Jindal has trained his college presidents well

101 dog tricks

By Robert Mann

Every morning, our dog, Chloe, performs tricks for my wife in return for small treats. She’ll sit, roll over and dance for a few tasty morsels.

In this way, Louisiana’s higher education leaders resemble my dog. They’ll roll over for a little budgetary kibble from Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Just this past week, in a scene befitting the Westminster Dog Show, Jindal’s aides organized an event at LSU to announce an end to six years of draconian higher education budget cuts. Groomed and obedient as the best pure breeds, the system presidents and other education leaders lined up behind Jindal. You could almost see them panting as the governor flung his scraps on the floor.

At first, what Jindal threw out seemed like a real meal. The governor said he would increase funding for Louisiana colleges and universities by $142 million. By one estimate, it’s only a 6.6 percent increase over the current fiscal year, but at least it’s not a cut.

Upon closer inspection, however, we learn that Jindal’s proposal is to actual reinvestment what Alpo is to filet mignon – a cheap substitute. Of the additional $142 million, $88 million will come directly out of the pockets of students (and the TOPS program) in the form of increased tuition. Jindal will generously allow students and their parents to pay more to attend college and will magnanimously permit those schools to keep the money.

After discounting tuition increases, Jindal will shower higher education with an additional $54 million. To provide some perspective, the entire higher education budget this year is $2.6 billion. Jindal’s increase in additional state appropriations is a measly 5 percent. Keep in mind that since he became governor, he’s slashed state appropriations to higher education more than any governor in the nation — by 80 percent.

Yet, just like my dog, the college presidents lapped up the meager treats Jindal tossed their way. Unlike my dog, however, they weren’t dancing because the scraps are so tasty. They wagged their tails over Jindal’s generosity because they had no choice. He’s their master. They know well what has happened at LSU in recent years, as numerous administrators – including a chancellor and a system president – were fired or chased off because they were unwilling to be a Jindal lapdog.

Continue reading at NOLA.com

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3 Responses to Jindal has trained his college presidents well

  1. Jim Mayer says:

    Jindal the Gov. slashed and cut education, health care and much more. Did away with clinics for preventive medicine; gave moneys losing contracts to public& private groups[ie]hospitals to replace LSU. Jindal the candidate is the tooth fairy rewarding a little to look like a leader destined for Washington[LA]. You can never relieve the devastation he has done to this state. Why hire consultants to save money when we have so many state officials and employees whose “CHARGE” it is to save money in their role in our state. LSU spends more money on consultants than any other state university. The Slaughter Firm seems to have a open door to LSU. Jim.

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    • Patrick Robinson says:

      Jim, for the most part, you are right on target! I am a former CEO of one of the LSU Hospitals. When LSU took over the Charity Hospitals, it was supposed to be the solution to Louisiana’s healthcare problems for the poor. I was one of the few CEOs that survived the transition, so I was in a position to see what LSU could bring to the table. The only significant changes in how the hospitals were managed were massive increases in the number of employees at the Central Office, a sizable budget allocated toward changing the public’s perception of the hospitals, and most of all, the long hours the CEO’s and Medical Directors spent in Baton Rouge listening to consultants! I would love to know the total amount of dollars LSUHSC wasted on clueless consultants and unneeded employees from the time LSUHSC took over until they were downsized to managing one small rural hospital. However, the proof that all of these expenses were unnecessary lies with the LSU Hospital System in Shreveport, which also managed the hospitals in Monroe, and Alexandria. These hospitals were managed independently from the LSUHSC Hospitals and they were a model for efficiency, both in terms of finances and patient quality, so much to the point I hate to see the letters, “L”, “S”, or “U” in their name. I have to blame the privatization of the LSU Hospitals squarely on the back of LSU. However, from what I see and hear in Lake Charles, the change was a good thing. Monies that were once “reallocated” from Moss Regional’s budget back to the LSUHSC Central Office are now being spent on healthcare services for the poor and consultants are nowhere to be found!
      Come to think of, if Jindal wanted to save the state a lot of money, why doesn’t he place the one remaining hospital managed by LSUHSC under the LSU Hospital System in Shreveport. I don’t know what the LSUHSC budget is, but I suspect close to 100 percent of it could be eliminated!

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  2. Insider says:

    Even if this proposed budget passes into law, in addition to being peanuts compared to massive cuts over the past five years, it represents more regressive tax policy from Team Jindal. Much of the tuition increase will be paid for by taxpayers through the merit-based TOPS program. Meanwhile, there is no funding for needs-based scholarships for kids from poor households who struggle to learn in marginal high schools but who might, if given a little help, succeed at a college.So most of what is going on here, if you peel back a layer or two, is an expansion of a middle class tax credit (TOPS) that will help Jindal get the votes to go to DC as a Senator after he passes the reins of Governor to Vitter.

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