The Shreveport-Bossier Imperative for Higher Education (SBI) was founded by Dr. Phillip Rozeman in 2010 out of concern over a series of annual state budget cuts to higher education in Louisiana. The SBI worked with legislators and governing boards in the spring of 2011 to raise awareness of the funding crisis facing higher education and developed an agenda of solutions that partially staved off the proposed 32% across-the-board cuts proposed for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
In early 2012, higher education consultant Eva Klein released a study recommending the merger of Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State University at Shreveport (LSUS). The SBI led the effort that spring to merge the two schools under Louisiana Tech, a member of the University of Louisiana system. Although the merger was recommended by the Board of Regents, it did not secure the 2/3 vote needed in the Louisiana Legislature for passage.
In September 2012, the SBI became the Shreveport-Bossier Business Alliance for Higher Education (SBBA), adopted a revised mission statement, and seated a new 12-member board of directors made up of representatives from seven business organizations. Dr. Johnette M. Magner was hired to serve as the organization’s first executive director.