Aug 1, 2012 6:30 PM by Tonya LaCoste
UL Lafayette is looking into the possibility of having the Lafayette Consolidated Govemment Transit System handle the university's Parking and Transit Department. First, university officials will determine if outsourcing would be feasible.
A few reasons have sparked the move to possibly outsource, including three internal thefts within the parking and transit department over the last six years. In 2007, Parking and Transit Director Joey Dudley was accused of stealing money and was charged with felony theft. In May 2011, Lafayette Police arrested N. Eileen Hanson who was accused of stealing about $85,000 between October 2009 and May 2011. In October 2011, the university fired Parking and Transit Director Simon Broussard, and he was found dead the following day in a Baton Rouge hotel room. Baton Rouge police say he left behind a suicide note. In the midst of Broussard's suicide, the parking and transit was under investigation over missing funds, but University Police would never say whether Broussard was tied to the investigation.
In addition to past thefts and considering the department currently lacks a director and assistant director, outsourcing has also become a trend at many universities, according to Louisiana State Civil Service Public Information Officer Lindsay Ruiz de Chavez. "Companies that have the expertise in this area exist to support the Universities primary mission of higher education. They can do it by providing better customer service at a reduced rate and produce more income with our existing parking infrastructure," she said.
Under the proposed plan, current employees will not lose their jobs, instead employees would either have the option of remaining in the state's classified Civil Service System or tranfer their employment to the outsource company. "We are currently awaiting a contract offer from the LCG to determine the costs analysis and savings for the transit system," said Ruiz de Chavez.