ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Louisiana's new Commissioner of Higher Education stopped by rotary Tuesday to share her mission to create, innovate and expand opportunities for students in the state.
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed was elected by the Louisiana Board of Regents in April and has been touring the state ever since. She has already visited 17 out of 32 college campuses.
At rotary, she spoke with education and business leaders in Central Louisiana and told them that over 1 million out of 4 million citizens have a high school diploma or less.
"We have to develop talent in Louisiana," Dr. Reed said. "We have to promote honor in all pathways, we have to get it right. Because, the economy will continue to churn and more people will be left out if we don't get this right. And so, we are very committed to this work and excited to do it."
Dr. Reed wants to push students to get more credentials beyond high school. In order to do that, she wants to blur the lines between K-12 education and the workforce, to get students thinking about colleges earlier.
She also took questions from the audience, hoping to take their input back to Baton Rouge.
"You just can't do good work from Baton Rouge," Dr. Reed said. "You have to get out, walk those campuses. Talk to students and business leaders, talk to campus leaders. So, that will be my goal, I will visit every campus. I will be in every community. I will be asking how can we do better and trying to listen and take that back to Baton Rouge to improve our work."
Dr. Reed is setting a goal to have a new master plan for Louisiana's higher education by the first of the year. She wants to have an agenda with community supporters for the legislative session in April.