higher education

Dr. Willie Larkin is leaning on his experiences in motivational speaking to rally the Grambling State University student body.  Larkin was named the ninth president of Grambling late Thursday afternoon.

"I'm really impressed with the students," says Larkin, "I can tell they are focused and committed to their education."  The chief of staff to the president of Morgan State University reveals that becoming president at a university had been a long-time goal. But, he says, he wanted it to be at a university with a strong history and tradition.

Louisiana’s Senate worked Monday, forgoing the holiday barbeque. The Senate Finance Committee did do some grilling however, as Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols gave them a rundown of HB 1, as approved by the House.

“They did include $31.1 million for LSU Medical School in Shreveport,” Nichols said of the House “priority list” – a wish list if more revenue is found.

Ras Asan

Derrius Quarles and Ras Asan are co-founders of the education funding start-up Million Dollar Scholar.

Growing up in Chicago with few resources, Derrius Quarles shocked everyone when he took the initiative and won over a million dollars in scholarships and awards to attend college. As an undergraduate at Morehouse College, he met Ras Asan, and the two decided to take Derrius' know-how to more students who could use it.

For the first time in months, LSU System President F. King Alexander was able to relax a bit over the weekend.

“I spent it with our daughter, at her soccer tournament Saturday and Sunday.”

Last Thursday, Louisiana’s full House passed some revenue raising bills, alleviating some of Alexander’s worry that no solution to the $1.6 billion budget deficit – and the crippling cuts looming over higher education – would be found. Today, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to add that additional funding into the budget bill, with the bulk going toward higher education.

Alexander says the situation appears brighter than before, but, “We’ve got a long ways to go. We’re not there yet.”

Eve Abrams

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services helps people tackle civil legal issues for a stronger, safer, better life.

James Welch is a staff attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, and two days a week he works at a place called Single Stop.

“We have so many students who come in here when they just need a rest, a place to come where no one is snarling at them,” laughs Welch. “Unfortunately, it’s tough. This is like an oasis.”

Louisiana’s House Appropriations Committee has been asking every agency to present their worst-case scenario when showing up for budget hearings. Wednesday, the committee got the grim prognosis—full force—from higher education.

“Higher education would be reduced by $600-million. That’s an 82-percent reduction from 14-15,” legislative budget analyst Willis Brewer stated.

Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock

The number of Louisiana students entering college has risen, according to new data from the State Department of Education.

More than 22,000 public school students across the state enrolled in two- and four-year colleges last fall. That's an all-time high, and an increase of six percent from the year before.

Looking at New Orleans alone, the increase in college-bound students was even higher — a 15 percent jump from the previous year.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe and surrounding community opened the doors to its new International Student Center Tuesday.

The center was funded by a donation from ULM alum Eric Liew.  Liew, a CEO for a medical supply company, says the house provides many conveniences for students when they first arrive at the university.  "A large kitchen to prepare their favorite foods, TV viewing areas, bedrooms, laundry area, all convenient," says Liew.

“You have to remember what you may be losing in the higher education system as you go into deeper cuts,” warns Public Affairs Research Council president Robert Travis Scott.

Scott addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, focusing on PAR’s new report, “Innovation in Louisiana”, which analyzes state support for university research programs. Those programs bring in grant money up front, and licensing revenue from patents for years afterwards. Scott notes that continued state budget cuts to higher education are impacting the amounts and numbers of research grants Louisiana’s universities are able to access.

Legislators Urged To Support Higher Ed

Mar 30, 2015

Legislators, city officials, and business leaders spoke to University of Louisiana at Monroe students, faculty, and community members about proposed cuts to the state's public colleges and universities.  The forum was hosted by the ULM Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and Student Government Association.

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