Baton Rouge isn’t the only LSU campus with a strong opinion about the system reorganization.
Together, the LSU campuses in Alexandria, Eunice and Shreveport, alongside LSU in Baton Rouge, make up the LSU System that is undergoing a reorganization process that administrators say they hope will streamline efficiency.
The Alexandria, Eunice and Shreveport universities serve diverse student populations that reach into every corner of the state, and each campus has unique qualities that set it apart from the others.
LSU Alexandria Chancellor David Manuel said one of the greatest things about LSU is the system’s diversity — research centers, medical schools, a law school and an agriculture school, among other entities — which he calls the LSU footprint.
“Bringing together LSUS, LSUA and LSUE under the umbrella of the flagship will take LSU to the next level,” Manuel said. “The reorganization will look at the strengths of each and make the system more efficient, but the footprint is going to remain the same.”
According to Manuel, LSUA already works in conjunction with the Baton Rouge campus, “piggybacking” on accounting systems, human resource systems and purchasing.
“We’re already realizing some of the financial and economic benefits of reorganization,” Manuel said.
Cost-efficient ways to work together are especially important to the Alexandria campus.
“The biggest thing for central Louisiana is cost,” Manuel said. “[Central Louisiana] is burdened by lower income families. Everywhere we can save money and pass it onto students and families — we should do that.”
LSU Eunice Chancellor William Nunez echoed Manuel’s comments.
“You’ve got to give the system credit for trying to look for how we can get more out of what we have,” Nunez said.
For LSUE, the only two-year campus within the LSU System, cost-efficiency means keeping students within the system by encouraging them to transfer to the Baton Rouge campus, LSUA or LSUS after earning their degree.
“We need to get them into the LSU net and keep them there as long as we can,” Nunez said. “We’re the only campus that can provide direct transfer students, but we’re losing students to other schools in the region. Greater collaboration will get them to LSUA or Baton Rouge. We can really capitalize on this.”
Before serving as LSUE’s chancellor, Nunez worked as the vice chancellor for academic affairs at Indiana University’s Kokomo campus.
Indiana University was a comprehensive system with eight campuses that provided the same quality of education and programming, Nunez said.
“We behaved and collaborated as one IU. The campuses helped each other out,” Nunez said.
Nunez said working in unison will produce the maximum benefit for the system.
Collaboration is also a familiar concept for LSU Shreveport, whose Commitment Plan promotes working with other campuses to increase enrollment and retention rates by improving educational opportunities for traditional and non-traditional students alike.
According to LSUS Interim Chancellor Paul Sisson, the plan has “already laid out cooperation between LSUS and the Baton Rouge campus” and includes “cooperative degree programs” that will be further integrated as the reorganization process presses on.
The degree programs will involve courses that include students from multiple campuses and would vary depending on the material — some could be taught online while others involve shared resources, Sisson said.
Sisson said while his campus will receive benefits of reorganization, the larger picture is what the optimal solution is for the system as a whole.
“We need to focus on the optimal outcome for Louisiana,” Sisson said. “A reorganized LSU that reaches into every corner of the state — a true flagship university.”