On Tuesday the Louisiana board of regents narrowly approved Governor Bobby Jindal’s plan to merge the University of New Orleans and the historically black Southern University at New Orleans. This was over the opposition of virtually everyone from Southern University.

According to an article by Jordan Blum in The Advocate:

The 9-6 Regents vote came one day after Gov. Bobby Jindal and Louisiana House Speaker Jim Tucker said they would push legislation next month to consolidate UNO and SUNO. Jindal said the recommendation would represent a “starting point” for the legislation. A university consolidation would require two-thirds legislative approval.

Jindal has cited the colleges’ low graduation rates — SUNO graduates 8 percent of its students in six years — and proximity to each other on the New Orleans lake front. Although they would be one university, the two units would have separate accreditation, admission standards and faculty governance.

The new university will be called the University of Greater New Orleans.

The plan came after Louisiana hired consultants from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems to look into “the postsecondary education needs of the New Orleans region.”

Louisiana is facing a significant budget problem and cutting state budgets extensively.

The report issued by NCHEMS did not indicate that the state would save any specific amount of money by merging the schools. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer