Monday, November 02, 2009

Some sense enters the dialog, but it will not last in the Legislature.

Expert: Focus on La. universities | | The Advertiser
Instead of worrying about whether it has too many state universities, Louisiana needs to concentrate on making the ones it has the best they can be, says an out-of-state expert who is serving on a state review panel.

Critics of the higher education system have said having too many campuses — especially those close together — splits limited resources and leads to mediocrity.

David Longanecker, president of the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education and a member of the Louisiana Postsecondary Education Review Commission, says every state has

similar situations, but the key is to define what each institution should do and then fund it appropriately.

"The real question isn't whether there are too many, but whether you have the critical mass to be viable," he said in an interview.

By "critical mass," Longa-necker said he means enough enrollment to economically warrant running a four-year university and "faculty adequate to do the task."