Discussing Mergers: Making Sense of Consolidating?

Consolidating governmental services to eliminate duplication and save money makes sense when the economy is doing well, but especially so when it’s not.

As discussion heats up about consolidating services in Escambia County and the City of Pensacola, a similar debate is taking place in some states that support the nation’s historically black colleges.

In November, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour created a firestorm when, because of declining revenues, he proposed merging Alcorn State, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State, the state’s three historically black colleges and universities — HBCUs — into one university.

The merger would save the state $180 million, officials said.

Campus Life

Louisiana Universities to Fight Cuts

LSU, Southern University and University of New Orleans faculty members are meeting late this week to map plans for a statewide mobilization effort in defense of state higher education funding.

LSU Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope on Thursday invited a UNO representative to LSU’s Thursday meeting “regarding the overall plight of higher education.” The two of them are meeting today with the Southern Faculty Senate.

Steven Striffler, a UNO Latin American studies professor, said he is sick of hearing that $250 million in statewide budget cuts to colleges the past 14 months are only examples of “belt-tightening or feeling the pinch.”