STEWART, Circuit Judge:
This case presents the question of whether Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (Southern) and its Board of Supervisors are entitled to sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. Clifton Richardson, Sr., sued Southern and two students for alleged federal civil rights violations and state-law defamation and false imprisonment. Richardson eventually dropped his claims against the two students.
Although we have held that a number of governmental bodies within Louisiana are entitled to sovereign immunity,
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Richardson was charged by University police with two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, obscenity, and two counts of simple assault. Sheila Evans and Ericka Collins were the complainants. A student disciplinary hearing before the University Judiciary Committee was held on October 27, 1992; Evans and Collins participated in the hearing. The Committee concluded that Richardson was guilty of the charged offenses and recommended expulsion as the proper penalty for Richardson's violations. Richardson was informed of these facts by letter dated October 29, 1992. Richardson's administrative appeal was denied on March 30, 1993.
On April 4, 1995, Richardson (proceeding pro se) brought an in forma pauperis § 1983 suit in federal court against Southern University and the two students who participated in the disciplinary hearing. Richardson alleged due process violations in his student disciplinary hearings, verbal abuse from a faculty member, false information on teacher certification by a staff member, denial of a fair and reasonable recommendation concerning his job performance, false arrest, and cruel and unusual punishment. He also asserted state-law causes of action for defamation and false imprisonment against Southern and defamation against students Evans and Collins. Richardson sought $1,700,000 in compensatory damages and $3,000,000 in punitive damages.
Southern's Board of Supervisors contends that we should dismiss this appeal because Richardson's federal and state-law claims are barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
I. ELEVENTH AMENDMENT IMMUNITY
We have shaped the contours of Eleventh Amendment immunity to comport with the common-sense notion that a plaintiff cannot avoid the sovereign immunity bar by suing a state agency or an arm of a State rather than the State itself.
We have taken a case-by-case approach to determining whether a State is the real party in interest in suits brought against entities which appear to be alter egos of that State. In particular, we have said that "`[a] federal court must examine the particular entity in question and its powers and characteristics as created by state law to determine whether the suit is in reality a suit against the state itself.'" Farias v. Bexar County Bd. of Trustees for Mental Health Mental Retardation Servs., 925 F.2d 866, 874 (5th Cir.) (quoting Laje v. R.E. Thomason Gen. Hosp., 665 F.2d 724, 727 (5th Cir.1982)), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 866, 112 S.Ct. 193, 116 L.Ed.2d 153 (1991). Six factors guide our determination of whether Southern and its Board of Supervisors are arms of the State of Louisiana, and they are as follows:
Delahoussaye, 937 F.2d at 147.
The applicability of Eleventh Amendment immunity to Richardson's state-law claim presents a slightly different question.
In this case, we need not engage in the Hughes analysis because Richardson has not sued any official from Southern University. Rather, Richardson's state-law claims are against the University qua University. Accordingly, because Louisiana has not waived its sovereign immunity for suits brought in federal court,
In short, Richardson's federal and state-law claims rise and fall together. And fall they must.
II. SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AND ITS BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ARE ENTITLED TO ELEVENTH AMENDMENT IMMUNITY
We first note a certain tension in the application of the Delahoussaye factors to cases involving Louisiana state universities. For purposes of analyzing Southern's claim to Eleventh Amendment immunity, Southern as an entity in and of itself cannot be meaningfully distinguished from Southern's Board of Supervisors, for the Board is the operative arm of the University. Therefore, in Laxey and Delahoussaye, we analyzed the functions of the governing board of the University of Southwestern Louisiana in our determination of whether the University was entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. Laxey, 22 F.3d at 623; Delahoussaye, 937 F.2d at 147-48.
This case, however, is not as straightforward as Laxey and Delahoussaye because (1) Richardson sued Southern University, yet the district court characterized the suit as one against Southern's Board of Supervisors, and (2) the Board of Supervisors filed the motion to dismiss this appeal. Because our analysis of Eleventh Amendment immunity is grounded in state law and because (as our analysis below demonstrates) Southern and its Board of Supervisors are viewed as one
Now to the merits of Southern's Eleventh Amendment immunity claim. Although we have held that the University of Southwestern Louisiana is an arm of the State of Louisiana and therefore enjoys Eleventh Amendment immunity, Delahoussaye, 937 F.2d at 146-48, and that "[t]he majority of decisions concerning the eleventh amendment status of state universities have concluded the institutions were arms of the state," United Carolina Bank v. Board of Regents, 665 F.2d 553, 557 (5th Cir. Unit A 1982), we nonetheless point out that "each situation must be addressed individually because the states have adopted different schemes both intra and interstate, in constituting their institutions of higher learning," United Carolina Bank, 665 F.2d at 557. Consistent with the conclusion reached by one of our district courts,
A. Louisiana Statutes and Case Law Peg Southern as an Arm of the State
Southern University is a creature of state law and is run by a Board of Supervisors established in the 1974 Louisiana Constitution. LA. CONST. art. 8, § 7 (creating the Board of Supervisors of Southern University as a "bod[y] corporate"); La.R.S. 17:3216 (West 1982) (stating that Southern University system is "under the supervision and management" of the Board of Supervisors); Moss v. Hall, 133 La. 351, 63 So. 45 (La. 1913) (describing the birth of Southern under Louisiana law); see generally Mullins v. Louisiana, 387 So.2d 1151, 1152 (La.1980) ("If the office is created by the legislature, or is established in the first instance by the constitution, it is a state office."). However, as we said in Delahoussaye, the fact that Southern was created under state law does not make Southern an arm of the State of Louisiana. 937 F.2d at 147 & n. 5 (comparing Tulane University, which was created by state law, yet does not enjoy Eleventh Amendment immunity because Tulane is a private institution). More is required. We have reviewed the relevant statutes and cases and conclude that under state law, Southern is an arm of the State of Louisiana. At least three characteristics of Southern's legal make-up compel this conclusion.
