With a new Legislature about to start a new session, it's time to highlight one of the state's most pressing problems, higher education.

In this newspaper, the article on cutting funding for higher education shows the total number of campuses spread across the state at 30. Fourteen of these are four-year universities. This is a dilution of the total money available for higher education.

This number is unreasonable for a state the size of, and as poor as, Louisiana.

I know this is a political sacred cow and no politician will touch it. With the exception of LSU's main campus, none of these university's athletics can support themselves. Funding must come from the university's educational funds.

Do we really need 14 four-year universities when fewer than 50% of freshmen graduate? Maybe it's time to reevaluate our needs.

The taxpayers of the state are the only ones who can pressure the politicians to eventually change the system rather than cutting funding for higher education or raising taxes.

J.W. MELANCON

retired engineer

Baton Rouge