I would like to thank LSU President F. King Alexander for so effectively supporting my argument in his guest column in Thursday's Advocate that the unilateral action he has taken to disrupt the admissions process for not only LSU, but schools across our great state is unwise, dangerous, and will produce chaos.
In his column, he commends the fact that LSU just enrolled its largest and most diverse freshman class in history with a mean ACT score of 26. These outstanding numbers have been achieved under the wise policies established by the Board of Regents and LSU Board of Supervisors before Alexander arrived and that he now seeks to change.
After years of substandard performance, undue political influence, and inappropriate influence based on money and power the sound practices established by the Board of Regents and Board of Supervisors have paid great dividends.
Alexander wants to claim credit for the great success of the standards established long before he arrived, and then unilaterally change them. He wants to change what has created this success just as LSU and all our institutions around the state are finally achieving some measure of economic stability. He wants to disrupt the budgets and business models of all our other great universities around the state just as they are stabilized.
He did not consult with those responsible for those other schools as anyone who wants to put Louisiana first would. Alexander claims that his new policy is sound because it mirrors policies at Harvard University that has a 5 percent acceptance rate of applicants, and the University of Texas that has a 39 percent acceptance rate. These schools turn down thousands of high-achieving students annually.
This is an absurd comparison to be made when LSU has a 76 percent acceptance rate and a practice of admitting all applicants qualified by standards that will now be subjective.
Very often those within a bureaucracy lose sight of the people of Louisiana’s purpose for the institution they are employed at. The Regents and Supervisors initiated the flagship concept for LSU before Alexander was here. They did this on behalf of the people of Louisiana who have since been served by initiating objective standards that are not subject to political influence, who can write a big check, or cronyism.
In short, the more we have removed subjectivity and politics from LSU admissions, the more we have been successful for the people of LSU. Changing this certainly may be very good for Alexander and certain bureaucrats, as it will allow them more personal power from subjective control of admissions. It may be good for the child of a wealthy donor or influential politician. It will not be good for the vast majority of hardworking students and parents who have been competing and succeeding on a fair playing field with defined rules of the game. They now will be subjected to having their educational future subject to arbitrary decisions of an admissions bureaucracy that can be subject to politics and cronyism.
businessman, founder of Put Louisiana First