LA Board Of Regents Approve Initiatives To Address Changing Landscape Of Higher Education

BATON ROUGE – On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved a series of initiatives, which address the current and projected fiscal realities for Louisiana higher education. These initiatives are supported by four guiding principles and seven distinct actions, which promote enhanced accountability and efficiency.

         “Louisiana can no longer sustain a state-supported $1.571 B enterprise (08-09) on $700 M,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph C. Rallo. “These initiatives require no changes in Louisiana’s Constitution or statutes, nor do they involve campus/institutional closures. We believe that this is a huge step in the right direction.”

         Aligned to the Elevate Louisiana mission, the approved initiatives are guided by the following principles:

 

• Access to undergraduate education is essential to the population and economy of Louisiana.

• Access to graduate education must be re-evaluated from a narrower state-wide perspective.

• Resources must be provided for essential cutting-edge research at selected sites.

• Postsecondary resources must be targeted to respond to local/regional workforce needs.

 

         The Board will utilize a framework designed around seven initiatives:

 

• Approve, as appropriate, revisions to existing role, scope and mission statements.

• Develop and Adopt a Policy on mergers/consolidations of institutions.

• Develop and Adopt a Policy on Financial Early Warning Systems and Financial Stress.

• Revise Regents’ Policy on Low-Completer Review to Elevate the Threshold for Review.

• Conduct a Statewide and Regional Review of all Graduate programs.

• Conduct a Statewide and Regional Review of Targeted Undergraduate Programs.

• Review Degree Program Requirements and Available Courses to Encourage/Reward Structured Pathways to Degrees with Limited Course Choice.

 

         The Board of Regents plans to further develop the process and timeline along with collaborating with the systems to develop policies that will support this work. “These initiatives will take time to implement,” said Rallo, “but it serves as the first step towards reshaping Louisiana public higher education to match the new fiscal realities.” 

         Deputy Commissioner Larry Tremblay added that these actions will ensure that Louisiana public postsecondary education continues to strategically invest in high-quality programs that meet the needs of the students and stakeholders. “We believe that these efforts will allow our institutions to focus on what they do well and provide an opportunity to strengthen higher education in this state,” said Tremblay.

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