Student fees, violence and sorority leases at the top of LSU Board of Supervisors’ agenda today

The LSU System has conducted a review of all the fees it charges students, at the request of state auditors.

But while fees have made it more costly to earn degrees and credentials, LSU officials have found “all fees to be warranted and used as intended” by its campuses, according to a presentation slated for today’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

In 2021, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office found that, as lawmakers slashed direct state support for higher education, schools increased fees by almost 155% over 10 years to an average of nearly $3,000 per academic year for a full-time student. While about one-third of students can cover the costs, the rest face an additional $157.6 million in unmet needs—or $4,657 per student—to earn a four-year degree, the LLA estimated.

The LLA recommended the higher education management boards periodically review their fees to determine if any should be eliminated or reassigned for a different purpose. Today’s discussion represents LSU’s first triennial review.

Also on today’s agenda is a state-mandated report on “power-based violence,” which LSU defines as “sexual misconduct or assault, dating violence, harassment, or other power-based trauma.”

From April 1 through Sept. 30, seven cases were reported on LSU campuses, including six on the main campus in Baton Rouge, according to the report. Of those, three were “resolved successfully using an informal resolution process,” two remain open and one was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and referred to another agency. One complaint went through a formal hearing, with the hearing panel finding the respondent responsible and issuing a deferred suspension.

The board also will be asked to approve the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity’s request to sublease its on-campus house to the Phi Mu sorority while the latter’s house undergoes renovations.

LSU suspended Phi Kappa Psi in 2020 after the school investigated hazing at the fraternity. Some of the allegations reportedly involved a student who was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning and a reported suicide that happened in the days after that incident.

In 2022, LSU’s Interfraternity Council urged students not to participate in the “rogue” fraternity’s off-campus activities.

This story originally appeared in a Dec. 7 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.