Thursday, June 25, 2009

A fair comparison

The Advocate has a compare-and-contrast editorial on today's opinion page that borrows heavily from an op-ed written by Bob Mann back in March for the New Orleans Times Picayune.

The theme of both pieces is that during the great depression, in the 1930s, Governor Huey Long wisely made LSU a top funding priority. The result was a flowering of academic excellence that included the genesis of LSU Press and The Southern Review.

How does Gov. Bobby Jindal measure up to the standard set by The Kingfish, according to historian Mann?

Today, Louisiana is governed by another young governor into whose hands
history has thrust the responsibility of balancing his state's budget during
dire economic times. Bobby Jindal's imaginative response to this crisis? Slash
by 15 percent the budgets of LSU and other state-funded colleges and

What's lacking today is what Mann - and a growing number of observers around the state - is the kind of visionary leadership that convinced Long to put education first in an economy that, by any standard, was much worse than today's economic downturn.

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