02/07/2013 04:50 PM
BATON ROUGE – LSU’s Transition Advisory Team, a 10-member panel tasked with providing
information to the LSU Board of Supervisors to facilitate the reshaping of the LSU
System, held an Immersion Workshop on Thursday, Feb. 7, at the LSU Energy, Coast and
At the meeting, the team discussed the elements of a vision and basic tenets for LSU,
which will form the foundation of the team’s first report to the Board of Supervisors
LSU Board of Supervisors Chair Hank Danos kicked off the workshop by thanking the Transition Advisory Team members for their willingness to serve the university. Danos said the team is working to help prepare LSU to be the global university it needs to be in the future.
“It’s an exciting time in our history,” said Danos, who encouraged the team to focus
on objectives that can be reasonably achieved in the short term to set the pace for
the LSU 2015 process.
The Transition Advisory Team discussed common themes that institutions across the
country are facing. These items included unsustainable cost trends, growing and changing
consumer demands, and rapidly emerging technologies.
The team discussed imperatives for LSU’s transformation, which include refocusing
energy and resources on academics, developing and leveraging alternative revenue sources,
serving the economic and workforce development needs of the state and students, and
improving quality through innovative delivery models and collaborative research. These
priorities will form the basis of the team’s report to the Board of Supervisors.
During the meeting, Stan Ikenberry, the former president of the University of Illinois
and of the American Council of Education, provided insight into other universities’
efforts to prepare for the future with his discussion, “Best Practices in Higher Education
Ikenberry said that higher education in the U.S. is facing a challenging time when
three major forces are impinging on every institution in the country: access, quality
and performance matter now more than before; the business model under which public
higher education has operated over last century is showing some strain; and the pace
of change, particularly technological change, is more rapid than ever before.
Ikenberry suggested that reorganization should be a multi-phased process. He said
the first phase would prove more rewarding if the team focused on basic administrative
and governmental structural changes. Some examples included reducing layers, focusing
on not just restructuring but also on improving administrative performance and responsibility,
reducing overhead, and increasing investment in teaching and research. He said the
most tangible rewards lie in getting the basic structure in place, reducing cost and
“Your primary aim of creating a world-class university is important and a great rallying
point of what you’re working on, and it’s important to those that LSU serves,” said
Ikenberry, who added this process will hopefully result in a stronger business model
and make the university more nimble and adaptive.
Ikenberry strongly urged the Transition Advisory Team to recognize, value and preserve
LSU’s uniqueness as they work through the reorganization process.
“Making these changes but understanding the constructive LSU uniqueness and preserving
that in a reconstructed and streamlined way is important,” he said.
The Transition Advisory Team held a group discussion on their vision and tenants for
LSU and looked ahead to the future and how the university could look in 10 years.
An update on the status and structure of the Transition Advisory Team subcommittee
meetings was discussed by the group. Each subcommittee will meet no less than three
times and have at least one meeting outside Baton Rouge. All subcommittee meetings
will be open to the public, and local and national subject matter experts will be
invited to speak. Testimonies from other relevant individuals will be heard, and subcommittees
and the Transition Advisory Team will use online surveys to gain additional input
from students, faculty and staff.
The Transition Advisory Team Immersion Workshop was available online via live streaming
video for those who could not attend in person. Individuals watching online participated
in the question and answer session with Ikenberry, and viewership reached nearly 150
at points during the meeting.
For more information about LSU’s re-organization process, visit www.lsu.edu/LSU2015.
Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013