keep UNO.
This merger talk could turn out to be an easy win for Jindal. It would allow him to pad his political resume’ with a change in higher education other than budget cutting. He could present it as the beginning of a new management plan for higher ed.
Regardless, before we know the long-term implications of this “plan,” the “Roads Scholar” will be long gone from our state.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
Around 50 children and their parents shuffled in through the doorway at the...
A man who is believed to have attempted to kidnap a 17-year-old girl from a Boutte...
A 2002 BMW, 1999 Mercedes ML3 and a 2007 Ford F150 are among the 29 vehicles that...
Employees of Home Depot, along with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post...
A suspect in the December 2012 murder of Norco resident Jay Bertucci was...
Steve Todd may have been the last participant in Saturday’s Bridge Run to cross the...
Commercial refrigeration, A/C, Heating, Industrial Refrigeration and A/C, Emergency Generators and service, Building Entergy conservation services, Solar power systems, Heat pump specialist. All brands serviced and installed
Gas poisoning victim was New Orleans scientist - 9789 views
A woman who died in an meticulously planned gas poisoning suicide in Paradis has been identified as a New Orleans scientist.