Lod Cook

Lod Cook

We support the only constitutional amendment on the Dec. 5 ballot, which would allow up to two out-of-state residents to be appointed to each of the four college management boards.

The amendment would not be used often but would provide a limited number of seats for major backers of particular universities. The amendment was passed unanimously by the Legislature, after the death of oilman Lod Cook, an LSU alumnus and big supporter of the university but during his career unable to serve on the Board of Supervisors, because he lived out of state.

The four management boards run public universities within a rather confusing — and we think, pretty inefficient — framework set up by the Louisiana Constitution. Under the overall policy direction of the Board of Regents, the management boards make many decisions about LSU, UL, Southern and community college campuses.

Most board members come from particular districts in the state but three are at-large, and the amendment will allow up to two of those three to be residents out of state.

Other states typically allow some sort of similar arrangement. It might be beneficial to public universities, so we are for it and urge voters to back it.