Rep. Jason Hughes’ (D-New Orleans) resolution to request the governor appoint more women to higher ed boards passed in the Louisiana House of Representatives by a 76-12 vote Wednesday.
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 resolution.
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.
“Women are grossly underrepresented at the end of the day at higher education leadership,” Hughes said to the floor. “So I bring this bill for the sake of equity.”
Rep. Raymond Crews (R-Bossier City) said he believes this resolution might set a bad precedent of the legislature telling appointers “how much of each gender had to go in certain positions.”
“Women are very capable and they’ve proven themselves in several fields, and they advance without a law telling a governor or whoever to appoint a certain quantity,” Crews said to the floor.
The resolution doesn’t mandate the governor to make any changes but requests that he appoint more women to higher ed boards.