Rep. Jason Hughes’ (D-New Orleans) resolution to request the governor appoint more women to higher ed boards advanced without objection from the Louisiana House Education Committee Wednesday.
If passed, the resolution would request Gov. John Bel Edwards appoint additional women to the Board of Supervisors of LSU, the Board of Supervisors of Southern University, the Board of Supervisors for the UL System and the Board of Supervisors of Community and Technical Colleges “with the goal that women will comprise at least fifty percent of the membership of each board by July 1, 2023,” according to the legislation.
Only three of the 15 appointed members of LSU’s board are women. Three women serve on the board for the Southern University System, a board that has 16 members total. On the Louisiana Community & Technical College System’s 17-member Board of Supervisors, there are five women. The University of Louisiana System’s 16-member Board of Supervisors has five women. On each of those boards, the representation of women falls short of the national average 32 percent.
“The bottom line is we need more women on these higher education management boards, and that’s not due to their lack of trying, or lack of applying,” Hughes said to the committee. “But for whatever reason, they’re being excluded, and so all this seeks to do is put some equity on these boards — being that women make up approximately 51 percent of the state’s population.”