There will be no merger for LSU-Shreveport and Ruston-based Louisiana Tech, at least not this year. That's after sponsors withdrew a bill in the Louisiana House of Representatives that would combine the campuses under the Tech name and the University of Louisiana system.
The merger plan had drawn controversy from some LSUS students and faculty, who said that although the campus has had problems with growth, they still valued the university's identity and wanted to stay under the LSU name. "We're very excited today at LSUS, but we realize that, you know, this is just the first step to, you know, promoting and growing LSUS," said Matt Kay, who's led protests against the merger.
However, not every student was happy about the decision. Marisa Roberson received her undergraduate degree at LSUS and says she thought a meger with Tech would be the best thing for the school. Now she's reconsidering whether to pursue her master's degree there. "I'm not sure. I would have if Tech would have merged, but I'm not sure right now if I'm gonna come back as a grad student at LSUS," she said.
The LSU Board has made a variety of promises to LSUS to keep the campus within its system, including adding more degree programs. However, that comes along with news that LSU must slash millions of dollars from its statewide budget. Students told Fox 33 they would be open to other ideas, if the LSU system failed to put more resources into LSUS. "It would change my opinion, yeah, but I'd want to see a more detailed plan before we merged with anyone else," said Matt Kay.
The bill is dead for the remainder of this legislative session, but could be taken up next year, if it receives enough support from lawmakers.