10/26/2012 05:59 PM
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday voted to combine the positions
of President of the LSU System and the Chancellor of LSU into a single position, the
President of LSU.
“Today is an historic day for LSU,” said Hank Danos, chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
“This is a tremendous first step in moving LSU forward, toward giving LSU and its
students the best opportunity to achieve excellence and serve the state of Louisiana
to its fullest.”
The unanimous vote of the Board came after the presentation of a report prepared by
the Association of Governing Board of Universities and Colleges (AGB), available online
at http://www.lsusystem.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/AGB-Report-to-the-LSU-Board-of-Supervisors.pdf, that recommends a restructuring and realignment of the components of the LSU System
into a single university. The Board will review the report and a special meeting
will be held next week to consider its recommendations.
“This is about establishing a robust LSU to its rightful position as one of the nation’s
top flagship research universities,” said William Jenkins, interim president and chancellor
of LSU. “There are important decisions to be made in considering this report, but
there is no denying that LSU is moving forward. Looking back is not an option.”
Jenkins became interim president in April upon the departure of President John Lombardi,
and then assumed the additional responsibilities of interim chancellor of the LSU
campus upon the departure of Chancellor Michael Martin in May.
The decision to combine the president and chancellor positions into a single President
of LSU enables the Board to move forward with a search to fill the position. Board
member Blake Chatelain will head a search committee and will be assisted by the search
consulting firm of R. William Funk and Associates.
The report by AGB is titled “A Newly Aligned Louisiana State University, Globally
Competitive for the 21st Century.” The report proposes an LSU that would be “greater
than the current flagship, not only in component parts, but also in reach, authority,
responsibility, and opportunity.” It proposes that the newly aligned LSU would be
“not a Baton Rouge institution, but a state institution.”
The report says of the proposed new integrated multi-campus LSU, “The ultimate goal
is a globally competitive, 21st century university and one with a much larger footprint:
The main campus develops a national and international reputation, while simultaneously
broadening the mission in Louisiana to educate the state’s citizens, prepare its workforce,
provide health care to its populace, and focus research and innovation for its economy.”
The proposal positions LSU students as the primary beneficiaries of the new LSU and
anticipates the ability for students to apply to multiple campuses under a simpler
application process, to pursue a common curriculum with shared course numbering, the
ability to move more seamlessly among campuses and generally benefit from expanded
and shared resources in the new LSU structure.
The new LSU, according to the report, would provide faculty with more opportunities
to connect with colleagues on other LSU campuses for teaching and research.
The new alignment and restructuring would result in a raised profile for the university,
improved academic rankings, greater capacity for research, greater potential for fund-raising
and more collaboration among the various campuses, according to the report.
The new structure would also have administrative benefits in cost-savings and efficiencies
among units such as human resources, finance and budgeting, public relations and communications,
governmental affairs, data warehousing and facilities, according to the report.
The report proposes a restructured and realigned LSU headed by the newly created President
position that reports to the LSU Board of Supervisors, which maintains full constitutional
authority over the university. The President would be supported by five Executive
Vice Presidents, including a Senior Executive Vice President and Provost with primary
responsibility for the main campus and all academic matters.
The Senior Executive Vice President and Provost would oversee the chancellors of LSU-Alexandria,
LSU-Eunice, LSU-Shreveport and the Hebert Law Center while also managing Academic
Affairs, including the deans and academic directors of the main campus; Distance Learning,
Technology and Institutional Research; Student Success and Enrollment Management,
and Research and Service.
An Executive Vice President for Health Affairs would oversee LSU Health Centers at
New Orleans and Shreveport, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Health Care
Delivery (hospitals and clinics). The report says the state would be better served
at a more efficient level “by having the academic medical centers, hospitals and physician
practice plans working more closely together in patient care, research, service and
in administrative functions.”
The current functions of the Ag Center would be subsumed under an Executive Vice President
for Agriculture as well as the operation of the existing College of Agriculture. An
Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration would serve as the Chief Financial
Officer for the new LSU and would oversee Budgeting, Financial Management, Human Resources
and Facilities. An Executive Vice President for External Relations would be responsible
a Governmental Relations office and a Communications department.
The report from AGB also outlines important issues to be addressed in order to achieve the realignment and restructuring, provides a task list that indicates timing and sequence for implementation and proposes an organization chart for the new LSU.
Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012