The Louisiana lawmaker behind legislation creating a commission to study the state's higher education system laid out an aggressive, and often critical, agenda for the panel at its first meeting in Baton Rouge Monday, The Times-Picayune reported. "There is a widespread belief that we do things inefficiently, and that this commission in particular needs to look at the issues that we have too many universities and too many boards, racial divides among universities and boards, under-performing universities, duplicative programs, and just general inefficiencies," said State Rep. Jim Tucker, the speaker of the Louisiana House. As Gov. Bobby Jindal listed priorities for the panel that included better aligning higher education offerings with state needs and eliminating waste, Tucker added: "We tend to sometimes pussyfoot around the hard decisions in this state, and we need you all to take a 2-by-4, if that's necessary, and smack us across the head to make sure we understand just exactly what we need to be doing in this state for the benefit of its residents."
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