Legislation to transfer the University of New Orleans out of the LSU System is moving to the governor’s desk after it received final legislative approval Tuesday.
The Senate voted 35-0 to concur on amendments to Senate Bill 266 by Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, that would move UNO into the University of Louisiana System. Likewise, the House voted 91-0 to concur on a nearly identical bill, House Bill 537, by House Speaker Jim Tucker that also orders the transfer.
Proponents contend that UNO is overshadowed by the flagship LSU campus and that the UL System has more like-minded colleges, such as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The university transfer developed as a compromise agreement after a proposal by Gov. Bobby Jindal to merge UNO and Southern University at New Orleans was defeated in the House.
Tucker is a UNO graduate.
Jindal also is backing the UNO transfer.
The bills were amended Monday to allow UNO and the UL System to work out any faculty tenure issues. That changed a stricter previous amendment that would have grandfathered in tenure rules for all UNO faculty.
The faculty at UNO have expressed concerns that the UL System approved rules in February that let colleges lay off faculty, including tenured professors, more quickly and easily during times of budget cuts and academic program eliminations.
The transfer bills allow the private, nonprofit UNO Foundation to purchase insurance covering any possible litigation or other problems from the transfer process.
Appel has said the UNO Foundation is expected to kick in about $250,000.
The state budget bill, House Bill 1, also currently contains $300,000 to help fund the UNO transfer process.