Local citizen leaders from Shreveport have floated the old idea to merge my institution, Louisiana State University Shreveport, with Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State University Medical Center Shreveport. While there are as many political reasons to do this as educative ones, if done for the latter something like it could improve educational efficiency in the state.
The idea isn’t new, and its history shows the political perils. During the term of the previous LSUS chancellor in the first part of the 1990s, he brought up the idea or merging us and Tech, which essentially got him run out of his job and town. A map reveals much of the logic behind his idea: LSUMCS is just miles from LSUS, which then is 70 miles west of Tech in Ruston, which is just five miles east of Grambling State University in Grambling and 30 miles west of the University of Louisiana – Monroe in Monroe. Also, 65 miles to the southeast is Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. Why scatter all these centers of higher education across an area of population of just a half million people?
Tech seemed the likeliest candidate for a merger.