Roger Husser: I am...Collaborative.
Roger Husser, PE received his BS in engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1993, then went on to earn his MS in engineering from Louisiana State University in 2000. Husser has been working with LSU since 1994 and as assistant vice president for Planning, Design and Construction since 2012. In this position he has had oversight of the development of many campus improvements including the new Patrick F. Taylor Hall, University Recreation facilities, Tiger Stadium expansion and Nicholson Gateway Development, to name a few, as well as the Comprehensive and Strategic Campus Master Plan.
How do you define collaborative? Why is it important?
I define collaboration as the act of engaging appropriate stakeholders and ensuring
an outcome is well thought through, with the proper input that meets the needs of
the whole to the extent possible.
Can you explain how you were collaborative in the creation of the Campus Master Plan? What was your role?
The development of the Comprehensive and Strategic Campus Master Plan was the most holistic planning effort in the history of LSU. As the “leader” of the master planning effort, it was noted as absolutely critical on day one that the effort would be as engaging as we could possibly make it with input from every facet of the university. The master planning effort involved over 120 meetings with students, faculty, staff and external constituents, 30 virtual meetings, 50 conference calls and online surveys and interactive websites in the event those who wanted to provide input had ample opportunity to do so. Equally important, and part of the collaboration, was communication to the campus stakeholders as to the progress of the effort and the reasoning behind decisions that are made. Although the best collaboration does not always render the ideal outcome for all stakeholders, good communication generally results in adoption and buy-in and provides the “why” behind the decisions that are made.
Our office of Planning, Design and Construction lives in a world of continual planning
and collaboration, with the Comprehensive and Strategic Campus Master Plan being the
most significant. We collaborate with a mixture of design professionals as well as
internally with LSU students, faculty and staff on a daily basis to ensure that the
physical outcomes on the campus not only meet our design standards and goals but also
meet the goals of the campus stakeholders and LSU’s Strategic Plan.
How can it be difficult to collaborate with others?
We must first all be open to new ideas and input from others with a genuine interest
in meeting not only our unit’s goals but LSU’s holistic goals. The difficulty in collaborating
with others is when individuals are too focused on their individual or departmental
needs without focusing on LSU’s overarching goals.
Do you think collaboration can make someone a more effective team member?
Absolutely! Regardless of whether an individual lives in the world of planning and
collaboration as we do, a collaborative individual who recognizes global goals and
the needs of others will always function better as part of the team.
How has collaboration on your team had a positive impact on LSU?
I believe collaboration on our continual planning efforts for LSU, both within our internal teams and with the students, faculty and staff, fosters a sense of buy-in and trust with the campus community. The outcomes of our long term planning and projects, which will have impacts on LSU literally for decades if not hundreds of years, are so critically important. Making good, collaborative decisions for LSU in the very distant future, with the magnitude of LSU expertise in its current students, faculty and staff is of utmost importance.