Could ULM Become a Charter University?

Monroe -- Could the University of Louisiana Monroe become a charter university?

After consolidating colleges and removing positions last year, ULM President Dr. Nick Bruno has been exploring options to cut costs to the school.

"As we looked into more efficiencies, this concept might be a viable concept for the universities to look at," mentioned President Bruno.

The National Charter School Resource Center describes charter schools as 'publicly funded' and 'independently operated'.

They operate with increased accountability. But President Bruno said the main interest in the charter university concept was that they are allowed more freedom than traditional public schools.

"[The freedom to] have its own authority for tuition, have its own authority for purchasing and employees benefits, etc," added President Bruno.

In the end, this could save the university some money.

President Bruno first spoke with local legislators about the charter concept a year ago.

"The whole purpose was to look at possible savings and efficiencies that could occur while not jeopardizing the quality of higher education product," President Bruno explained. "It might be part of the process where local funding could be considered or required. Have a local board to administer the university and somehow tie in to the state management boards."

During a meeting this week, the Louisiana Board of Regents approved a resolution regarding the general concept of charter universities. But it's nowhere near a done deal. It still has to be submitted to the legislature where it can be decided on.

"At least it's on the table that we are putting out proposals that could help getting more with less," said President Bruno.

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