First, the Louisiana Department of Education administers the functions of Southern's Board. La. R.S. 36:642B (West 1985); Muhammed, 715 F.Supp. at 734. Second, the Louisiana Board of Regents (consisting of fifteen persons appointed by the governor with consent of the Louisiana senate) oversee Southern's Board to the extent that the Regents "plan, coordinate, and have budgetary responsibility for all public higher education...." LA. CONST. art. 8, § 5(A) (West 1996).
B. Southern's Funding Comes from the State of Louisiana
There are two characteristics of this prong of the Delahoussaye test — the first is whether
In addition, and perhaps most importantly, we have stated that "because an important goal of the eleventh amendment is the protection of states' treasuries, the most significant factor in assessing an entity's status is whether a judgment against it will be paid with state funds." McDonald v. Board of Miss. Levee Comm'rs, 832 F.2d 901, 907 (5th Cir.1987) (emphasis added); see also Jacintoport Corp. v. Greater Baton Rouge Port Comm'n, 762 F.2d 435, 440-41 (5th Cir.1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1057, 106 S.Ct. 797, 88 L.Ed.2d 774 (1986). Because Southern and its Board are considered an agency of the State of Louisiana, any money judgments rendered against Southern or its Board are payable from funds appropriated by the Louisiana Legislature. LA. CONST. art. 12, § 10; La. R.S. 13:5109B(2) (West 1991); Muhammed, 715 F.Supp. at 734.
C. Southern Enjoys Limited Local Autonomy
Although Southern's Board enjoys some degree of autonomy from the State of Louisiana (see footnote 12), the composition of Southern's Board is controlled by the State. For example, the governor appoints and the Louisiana Senate must approve the members of Southern's Board. La. R.S. 17:1831 (West 1982). In addition, as we have noted, Southern's Board is under the auspices of a Board of Regents whose members are also appointed by the governor and approved by the state senate. LA. CONST. art. 8, § 5(A). Finally, the Board's ability to raise funds by borrowing money or issuing notes, bonds, or certificates of indebtedness is somewhat circumscribed because such fundraising must meet with the approval of the State Bond Commission. La. R.S. 17:3351A(4) (West 1982). These facts, taken together, sufficiently demonstrate that Southern's limited autonomy does not take it out from underneath the protective cloak of Eleventh Amendment immunity. See Delahoussaye, 937 F.2d at 147.
D. Southern is Concerned with State-Wide as Opposed to Local Concerns
There can be no doubt that Southern's mission is predominantly (if not primarily) aimed at addressing matters of state-wide concern. Not only does Southern currently
E. The Last Two Delahoussaye Factors — The Right to Sue or be Sued and the Right to Hold and Use Property
Only Southern's Board, and not the University itself, can sue or be sued. See La. R.S. 17:3351A(1) (West 1982); Muhammed, 715 F.Supp. at 733; see also Emoakemeh v. Southern Univ., 654 So.2d 474, 475 (La.Ct. App. 1st Cir.1995) (suing the State of Louisiana "through the Southern University Board of Supervisors"); Marson v. Northwestern State Univ., 607 So.2d 1093, 1095 (La.Ct. App.3d Cir.1992) (holding that plaintiff had no cause of action against Northwestern State University, but rather against the Board of Trustees, who "under the constitution and statutes, is the right defendant under its supervisory powers" (citing LA. CONST. art. 8, § 6 (West 1996) and La. R.S. 17:3351(A)(1))). Similarly, Southern's Board has the right to hold and use property, but the University itself does not. La. R.S. 17:3351A(6), (8), (9) (West 1982); Muhammed, 715 F.Supp. at 734.
However, just because Southern's Board can be sued and can hold and use property does not mean that these final two factors weigh against a finding of sovereign immunity. In fact, precisely the opposite is true. First, as we have noted, Louisiana has not waived its immunity from suit in federal court. See La.R.S. 13:5106A. Second, and perhaps most importantly, money judgments against the Board are paid by the State of Louisiana. See, e.g., Delahoussaye, 937 F.2d at 148 n. 6. Accordingly, the final two Delahoussaye factors do not prevent us from finding that Southern and its Board of Supervisors are entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity.
We conclude that all six Delahoussaye factors point inescapably to the conclusion that Southern University and its Board of Supervisors are arms of the State of Louisiana, that the State is the real party in interest in this lawsuit, and that Southern and its Board are entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. We therefore dismiss Richardson's appeal
APPEAL DISMISSED. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO SUPPLEMENT THE RECORD DENIED.
Id. at 442. Although Southern's Board has limited autonomy, La. R.S. 17:3351A(6), (8), (9), the Board is nonetheless supervised by the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana Board of Regents. LA. CONST. art. 8, § 5(A); La. R.S. 36:642B.