Time to Fix Higher Ed

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By Dayne Sherman

Novelist Ernest Hemingway said, “Never mistake motion for action.” These are appropriate words for today’s state budget crisis, especially as it relates to Louisiana higher education.

Currently, most legislators are playing like they want to save the colleges and universities from catastrophic failure, but it’s just a cruel game.

Let’s take three examples. Sen. Mack “Bodi” White, Rep. Chris Broadwater, and Rep. Steve Pugh. Let’s call them the “Three Jindal Amigos.”

They want you to think they are doing something significant to stop the bleeding, yet I challenge any reader to find three more faithful legislators to Gov. Bobby Jindal and his political agenda. They have been “100 Percenters” for Jindal over the years, and the habit of being 100 Percenters is hard to break.

To be sure, the folks back home want to see their legislators concerned about the possibility of exigency (bankruptcy for universities) and the closure of schools such as Southeastern Louisiana University and LSU. As a result, legislators seeking reelection talk a good game. But by going along with the governor’s agenda, these same legislators actually helped destroy the state bill by bill and budget by budget. Cutting Southeastern by $50 million didn’t happen by Jindal alone. No, legislators approved the budgets.

My message to the Three Jindal Amigos is fix it. Fix the disaster you helped create. Make higher education whole. And if you can’t fix what you have helped destroy, please resign from office on June 12, the day after the legislative session ends, and don’t even think about running for reelection in the fall.

The buck has to stop somewhere.

And citizens have a responsibility, too. Don’t let Swindle Jindal and the lapdog legislators destroy Southeastern. The school was started in 1925 and made it through the Stock Market Crash, Great Depression, World War II, Korea, Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs, as well as the Vietnam War. It even survived disco and urban cowboy. Southeastern weathered the Oil Bust and Edwin Edwards, all the Gulf Wars and 9/11. Hurricanes from Katrina to Isaac. The Great Recession. Deep Water Horizon and the BP oil spill.

My alma mater will make it through this latest disaster if citizens organize. If we fight. If we tell our elected officials don’t even bother running for reelection if you let Southeastern fail. They’ve mangled the colleges and universities enough already.

It’s time to fix it. On June 12, we’ll know if the Three Jindal Amigos fixed the disaster. And we’ll see clearly if the legislative session was mere motion or real action.


Dayne Sherman is the author of the novels Zion and Welcome to the Fallen Paradise, $2.99 ebooks. Signed first editions available from the author. And he does not speak for any of his employers.


Photo credit on main blog page: Bobby Jindal with convicted felon William Jefferson. Public domain.

Dayne Sherman, Writer & Speaker

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