Legislative Update - May 23, 2011

From: Joe King, Acting Chancellor
To: All students, faculty and staff
Date: May 23, 2011
Re: Legislation Affecting UNO

I wanted to take this opportunity to update the campus on the status of legislation that could be very significant for the future of UNO. As has been reported in the news, HB537 and SB 183, which would have merged the University of New Orleans and Southern University at New Orleans, did not pass in the House of Representatives.

Speaker Tucker and Senator Appel have filed amended bills which would move the University of New Orleans to the University of Louisiana System. Based on what I have heard, the filing of these amended bills appears to have the support of many in the UNO community, including alumni , foundation members and other University supporters. Speaker Tucker has held open meetings with faculty and staff twice this year to express his support for UNO and he has said he hopes to provide UNO with the most supportive environment possible. Senator Appel, in his visit to the campus in the last month and subsequent meetings with UNO supporters, has echoed Speaker Tucker’s commitment.

It my understanding that the bills will follow the same timeline as was discussed during the campus meeting last month by authors Speaker Tucker and Sen. Appel. If approval is granted by SACS, UNO would become a member of the University of Louisiana System, grouped with its research peers, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Louisiana Tech.

We are encouraged that last week’s events provided some clarity about the future of our university, which is one of New Orleans’ foremost assets. For more than five decades, UNO has offered an affordable, top-notch education; engaged in cutting edge research; and contributed to the social, economic and cultural well-being of the city and the region. We will continue to do the same and, in my opinion, we should strive to do even better.