Letters: College councils urge voters to support Amendment 1 | Letters

On the Dec. 5 ballot, Amendment 1 gives Louisiana voters the opportunity to increase the membership of our state’s four higher education management boards. The Lod Cook Act, passed unanimously in the recent legislative session, is named after a former LSU student who embodied service at his alma mater even though he resided out of state. Had he been on the board, his leadership and contributions to LSU and the state would have been immeasurable.

Currently, our four university management boards – Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Louisiana State University System, Southern University System, and University of Louisiana System – are made up of Louisiana residents with diverse interests and expertise. These councils set the strategic vision for the future and manage the operations of Louisiana’s colleges and universities, enriching our institutions with a clear purpose.

The successful passage of Amendment 1 will expand the number of board members through the appointment of up to two out-of-state residents to each board. Our colleges and universities have alumni and leaders with connections to our institutions across the country and around the world. Ideal board members could offer suggestions on how to increase the value of degrees in the workforce, channel donations to help scholarships, and open doors for internships at major national companies. Many of these eminent figures would bring significant value and highly relevant global perspectives to our institutions. In fact, when you examine the composition of higher education management boards nationwide, you will find that 30 other states already allow outside residents to serve on their higher education boards. We want our graduates to have all the advantages to compete nationally.

Louisiana residents, most invested in the work of our colleges and universities, will retain the majority on the board. At least fourteen members – two from each of Louisiana’s congressional districts, an ordinary member and a student board member – would all be Louisiana representatives. The other two extraordinary seats would only be appointed to an out-of-state resident upon recommendation of the board of directors, approval of the governor, and confirmation of the Louisiana Senate.

Our colleges and universities are poised to create the most educated generation in the history of this state, a necessary outcome for Louisiana to be competitive nationally and globally. Louisiana’s future is determined by the readiness of its people. We need citizenship, rooted in Louisiana, but ready to thrive in the ever-changing economy of the 21st century. As chairmen of the board, we welcome the opportunity to invite a fresh perspective, as appropriate.

Whether you vote in advance or vote on December 5th, we hope you will join us in voting yes on Amendment 1.


Chairman of the Supervisory Board of LSU

Red Stick

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