LSU Board of Supervisors Names New Chair-Elect, Extends Contracts for Alexander & Alleva

09/12/2014 04:56 PM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Board of Supervisors assumed a new leader and chose it’s next one at their September meeting at the University Administration Building on Lakeshore Drive.

Ann Duplessis of New Orleans took over as the board’s new chair, replacing Bobby Yarborough. Duplessis has formerly served as the Louisiana State Senator for District 2 from 2002 -2010 serving New Orleans East, Holy Cross and the Lower Ninth Ward communities. She retired in June 2010 to accept the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. She was elected as the board’s chair-elect a year ago and will serve as the chair until August of 2015.

In addition, the board voted Raymond J. Lasseigne, of Bossier City, La., as the new chair-elect to take over for Duplessis following her term. Lasseigne is president and co-owner of both TMR Exploration Inc. and Sandia Drilling LLP.

“I would just like to say how honored I am to have been selected by the men of this board to lead them,” said Duplessis.

“I’m very humbled,” said Lasseigne. “I know there’s a lot of work to be done here, but I’m not afraid because I know that I’ll have six other former chairs around to help me should I need it.”

Additionally, the board swore in its newest member, former U.S. congressman Jim McCrery of Shreveport.

The board approved contract extensions for several university officials, including LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander, who’s contract will now run until the year 2019.

“Dr. Alexander has done so much work and really never stopped moving since we hired him,” said Duplessis. “It’s important that we keep him around for a long time.”

The board also approved contract extensions to LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva, as well as Lady Tigers Basketball Coach Nikki Caldwell and LSU Softball Coach Beth Torina. For more information on these extensions, visit

In his president’s report, Alexander introduced the board to the new Journey to College initiative, a program designed to help educating students and their parents at a younger age on the benefits and requirements for entrance to college, including checklists for students as young as middle school, tips for student success and information on financial aid.

“We want to start educating these parents and preparing these students long before they begin the application process,” Alexander explained.

More information on the program is available at

Alexander discussed and handed out information on LSU’s student outcomes as presented on the LSU public good website, LSU is committed to providing exceptional, affordable and accessible higher education, and sharing student outcomes in as transparent a manner as possible. This new webpage provides a snapshot of LSU’s student body, diversity, academic, economic composition, and alumni starting- and mid-career salaries.

Alexander also introduced LSU’s new Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications, Linda Bonnin, who was recently hired from the University of Memphis.

“I’m very proud to be a part of Dr. Alexander’s team,” said Bonnin. “From the time I arrived off of the plane in Baton Rouge, I have been so pleased with the people I’ve met and intrigued by the challenges here. It made the decision to move easy, and I’m so excited to be here.”

The board also honored LSU history professor Suzanne Marchand, who was named the university’s 72nd Boyd Professor in May. Marchand is a respected researcher in the field of German history and has been with LSU for 15 years.

During committee reports, the board’s Property and Facilities Committee received a presentation from Huron Consulting Engagement on asset optimization – specifically ways that LSU can increase efficiency and revenue in specific areas, such as campus parking, campus housing and energy use.

The board’s Academic and Student Affairs, Achievement and Distinction Committee heard an update on technology transfer matters and the LIFT² Fund and Program. In addition it approved a request to establish the Center of Research Excellence in Plant Biotechnology and Crop Development at LSU, as well as the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education and Evaluation in the College of Agriculture.

The board also received updates from Executive Vice President of Health Care and Medical Education Redesign Frank Opelka, and from the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

Other actions taken by the board include:

  • Approval of the purchase of additional land for the LSU South Campus property.

  • Approval of a request from the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and LSU-Shreveport for review and approval of their mission statements;

  • Approval of a request from LSU-Eunice to broaden the original research areas of two endowed professorships funded by train-derailment endowments;

  • The establishment of the following endowed professorships at LSU:

    • The Arthur K. Barton Professorship in Mathematics in the College of Science;

    • The Doris Westmoreland Darden Professorship No. 6 in the Manship School of Mass Communication;

    • And the U.J. LeGrange Endowed Professorship in Accounting No. 9 in the E. J. Ourso College of Business;

  • Approval of a request from the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry to establish the Department of Diagnostic Sciences by consolidation of the existing Department of Oral Diagnosis/Medicine/Radiology and Department of Oral Pathology;

  • Reauthorization of the LSU Hurricane Center;

  • Conditional approval to establish the Professional Sales Institute at LSU;

  • Approval to name a lab in the LSU College of Engineering the “ETEC Hydraulics and Water Distribution Lab”;

  • Approval to name the conference room in Howe Russell-Kniffen Hall at LSU the “Dr. Robert A. Muller Conference Room”;

  • Approval of a request by the LSU AgCenter for consent to assignment by Halcon Energy Properties Inc. to HK TMS, LLC of Oil, Gas & Mineral Lease from in East Feliciana Parish;

  • And approval for the LSU AgCenter to establish a restricted account for oil, gas and mineral revenues.

Billy  Gomila 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Friday, September 12, 2014