Louisiana governor could hire university system presidents under proposed bill 

    The Louisiana Legislature is mulling a proposal that would give Republican Gov. Jeff Landry and his successors unprecedented power over higher education in the state—the ability to hire university system presidents.

    As Louisiana Illuminator reports, Senate Bill 462 by Sen. Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs, would give the governor the authority to appoint chairs and other officers for hundreds of boards and commissions as long as he sends notice to the affected groups within 180 days of taking office. The bill is of concern to higher education leaders, as state law defines university system presidents as officers. 

    “This fight is all about universities,” Landry said in an interview with WAFB-TV. “The people of this state are ready for these universities to start taking some responsibility for putting out students that are graduating with degrees that they can’t even get a job for.” 

    On the other hand, university faculty have raised concerns about how the proposal could lead to increased politicization of higher education in the state.  

    “The proposed process would make higher education inherently more political and less stable by leading to larger swings in priorities as governors change, which I think would deteriorate the campus climate and quality of education we can provide,” Dan Tirone, an LSU political science professor who serves as Faculty Senate vice president, says in a statement to the Illuminator

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