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Media Advisory, Faculty & Staff Focus, General Information

LSU Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor Candidate Stuart R. Bell Gives Presentation

03/12/2012 10:22 AM

BATON ROUGE – LSU welcomed the final candidate for the position of executive vice chancellor & provost to campus for an open forum on Friday, March 9.


Stuart R. Bell, dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas, met with members of LSU’s faculty and staff in Room 143 of Charles E. Coates Hall.


During his presentation, Bell said that to achieve the university’s Flagship 2020 mission, LSU must focus on four major aspects of higher education – discovery, learning, diversity and engagement.


“A flagship university needs to be placing itself at the nexus of the very most important and relevant issues facing us,” he said.


Bell said that he promotes a “student-first” mentality, and that he feels a flagship university such as LSU must do the same. This includes the importance of international relations for the university, so that students can obtain a global perspective. He cited examples such as collaborations with international universities, exchange programs with faculty, student diversity and study abroad programs


“We have to bring the world to them,” Bell said. “The big issues today require international engagement. Whatever our field of study or research is, we can be assured that our students will be part of a global workforce at some point in their lives. Our ability to prepare them is paramount.”


While LSU faces challenging economic times, Bell said he has worked amid a similar situation at the University of Kansas. He said that during that state’s financial struggles, he helped to create the Building on Excellence Initiative, a multi-year, $500 million strategic plan that aims to improve the University of Kansas’ School of Engineering programs, faculty, facilities and graduation rates. Funding for the program comes from private donations, increased student tuition and state funding. Currently at the program’s halfway point, Bell said, the school has seen growth of about 30 percent.


Concerning research, Bell said he favors increasing research efforts to bolster both undergraduate and graduate programs, including the implementation of more multi-disciplinary collaborations


Bell added that he felt LSU must do more to show its necessity not only to legislators in Louisiana, but worldwide.


“There’s nothing this state does that adds more economic value than what we do as a university,” Bell said. “We just haven’t done a good job of communicating that. The relevance and impact of the university must be made clear.


“The future is extremely bright, but not without its challenges. Anything worth working for will require hard work. It would be my pleasure to work hand in hand with you to sculpt that future.”


Following his presentation, Bell took questions from the audience on topics such as how his successes at prior institutions were supported, how he would inspire more multi-disciplinary studies at LSU, what he felt were the major challenges facing faculty members and how he would help students meet the challenges of adjusting to university life, among other topics.


Originally from Abilene, Texas, Bell received his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering as well as masters and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. He joined the faculty of the University of Alabama’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1986, before serving head of the department from 1995-2002. While there, he founded the university’s Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies. He accepted the deanship of the University of Kansas’ School of Engineering in 2002.


More information on Bell is available at


Bell was the last of four candidates to be interviewed and give a presentation to the LSU community. The other candidates for executive vice chancellor & provost include:



To learn more about the LSU executive vice chancellor & provost search, visit Feedback from the LSU community on the candidates is encouraged and may be submitted online at by clicking on “Candidate Assessment.”

LSU Media Relations