Presentation by SOWELA faculty member Barry Humphus

SOWELA, Southwest Louisiana, and Economic
Expansion: Great Expectations for Academe
Barry Humphus
SOWELA Technical Community College
[email protected]
The HERD Act
Higher Education Revenue District - HERD
Kevin Cope knows that you can herd neither
faculty nor cats. The college leaders here today
know that as well.
The HERD Act rounds up some money for our
colleges and universities. It means the reliable,
stable and predictable funding we need.
Higher Education Revenue Districts
There are 8 Regional Management Districts in
Each has more than one college or university.
Each Management Region has a taxable property
Each Region could partially support our Colleges
And Universities with an ad velorem tax (i.e., a
Property tax).
Show Me the Money
“If higher education is a priority in our state, the
level of investment must reflect that. We need
stability in funding and some predictability.”
W. Clinton “Buba” Rasberry, Chairman, Board of
Regents, September 9, 2013.
Louisiana Management Regions (in millions)
At 5 mills (2012)
The Louisiana Colleges and Universities
Louisiana State University System (7 Locations)
Southern University System (4 Locations)
University of Louisiana System (9 Locations)
Louisiana Community and Technical College
System (13 Comprehensive Community College
Recent History of Funding
In 2007, Louisiana colleges and universities received $1.7
billion in funding from the State.
State budget cuts to higher education have been more than
$700 million since 2007. We are in effect, privatizing our
public colleges and universities with tuition increases.
As House Speaker Kleckly suggests, we need some
Let us explore this.
Invention of New Solutions
“I’m calling for the invention of new solutions
from the very institutions that (are) teaching
innovation in the classrooms.”
House Speaker Rep. Chuck Kleckley – 08-13-2013
And Why not!
Invention of New Solutions
“I’m calling for the invention of new solutions
from the very institutions that (are) teaching
innovation in the classrooms.”
House Speaker Rep. Chuck Kleckley – 08-13-2013
And Why not!
The Revenue Potential
Representative Chris Broadwater proposed HB 576
during the 2013 legislative session that suggested an
alternative solution.
This was close to our original alternative solution. Let
us see the numbers and how this would impact
Louisiana colleges and universities.
Mr. Broadwater’s bill died in committee.
The Money
HB 576 suggested a $160 million cap supporting colleges and
universities in the State based on tax roles for 2012. Why cap this
stable and predictable revenue stream?
That number will increase as values of property increase. Consider
Region 5 going from about $5 billion taxable property value now to
nearly $48 billion in value in five years.
What is your Region doing? You should look this up and ask your area
folks and ask your Tax Assessor this value.
HERD is stable, it is predictable and it is reliable. Predictable is the
key. Should we have predictable, stable and reliable revenue,
whatever the source, that is good. HB 576 is only a start.
What are the numbers (2012)?
At 5 mills the HERD Act generates $160 million now. This will
grow. As our taxable property base grows, the revenue will grow.
That is why it is predictable and stable. Here are the numbers (in
Region 1 –
Region 2 –
Region 3 –
Region 4 –
Region 5 –
Region 6 –
Region 7 –
Region 8 –
1 Mill
2 Mills
3 Mills
4 Mills
5 Mills
A Look at Region 5
The HERD Act would generate about $14 million (based
on 2012 tax roles) in Region 5 at 5 mills.
McNeese – would receive about $10 million
SOWELA – would receive about $4 million
“The purpose of the university is to provide more sex for
the students, more sports for the alumni and parking
for the faculty” – Dr. Clark Kerr, Univ. of California,
Chancellor, 1957.
What Should You Do?
Privately contact your State legislators and suggest that they should
support the HERD Act or an alternative. Contact councils, police
jurors, and media.
Look at the Chris Broadwater’s legislation at
While Mr. Broadwater’s legislation was not exactly what I suggested, it
was pretty close. But it should not be capped!
The idea is simple. Ask stakeholders to support your college. Should
they not want to support this – fine. Those folks will deal with the
consequences of the lack of a workforce. If your students and your
workforce area want to succeed, HERD needs support.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Bad – The money cap (see HB 576 2013).
Good – State-wide district (possibly by Management Region).
Bad – Limits to how and what can be funded (e.g. Act 391).
Good – No athletics funded (sorry Coach Miles).
Bad – No construction funded – well maybe.
Good – Academics a priority.
Bad – No academic support staff included.
Ugly – Little or no support for the idea.

similar documents