Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dear Governor Jindal...

[Note: This is sarcasm, just in case you can't tell!]

Since you are hell-bent on destroying higher education and healthcare in Louisiana, let me offer some suggestions to quicken their demise.

1. Allow only on-line classes at the state's universities, community colleges, and technical schools, which will result in huge savings. Sure, welding classes might suffer, but having only on-line instruction will allow the shutdown of most or all of the physical plants. Just think--no air conditioning, no heat, no lights, except in, perhaps, the one building that will house the computer server and various necessary humans to push the necessary paper for financial aid, etc. Those professors teaching the classes will provide their own offices, computers, Internet, etc. We won't need physical plants to house them or classes for students, and, thus, we won't need support personnel except to maintain one building on campus (see item 2). We can also eliminate the bookstore by having students order their books on line. Departments can have faculty meetings via Yahoo Messenger or Skype, and they'll be using their own resources instead of college phones and facilities. And the state can sell all of the desks, chairs, etc., that we use in on-campus classes, because we won't need them anymore.

2. In the administration of college services:

a. Have only one person in each department to handle all the work for that department--one financial aid person, one PR person, one dean to handle overrides and course problems. You get the idea. Oh, and only one secretary for all of them. Pare the staff down to the most basic and elemental personnel. This shouldn't be a problem, if you implement item b.

b. Raise tuition exorbitantly, making it impossible for most students to afford it or obtain enough financial aid to cover it. Fewer students will apply to college or attend, thereby making item 2a feasible.

3. Keep chipping away at higher education in Louisiana so that more people will leave and fewer businesses will locate here. That will help with healthcare, too, because, if fewer people live here, fewer people will need doctors or hospitals.

I might be willing to have furloughs, etc., if you and the legislature would do likewise. Governor, how about you giving up 5% of your yearly salary and refraining from work on those days? Many of us would appreciate it if you wouldn't work so hard. And I'm sure that wouldn't be a stretch for most legislators, since they don't seem to do much anyway, except tell the rest of us that we have to tighten our belts. How about cutting all the pork out of the budget? How about tapping into the rainy day fund to ensure that our future workforce gets the education it needs to help Louisiana succeed long after you're out of here? How about looking for better ways to attract more revenue? How about some future-thinking, or is that not a priority for you because, in two years, you don't plan to be here to deal with the mess you've left us?

P. S. In the case of science labs, we could consolidate our classes with the LSUHSC here in town. All of our students could go there to dissect animals. This would be win-win; our students would pay to get the hands-on experience science labs require, and the Med School would get unpaid workers to help with research. In the case of anatomy classes, the students could assist with autopsies, which would provide them with first-hand knowledge of the workings of the human body.

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