News/Case Summaries

Race complaints in La. gov's plan to merge schools

By KEVIN McGILL Associated Press

April 27, 2011

More than five years after Hurricane Katrina nearly wiped out Southern University at New Orleans, students and faculty there are fighting what they portray as another grave threat: Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to consolidate historically black SUNO with the nearby, predominantly white University of New Orleans.

It's an issue that pops up periodically in the roughly 20 states that have public, four-year institutions known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities or HBCU's. Lezli Baskerville, president of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education says officials are often too quick to try to submerge historically black institutions into mostly white ones when budgets get tight.

Jindal insists its not a matter of money. He says a merger is a way to help both universities improve low graduation rates.

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