Monday, March 20, 2006

Innovations report - federal aid to Louisiana community colleges

Today was filled with excellent talks, great people, and good food. I love this meeting. It's amazingly motivating to be here surrounded by people who love teaching; I learned at least something in every session I attended.

Today's most interesting session was the keynote address by Dr. Walter Bumphus, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. This year's meeting was in fact supposed to be held in New Orleans, but due to hurricane Katrina it was moved to Atlanta.

Dr. Bumphus's excellent lecture focused on how the community college system of Louisiana was affected by the hurricane, and detailed how they've responded to the challenges of rebuilding the affected colleges; it's a massive undertaking. The talk was recorded, so if you get a chance to see it, I'd recommend watching.

Probably the most memorable statement of the entire day was Dr. Bumphus's blunt summary of how much money the federal government has delivered to his system to aid in recovery efforts:
"We've gotten more money from student government associations than we've gotten from the federal government."
Shortly later he clarified that while they have received promises of funding,
"To date we've not received one federal penny."

[Note: I wrote the quotes down during the meeting as quickly as I could, but they may not be precisely accurate.]

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