According to the WISE Plan website, “The WISE Plan is specifically targeted to advance Louisiana to national competitiveness. This plan seeks to strategically align new investments in higher education with the workforce needs of the exciting and emerging growth sectors in our economy.”
The plan requires that each university applying for funds receive a 20 percent match from an industry partner to help build private investments within higher education.
Today, George Campbell—Regions Bank area President for the Ark-La-Tex—provided help with ULM’s industry match with a $100,000 check.
“I want to personally thank Regions Bank,” said ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno. “This goes a long way in helping us get the first funds from the WISE Plan. I am grateful for the generosity and partnership that we have had with Regions over the years.”
Campbell expressed that he hopes to be able to make more donations to the university in the future.
“Regions Bank is pleased to have been a long term partner and we are excited about the opportunity that WISE provides to ULM, the community, and the region that ULM serves,” said Campbell. “We are happy to make this investment and be part of ULM’s success.”
Overall, the WISE Plan provides $40 million to colleges and universities in Louisiana. Schools are asked to focus on increasing degree production within what the state labels as “4 and 5-Star” jobs.
WISE considers computer science, construction crafts, education, engineering, finance and accounting, healthcare, and industrial production, among others, as “4 and 5-Star” degree paths.
Funds will also be distributed based on faculty and staff performance including journal articles, honors and awards, research, and citations.
Through the partnership with Regions Bank, ULM will now be able to focus on increasing the number of graduates through online platforms like the university’s online degree source eULM, and MyEdu, which was created by the University of Louisiana System.
The WISE Plan website cites multiple positive changes to the economic climate for higher education, including the idea that the plan will: maintain current level of state support for all public institutions of higher education; ensure tuition revenues are retained at each institution for reinvestment in academic and student support; establish a performance based investment fund to meet the state’s goals in high need, high growth and high demand job areas; provide a base level adequacy of funding formula implementation and foundational support so all institutions can participate; support research innovation and creativity that advances the economic and societal well- being of all Louisianans; and spur private investment in the state’s public universities and colleges.
Ultimately, Bruno believes this donation is the first step in creating a strong foundation for ULM’s future revenue base.
For more information about the WISE Plan, visit WISEPlan