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Thread: The Battle for a Name

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    Default The Battle for a Name


    ... The Battle for a Name ...

    After years of achievement and leadership in higher education and five years of planning and lobbying, UL President Dr. Ray Authement was rewarded for his determination on April 27, 1984 as the Board of Trustees for State Colleges and Universities voted by a 17-1 margin to drop the "Southwestern" from USL's name. On that date, the University of Southwestern Louisiana became THE University of Louisiana.

    By that time, USL's name had become a hindrance to further advancement and improvement among universities. UL had outgrown its double-directional name. UL's enrollment was at 16,000 students, which made it one of the two largest schools in the three-state region of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. It was a comprehensive university and had students from all 50 states and 100 countries enrolled. UL lead the state in professional and certification exams in many fields including engineering, nursing, and education. The University of Louisiana had received national recognition for their computer science program and was a charter member of NCAA Division I-A Football.

    The name didn't last long, however, as traditional Louisiana university politics, with its long history of paranoia and infighting, became a factor. Some administrators at other state schools worried that UL's new name would diminish their image. According to Baton Rouge's Morning Advocate, LSU Chancellor James H. Wharton said he is concerned that "the new name will result in the university's expansion" (April 28, 1984). Ironically, the arguments against UL had a familiar ring since they were used in 1960 when Southwestern Louisiana Institute upgraded to university status and became the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

    In May of 1984, the Board Regents, with the strong support of powerful LSU backers on and off the Board, took the issue to district court, asserting that only the Louisiana Legislature could rename state universities. They won as District Judge William H. Brown agreed with the plaintiffs and stripped the University of Louisiana of its new name. Although Judge Brown was an alumnus of LSU, and an active supporter of that school, he did not recuse himself from the case despite this apparent conflict of interest. He ruled against the name change despite clear constitutional language confirming both the name change and the way it was handled, despite an opinion from the State Attorney General, and despite the legal precedent of other state schools who had changed their names through the same course of action. For example, when LSUNO changed its name to UNO, it only received approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors. UL, however, was ordered to revert to USL on May 22, 1984 and Louisiana remained only one of two states to not have a University of State. Soon after and in specific response to this case, the state legislature changed state law to require that only the legislature could change the name of state colleges and universities.

    Since USL had outgrown its double-directional name, the fight was not over for a name that was and is more reflective of the University's accomplishments, achievements, and stature. Since the class of 1984 graduated with University of Louisiana diplomas, the vision was realized and the goal was set. Attempts at appeal were unsuccessful as the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to hear the case in October of 1986.

    It took until 1995 for the Louisiana State Legislature to agree to allow the change. But, passage of Act 45 required a compromise that became known as the "LSU Rule." The LSU Rule required that at least two state universities change their name at the same time. It required that all universities who change their name change it to "University of Louisiana at [city designation]." It stipulated that the city designation must be used in all official university business and has since grown far beyond its original legislative language, to regulate minute details such as font sizes to be used by the respective universities. Additionally, the bill insisted that LSU was, and would remain, the "flagship university" of Louisiana. This was odd for a legislative act that had absolutely no bearing on LSU or the LSU System. Finally, that act changed the name of the Board of Trustees to the "University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors."

    Initially, it looked like Northeast Louisiana University would make the new name a reality, but they hesitated and stalled.

    Finally, in 1999 Northeast's Lawson Swearingen agreed to the name change. Ironically, as a Monroe area representative in the legislature back in 1984, he was one of the more vocal opponents of USL's name change. The Board of Regents and the UL Board of Supervisors finally approved the name change in late August 1999. USL became the University of Louisiana (UL) at Lafayette and NLU became the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM).

    USL officials decided to make it official at the Centennial Spectacular kicking off the yearlong celebration of the university's 100th birthday. University of Louisiana was now a reality.


    WHY LOUISIANA?

    UL Lafayette ("LOUISIANA"), similar to UC Berkeley ("CALIFORNIA"), UT Knoxville ("TENNESSEE"), UA Fayetteville ("ARKANSAS"), UNC Chapel Hill ("NORTH CAROLINA"), and UT Austin ("TEXAS"), among others, is the largest and oldest of the schools that share the same name. Fortunately, the legislative law regarding the name change only applies to university and state employees. This state policy does not govern UL alumni, supporters, other universities, and certainly not the autonomy of the press. This leaves the door open for UL UL to be commonly and popularly known as LOUISIANA, while maintaining the official name.

    The goal is not to become the state's flagship university per se, as that position is held by Louisiana State University and A&M College at Baton Rouge. The goal is to provide excellence in education and community service to the Acadiana area as well as the entire state of Louisiana. Competition fosters excellence.

    In 1991, UL became the state's first Doctoral II institution, which means it awards a high number of doctoral degrees and has a significant research agenda. This designation elevated the university to the ranks of Georgia Tech, Louisville, Clemson, William & Mary, and the University of Mississippi. Since that time, UL has continued to advance rapidly by implementing selective admissions, raising over $75 million in privately held assets, and R&D investments approaching $70 million. Additionally, UL now offers 108 degrees in 10 colleges and schools.

