LSUS chancellor not in favor of merging LSUS and LA Tech

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LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark made an official statement Tuesday afternoon regarding a proposed merger with Louisiana Tech University. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

The chancellor of Louisiana State University Shreveport says merging his university with Louisiana Tech is not a good strategy for improving his institution.

LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark made an official statement Tuesday afternoon regarding a proposed merger with Louisiana Tech University.

State Rep. Cedric Glover (D-Shreveport) filed House Bill 470 last week, which would merge LSUS and Louisiana Tech by Aug. 1.

“I’ve known Rep. Glover for many years. I believe that he comes with this in good faith in belief of what he thinks is best for this university and what’s best for the region. I just disagree,” Clark said.

Clark said he does agree with Rep. Glover in that more investment should be made in the LSUS campus, but believes merging the university with Louisiana Tech is not the best strategy. 

“What Rep. Glover and I disagree about is how do we go about getting to the end point. He believes that a double set of mergers gets us there, I don’t believe that is the best strategy,” Clark said.

Clark also spoke about LSU-Shreveport’s online program and the amount of money out-of-state tuition students brings into the university.

“Some say those out of state online students don’t matter. They do matter. And hear’s something that matters a lot to us — they provide us cash flow,” Clark said. “Those out of state students that are in our online programs, they pay tuition, they pay fees. And with those tuition and fees they pay, we have been investing back into LSUS.”

A merger between the two higher education institutes was initially discussed seven years ago. Although it received support from various officials, it ultimately did not come to fruition.

Glover told local media that he believes it would be in the best interest in Shreveport to merge the two and have a “more substantive, more comprehensive, more research-focused institution.” 

Clark will meet with the local legislative delegation on Thursday.