Walter Pierce

Panel adopts four streamlining recommendations

by Walter Pierce

Members of the Postsecondary Education Review Commission adopted four recommendations this week aimed at streamlining higher education in Louisiana following a two-day meeting. According to a PERC press release, the commission recommends:
â-  The Board of Regents, in consultation with the management boards, undertake a rigorous statewide review of academic programs for unnecessary duplication and excess hours required for degree completion and eliminate such duplications and excess hours accordingly.
â- The Board of Regents, in consultation with the management boards and institutions, undertake a rigorous review of role, scope and mission statements with the aim of eliminating or minimizing mission creep in order to create a better fitting system of higher education.
â- The Board of Regents continue to conduct regular reviews of academic degree programs that consider the following:
a. Program quality
b. Alignment with statewide and regional workforce needs and economic development priorities
c. Cost effectiveness
d. Student completion rates
e. Institutional role, scope and mission
f. Residency of students enrolled and to the extent possible,
g. Information on graduate employment and continued education
â- The Board of Regents establish a formula by which to uniformly allocate funding for all associate degree programs and to implement such formula not later than the beginning if the 2010-2011 academic year.
Meanwhile, political columnist John Maginnis reports today that a coalition of chambers of commerce and business groups “is forming in aims of building a consensus of local support for the reforms.”

Citing a source, Maginnis writes that the state’s largest chambers along with Blueprint Louisiana will unveil a concensus-building plan in the coming weeks. According to Maginnis, the coalition will focus on areas of change that include more flexibility for universities to raise tuition, increasing admission standards, funding colleges based on retention and graduation rates, and eliminating duplication.

It’s unclear whether the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce is part of this coalition. The INDsider has requested response from GLCC President Rob Guidry.