A proposal to transfer LSU-Shreveport into the University of Louisiana System, and then merge the institution with Louisiana Tech cleared its first hurdle Tuesday morning in the state House Education Committee.
The panel voted 14-4 vote to advance the legislation.
House Bill 964 backed by state Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro, has been advertised as a way to expand many of Louisiana Tech’s academic programs into the Shreveport community.
The proposed consolidation would mean Louisiana Tech would have full campuses in Ruston and Shreveport.
Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport argued in favor of HB964 by saying LSU-S doesn’t have the vision or the degree programs the area needs to grow.
LSU-S, Carmody said, is in a “death spiral.”
Opponents of the merger, including interim LSU System President William Jenkins argued that the Shreveport and Bossier City communities would be better served by growing LSU’s Shreveport campus into “a first class research institution in the third biggest city in the state.”
Mergers in other parts of the country have been costly and, ultimately end up failing, he said.
“If you embark on this, you have about a 20 percent chance of success,” he said.