As well as any bills can do, HB 588 and HB 696 will increase the chances of the myriad of higher education governing boards in Louisiana having informed and accomplished members serve as opposed to political hacks with minds set more on making sure certain interests get “theirs” than with higher education.
Both proposed by Rep. Steve Carter, HB 588 would amend the Constitution to allow for additional qualifications to serve on these boards, as well as to require appointments to attempt to reflect diversity in race and gender for the Board of Regents and for the Board of Supervisors of Community and Technical Colleges. HB 696 would spell out those qualifications. Yesterday, the former advanced, while the latter got hung up over specifics and will be fine-tuned for later debate.
Presently, of the 75 members across the boards, or 93 percent of their entire memberships, that the governor appoints, the only qualification is that certain numbers come from certain congressional districts. As written, HB 696 in all five instances would mandate that a member be an experienced high-ranking officer of a company in a prominent industry; and/or hold a master of business administration degree or have lengthy private sector managerial experience; and/or be three graduates of state public schools with associate, baccalaureate, and post-baccalaureate degrees among them; and/or one be nominated from five by two “good government” groups and a business interest group; have one who has experienced in economic or workforce development in the public sector; and have one who has budgeting and human resources experience in the public sector.