LSU Board of Supervisors Approves GRAD Act Autonomies
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Board of Supervisors authorized LSU System President John Lombardi to grant an initial Louisiana GRAD Act 2.0 "base level" of autonomy to LSU during its October meeting at the LSU System Building on campus.
The autonomies, such as the ability to retain unspent funds at the end of a fiscal year; permission to execute individual contracts up to $49,999 in a 12-month period without further review by the state’s Office of Contractual Review; and the ability to dispose of obsolete equipment without first getting the approval of another state agency, were approved during the past session of the Louisiana Legislature.
LSU officials believe the added operational freedoms will save more than $52 million over five years, allowing more money to be directed into the classroom.
The board also received a written report on the final fall 2011 enrollment from the campuses of the system. LSU’s overall undergraduate enrollment increased to 23,980 this year compared to 23,686 in the fall of 2010, despite a slight decline in new freshmen enrollment. Chancellor Michael Martin credited retention of the 2010 freshman class, one of the largest in school history, for the overall enrollment increase. He also mentioned a more targeted approach to recruiting, aimed at high-achieving students that have a greater chance at retention.
Additionally, the board approved the purchase portions of the LSU South Campus property from the LSU Property Foundation, as part of the university’s continuing effort to develop a research park on the land.
The board also approved a lease agreement with the Equine Lameness Unit LLC for the construction of the LSU Veterinary Medecine Equine Lameness Unit.
Other actions of the board included:
- Recommendation to name the East Campus Apartments Building 14 “Margaret Jameson Hall.”
- Recommendation to name the LSU Hill Farm Garden the “Donald W. Newsom Hill Farm Gardens.”
- Recommendation to name an interview room in the LSU Olinde Family Career Center the “CenterPoint Energy Interview Room.”
- Request approval of degrees to be conferred at the fall 2011 commencement exercises.
- Request approval to establish a bachelor of science degree in athletic training in the Department of Kinesiology.