Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is considering merging the historically black Southern University at New Orleans with the University of New Orleans, a move that faces stiff opposition from black lawmakers in that state.

Earlier this week, Jindal ordered a study to determine the impact of merging the two colleges and placing the newly formed institution in the Louisiana State University system. Currently, SUNO is in the Southern University system, a large, historically black public college system. UNO is in the LSU system.

“We see this as the beginning of a systematic demise of historically black colleges and universities in this state,” said state Rep. Patricia Smith, who heads the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. The merger would be a virtual elimination of a historically black college, she said.

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