On Wednesday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu released the following statement regarding the failed attempt to merge Southern University at New Orleans and the University of New Orleans:
“Improving the state of higher education in New Orleans is critical to our city’s success. I was opposed to the merger of SUNO and UNO at this time because the proposed plan did not seem to be well thought out and lacked community support.
“It’s no secret that our current system has long neglected New Orleans’ public colleges and universities. Students at SUNO, UNO, and Delgado all deserve better. We must make significant investments in all three institutions that would increase access for all students, improve workforce training, and increase research and development efforts.
“Providing all the citizens of New Orleans, youth and adults, with an outstanding education is key to our city’s vitality, and our higher education institutions are essential to community and economic development. I look forward to continuing to work with community leaders, students, faculty, and businesses in New Orleans to develop meaningful and sustainable education reform that gives every person access to a first class education. Anything less is an abdication of our responsibility and a badly missed opportunity.”