From our friends at the Save UNO Coalition:
The Save UNO Coalition encourages everyone who opposes the SUNO/UNO merger and supports higher ed to email or call your reps and senators today! The bill that would merge SUNO and UNO is going up for discussion and a vote in the house most likely tomorrow, and will be up in the senate soon. But, they need a 2/3 majority of each to pass this, and it looks tight. We really could make a difference and win this fight to keep both institutions open and protect a vital historically Black institution.
Below you can find links for your reps/senators and their contact info, as well as a form letter. Please personalize if you are able, and it also helps to add if you are a student, grad, parent, faculty, or staff at SUNO or UNO.
We would so appreciate it if you could take two minutes to send an email, and even more helpful would be to forward to any lists you're on and to ask your organizational members, family, friends, and coworkers to please make their opinions heard. It's close, but I really think we can win this one. Thanks so much!
Find your Louisiana representative and senator:
Find their contact info:
For the house: http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Reps/H_Reps_Email.asp
For the senate: http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Senators/e-mail.asp
As your constituent, I urge you to vote NO on HB 537 and SB 183, to oppose the merger of Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO) and the University of New Orleans (UNO); and to fully fund all institutions in Louisiana’s public higher education system.
Merging the two universities will create higher administrative costs for consultants to advise to the transition, rather than funneling money into maintaining and improving the many excellent programs that exist at both institutions. Estimates for the total cost of the merger process are largely unknown and greatly underestimated in the proposed legislation. Furthermore, SUNO’s role in the community as an historically Black university is extremely important. It should be protected and able to decide it’s own direction as an autonomous institution. The current version of the merger also threatens UNO’s position as an important research institution.
Transferring to the University of Louisiana (UL) system is not a viable alternative to improve New Orleans higher education. This transfer would lead to further cuts to funding and would destabilize tenure for our dedicated faculty. The Jindal administration severely cut state general fund support for higher education in 2009, most notably resulting in a 30% budget reduction, from $67 million to $45 million for UNO that was covered by federal stimulus money -- stimulus money that members of the Jindal administration criticized as wasteful government spending. Instead of an expensive merger followed by more cost cutting, state general fund support to UNO, SUNO, and the entire system of higher education in Louisiana should be restored to 2008-09 levels.
There is no evidence to show that the proposed merger of SUNO and UNO will ultimately improve the quality of public higher education in New Orleans, protect the integrity of our respective institutions, or save money. I urge you to invest in Louisiana’s future by funding both institutions and maintaining their accessibility to working class students. Oppose the merger and vote against HB 537 and SB 183!