    Research

    UL hosts three active research parks including the New Iberia Research Center, one of the largest primate centers in the United States & home of nationally renowned researcher, Dr. Daniel Povinelli. This UL professor is winner of one eight $1,000,000 McDonnell "Millennium Grants." Another center of research is the University Research Park that hosts the National Wetlands Center, National Marine Fisheries Center, and a state-funded robotics & virtual reality center. Other tenants include the NASA Regional Application Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In progress include a University Hotel and a 3-D/4-D seismic research facility. The third is the "Cade Farm," a 600-acre agricultural research facility in nearby St. Martin parish, which is an international leader in crawfish research and renewable resources.


    more History


    NOTE: . This page is done independently of and without the endorsement or permission of the University of Louisiana. It is intended to give users a background view of Louisiana's long battle for their rightful name. Thanks to the many individuals who contributed to this project

    The preceding article is a republish.


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    (UL, however, was ordered to revert to USL on May 22, 1984 and Louisiana remained only one of two states to not have a University of State. Soon after and in specific response to this case, the state legislature changed state law to require that only the legislature could change the name of state colleges and universities.)


    If this is so, why didn't UL win this case if the law was enacted only after it was heard by the courts. The legislature didn't have the authority to rule on this. No lawyer here, but this is what I am reading in this.


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie35 View Post
    (UL, however, was ordered to revert to USL on May 22, 1984 and Louisiana remained only one of two states to not have a University of State. Soon after and in specific response to this case, the state legislature changed state law to require that only the legislature could change the name of state colleges and universities.)


    If this is so, why didn't UL win this case if the law was enacted only after it was heard by the courts. The legislature didn't have the authority to rule on this. No lawyer here, but this is what I am reading in this.
    Frenchie, you are trying to think logically. Stop it, this is the Banana Republic of Louisiana. Logic need not apply.

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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie35 View Post
    (UL, however, was ordered to revert to USL on May 22, 1984 and Louisiana remained only one of two states to not have a University of State. Soon after and in specific response to this case, the state legislature changed state law to require that only the legislature could change the name of state colleges and universities.)


    If this is so, why didn't UL win this case if the law was enacted only after it was heard by the courts. The legislature didn't have the authority to rule on this. No lawyer here, but this is what I am reading in this.
    I don't think UL's lawyers did their job.

    The Judge said neither the Board of Regents nor the Board of Trustees had the right to make a name change. He said he based his opinion on the fact in that no law specifically gave those bodies the right to make a name change.

    However, and this is where the lawyers failed . . .

    After specifically stating what the Board of Regents COULD DO it went on to speak about powers not vested with the BoR and where they were vested.

    1974 Constitution: Powers Not Vested. Powers of management over public institutions of postsecondary education not specifically vested by this Section in the Board of Regents are reserved to ... the Board of Trustees...

    So, if a power wasn't specifically given to the Board of Regents it was automatically given to the Board of Trustees without having to be spelled out.

    So for the Judge to give the two bodies equal status was off kilter and the Legislatures future retroactive law giving the BoR certain new naming powers was going against the 1974 Constitution.

    jmo

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    Default Re: LOUISIANA the one constant

    Does anyone have a copy or know the link to the bill from state legislation allowing the university to change its name to Univ. of Louisiana? Im interested in reading it.


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Need to update UL's academic achievements, research activity, endowment level, enrollment, and other national accomplishments.


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    Default Re: LOUISIANA the one constant

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCajun123 View Post
    Does anyone have a copy or know the link to the bill from state legislation allowing the university to change its name to Univ. of Louisiana? Im interested in reading it.
    Here you go, a link to: Act 45 (Appendix A) of the 1995 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature (Senate Bill 843 by
    Picard and Brinkhaus, and Representatives McDonald, McFerren, Montgomery and Thompson)

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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Bring the case back up if it has holes in it. Right lawer and another judge. Attack the last judge on the case ruling.


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie35 View Post
    Bring the case back up if it has holes in it. Right lawer and another judge. Attack the last judge on the case ruling.
    If the U wouldn't spend the money on it back then, they won't spend the money on it now.

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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    PRO BONO ---well for the publicity at least---I should have stayed in law School!!!


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Subject is moot. State law was changed, you would have to prove the new law is unconstitutional, and probably lots of time issues.


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    I think this thread needs a MAJOR bump right now. Everyone needs to re-read it, Cajun fans, other fans visiting the RP, media, etc.

    I'll even make it a bit.ly link for tweeting, texting, emailing out.
    http://bit.ly/scmrvf

    #WeAreLouisiana


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Turb, can we update this a bit? Our current R&D monies are approaching 70 million.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunStros View Post
    Turb, can we update this a bit? Our current R&D monies are approaching 70 million.
    Turb, Can we get this info updated?

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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Done.

    I'm sure there is more that needs to be updated.


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    I'm looking for the author of this article and where and when it was first published. Can somebody provide this information? Thank you.


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Quote Originally Posted by lcitsh View Post
    I'm looking for the author of this article and where and when it was first published. Can somebody provide this information? Thank you.
    Joe Abraham, I believe would be the guy to contact? He posts here sometimes as Cajun Fun. If it wasn't him, he knows who did it.

    Z

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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Just contacted an old timer from the early message board days (Before RP).. He said it was Jay Godchaux that did the original.. Now known as Dr Jay Godchaux. I believe he posts occasionally as Cajun diehard.

    Z


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    Default Re: The Battle for a Name

    Ya right about that Z.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeebart21 View Post
    Just contacted an old timer from the early message board days (Before RP).. He said it was Jay Godchaux that did the original.. Now known as Dr Jay Godchaux. I believe he posts occasionally as Cajun diehard.

    Z
    The ole Delphi forum...

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