US Senator David Vitter’s UL visit to the University of Louisiana’s campus is the first in a series of campus visits to discuss the chapter of his plan entitled “Stabilizing & Building Excellence in Higher Education.”
Vitter says when wanting to learn more about the situation currently facing higher education, you got to the source, and that source is the students and faculty who make up the higher education system.
“They’re the bottom line. They’re the consumers and everything we do needs to focus on their future and produce for them.” said Vitter.
“That’s why I wanted to meet with them, a really good representative of students as well as Dr.Savoie and leaders, faculty, and administrators.”
With new industry and technology jobs presenting themselves around the state, Vitter feels it is as important as ever to to push for a higher education system that is affordable and attainable to fill new jobs coming to our state.
“You look at these high growth areas, particularly these high paying jobs, and it’s all tied to critical education and training. Now not all of that is four year degrees.” said Vitter.
Vitter says a lot of focus is put on four year universities when discussing higher education, but reminds the public that higher education outside of universities is just as critical when trying to fill these new jobs with Louisiana residents.
“Votech training, technical colleges, two-year degrees and skills training is really important as well.” said Vitter.
“Historically we have undervalued that versus four year degrees. So we also need to pay a lot of attention there.”
With Governor Bobby Jindal’s track record of cutting higher education, Vitter says if he has the chance to become Louisiana’s next governor he will focus on fixing the major cuts that he believes has been detrimental to the state’s higher education which in turn is hurting Louisiana’s workforce.
“This has been six years of cuts. This has been death by a thousand cuts or worse.” said Vitter.
“We need to stop that dead in it’s tracks, stabilize the budget, and then bring reformed streamlining and other improvements to continue to build excellence on higher ed.”
Vitter has been forming Students for Vitter groups at colleges across the state. Starting today he will be hosting meetings on college campuses with school administrators, as well as having round table discussions with the various Students for Vitter groups to discuss his higher ed plan.