Executive Vice President & Provost
Roy Haggerty

Roy Haggerty

Roy Haggerty currently serves as the executive vice president & provost of Louisiana State University. Haggerty, the chief operating and chief academic officer of LSU’s flagship campus in Baton Rouge, maintains executive oversight over all instruction, student support, enrollment management, and research while simultaneously serving as the chief academic officer for all LSU campuses across the state and the chief academic advisor to the President. Haggerty reports to President William F. Tate IV, who serves as the chief executive officer of the flagship institution as well as the statewide system.

Prior to joining LSU, Haggerty spent 26 years at Oregon State University, where he held several leadership positions including dean of the College of Science, interim dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and associate vice president of research. An environmental geologist scholar, Haggerty is a Geological Society of America fellow and has led research projects totaling $9 million and has published 75 peer-reviewed articles, predominantly in hydrology. Haggerty is widely known for his development of the smart tracer, a molecule that moves with water while it senses and records valuable information about the environment.

Haggerty received a Ph.D. and M.S. in hydrogeology from Stanford University and a B.S. with first class honors from the University of Alberta. His hometown is Provost, Alberta, Canada. 

Get to Know the Provost

I grew up on a farm in rural Alberta, Canada and I am the first in my family to attend college. Ever since I was a young boy, I have always loved learning and trying to understand everything I could about a broad range of topics. I have had a lifelong interest in earth science and earth history, astrophysics (and physics in general), economics, languages (particularly Spanish), philosophy, history, Latin America, and others. I have always been drawn to the fundamentals in the arts and sciences. While I didn't know I wanted to be in academics for many years, in retrospect, it is obvious that I would be an academic. Universities are the greatest force for improving human well-being because they are about generating, propagating and preserving knowledge, and knowledge is the most important element (necessary, but not sufficient) in solving any problem.

I am most looking forward to learning about the great scholarship that is going on at LSU and to and to advancing President Tate's Scholarship First vision and to see that vision succeed in helping Louisiana to prosper.

Four elements of my philosophy are the following: First, you have to have a vision of where you want to take an organization, and the people who work with you need to know what it is.  George Washington Carver said, "Where there is no vision, there is no hope." Second, my top priority is to make the people who work for me successful, and to make my boss successful. If everyone does that, then the organization succeeds. Third, good leaders delegate authority to those who need it and are capable of exercising it, and then stay out of their way while holding them accountable. Lastly, no problem can be fixed without understanding it. Step one is to ask enough questions and get the data.

I'm not sure if there is a single leader that I admire the most, but there are a few people that inspire me. Before I give their names, it's important to mention that all leaders have flaws - people are complex and most people contain a mix of good and bad. I admire Thomas Jefferson for his vision and love of knowledge, Shakespeare's Henry V and Volodymyr Zelenskyy for their ability to inspire in the face of adversity, Martin Luther King Jr. for his call to America to live up to its own ideals, and Katalin Karikó for her relentless, multi-decadal pursuit of the mRNA vaccine.

Scientifically, I am probably proudest of my 2008 publication and discovery of "smart tracers." I completed a sabbatical in Catalonia, and in that year, I conceived of and developed the world's first smart tracer, which is a tracer that, while moving with water in the environment, senses and records information about the environment through which it moves. Administratively, I am probably proudest of my leadership to form, with nine colleagues, an organization (TRACE) which did tremendous work to test 80,000 people across Oregon for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with a particular focus on communities of color. This was done in the heart of the pandemic, and we showed that universities can move quickly to do very important work that applies knowledge to a pressing problem, and that the work can be done in a way that increases equity and inclusivity.

LSU is unique in the scholarship pentagon - Agriculture, Biotechnology, Coast, Defense and Energy. These five scholarship themes are uniquely important and strong at LSU, linking the university to the needs and strengths of Louisiana, and I look forward to helping LSU to build them all to the absolute best they can be.

Faculty need support for their scholarship and teaching. For example, that is why we are soon going to announce new seed funding to help support the creation of teams and their initial work to go after great ideas to move LSU forward in the scholarship pentagon and allied areas. Faculty are the foundation of all great universities. It is their ideas that students seek, and their ideas that change the world. You will see and hear me celebrating our faculty all the time, in everything from giving them awards recognizing their work to developing funding to seed their research to touting their accomplishments to the public and to our leaders.

The most significant thing that a faculty member can give any student is their time, and the next most valuable thing is the resources they need to make discoveries on their own.

I am a runner. I'm not very fast any more, but I like to get out for an hour or so at least six times a week. I am a Spanish speaker, and take every opportunity I can to read, speak or listen to Spanish with friends and colleagues. My wife, Amanda, and I enjoy long walks with our Great Dane, Darwin.