As the leaders of the LSU System push toward re-aligning the group of institutions in the system, students are pushing back against their lack of input in the process.
The University’s Transition Advisory Team consists of CEOs, lawyers and professionals, but no students or faculty members sit on the team.
“I have received a number of emails from students as well as had several students come meet with me about their concern of lack of representation,” said Student Government President Taylor Cox. “Some of the people on the team have no background in education. Why would you have them over faculty, staff or students?”
Board of Supervisors member Justin Mannino said students will have involvement opportunities on the sub-committees, which are charged with analyzing specific areas and recommending changes.
“There will be a big push to make sure there is student involvement,” Mannino said. “Each chair will make sure he solicits the right students … to inform the team.”
According to the University’s Office of Budget and Planning, tuition and fees consist of more than 60 percent of LSU’s operating budget.
“If I’m paying more than 50 percent of something, my voice will be heard,” Cox said.
J Ryan Hudson, the 2010-2011 LSU SG president, said students on the sub-committees are there to appease the LSU committee.
“The sub-committees are just generating ideas,” Hudson said. “There is no binding piece that says students’ input will be in the report generated by the advisory team. … There is no student or faculty on that team fighting for their ideas.”
Mannino said the issue needs to be evaluated.
Hudson and Cox said involving students and faculty has no disadvantages.
“We offer a diversity of opinion,” Cox said. “We come here to be thinkers and motivators and people who change things and make a positive impact, and they’re not letting us do that.”