LSU merger rumors

June 24, 2011

In the past Louisiana State University has been billed at as our top competitor when it comes to science and technology.

Let’s forget the past and imagine the potential of two well-known schools within the state if they were to be affiliated with one another.

In May, many students were less than thrilled to find out that LSU Chancellor Michael Martin would be speaking at Tech’s spring graduation.

However, this is not Martin’s most recent association with Tech’s campus.

According to the Baton Rouge Advocate website, Martin said that adding Tech into the LSU system could make for a stronger leading university in Baton Rouge.

The transfer implies that Tech could basically take the place of University of New Orleans, which will be moved to University of Louisiana System, if pending legislation is finalized.

Though there have been rumors of the reorganization of Louisiana’s higher education that suggest the alliance of the two schools, the move is a long way from being put into action.

According to the New Orleans City of Business website, even if the legislation is passed, it will be a year before the change is finalized.

According to The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Ind., an attempt to shift Tech would require a study by the state Board of Regents, and then must be receive approval from state lawmakers. This means it cannot be debated within the current legislative session.

Though this idea is currently being brought to light, this is not something that just occurred yesterday.

“There’s some collaborations I believe we can do better if Tech were in our system,” Martin said June 16 during a Chancellor-Staff Senate Forum. “I believe we need to look at some of those things and so does Dan Reneau.”

The transition could be beneficial to both universities, especially when it comes to nanotechnology and biomedical engineering.

“I see some benefit,” Martin said. “We are more similar than all the other institutions in the state.”

Remember this transition is not occurring any time soon, and keep in mind that it will not be rushed or done in any type of distasteful manner.

“Whatever we’re going to do, we’re going to do it first class,” Martin said. “It’s not always going to be comfortable, and it’s not always going to be optimal at the time, but we have to take a long-term view.”

Maybe there is some positivity to come from associating ourselves with another form of higher education. Maybe old unreasonable grudges should be forgotten and the idea of collaboration should not be looked at as a burden, but rather as an improvement for both institutions.