LSU President Position Description

LSU President Search

Position Description

The LSU System and Flagship campus

The Office of the President provides overall leadership, vision and direction for the Louisiana State University System.  

The Louisiana State University System is the flagship system of public colleges and universities in Louisiana. The LSU System is dedicated to providing a positive learning environment that enables students to achieve their full potential. It includes the LSU Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge (the premier flagship university for the state); campus units at Alexandria, Eunice, and Shreveport; Health Science Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport; LSU Agricultural Center; and Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. 

The LSU System is governed by the LSU Board of Supervisors, composed of two members from each congressional district and three members from the state at large, appointed by the governor with confirmation of the Senate. 

The LSU system has more than 35,000 undergraduate students and more than 12,000 graduate students; it also has 2,000 professional students in the Health Centers. In 2019, it granted 6,400 bachelor degrees; 3,200 masters degrees; 340 doctoral degrees; and 700 professional or associate degrees. These degrees included 2,200 STEM degrees; 950 in Nursing and Health; and 300 MD. There are 3,000 full-time-equivalent faculty members, including 1,340 tenured or tenure-track. The LSU System has an endowment with a market value larger than  $900M, about $350M in annual research expenditures, and more than 200 active licenses.  

LSU President Responsibilities

As the chief executive and academic officer of both the LSU University system and the LSU flagship campus (a Land, Sea, and Space Grant institution), the LSU President will advance their mission and vision. 

The President will provide strategic and collaborative leadership in developing and advancing aspirational goals and plans to achieve the LSU System’s Mission of fostering first-class learning, the discovery of innovations and the development of Louisiana’s human capital by applying research and scholarship in advancing intellectual, personal, and professional growth. 

As the chief executive of the LSU campus, the President will advance the generation, preservation, dissemination, and application of knowledge and cultivation of the arts. 

As required by the current LSU Bylaws, the LSU President will establish administrative policies and procedures; implement educational policies; coordinate the activities among the various campuses; prepare and present a consolidated budget; serve as government liaison and spokesperson for the University to the alumni, news media and the general public; and promote the general welfare of the University in its several parts and as a whole.  The President is a member of all faculties and serves as chair of all Faculty Councils. The President is the chair of the LSU Leadership Council, consisting of the Chancellors  and designated University Officers. 

The LSU president is expected to:

  • Develop, periodically review and maintain a long-term policy, programmatic, and operational agenda that incorporates the needs of students, the Board of Supervisors, Faculty, Staff, Administration, State Legislators, Alumni, and Business and Community Stakeholders.  
  • Provide effective leadership and support for the academic programs to achieve excellence in instruction, research and outreach.
  • Provide effective leadership and support for a program of student life that complements the academic program and recognizes the diverse interests and needs of the student body.
  • Support and mentor the System Chancellors and overall leadership and build a culture of understanding, mutual trust, collaboration, and shared accountability to ensure academic, research, and fiscal excellence across the System’s eight institutions. 
  • Serves as main spokesperson for the LSU System, promoting the University’s interests and managing its reputation with external stakeholders.
  • Lead and promote activities that ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are values that are embraced and incorporated into all areas and institutions of the LSU System.
  • Establish and maintain effective relations with the executive and legislative divisions of the state and federal government, the national academic community and other relevant constituencies.
  • Manage the fiscal resources of the LSU System and of the LSU flagship campus, and provide leadership in obtaining the financial and human resources necessary to accomplish the mission of the University.
  • Provide leadership in philanthropic activities to support LSU, coordinating and supporting efforts by the LSU Foundation, LSU Alumni Association, and the Tiger Athletic Foundation.
  • Provide direction, support, and appropriate control over the university’s intercollegiate athletics program. 

LSU President Attributes/Qualifications

In order to fulfill these important responsibilities, LSU seeks an innovative and visionary president.  The desired attributes and qualifications of the LSU President are: 

  • Has uncompromising personal values (honesty, integrity, humility, empathy, passionate, treats others with respect) and lives these values every day. 
  • Has a personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, leading by example.
  • Willingness to address difficult situations. Must be able to lead confidently and effectively through uncertainty, crisis, and stressful situations. 
  • Ability to develop and effectively communicate a compelling and exciting vision for LSU, prioritizing academics and aligning the organization's resources and actions (human and financial capital, infrastructure, processes, short- and long-term goals, etc.) to achieve the vision.
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to engage with state and federal governmental officials and LSU philanthropic institutions in securing the sustainable fiscal and infrastructural support essential to achieving our vision.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain long-term relationships with all constituents based on trust, mutual respect, transparency, and credibility.
  • Must be a strong, credible, and effective communicator and a good listener in all situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively consider and weigh all relevant information and perspectives and make good informed, thoughtful decisions in a timely basis.
  • Demonstrated success in instilling continuous improvement building a culture that is never satisfied with average performance or status quo.
  • Has a track record of building teams that continuously deliver outstanding results based on their focus, teamwork, and collaboration both internally and externally.
  • Must quickly develop a true appreciation and love for LSU and Louisiana, its people and its traditions, and incorporate that perspective into the vision and every day decisions.
  • Must have an earned terminal degree and achieved sufficient academic excellence to gain the trust and respect of the faculty.
  • Outstanding financial and budgetary skills and a working knowledge of the issues facing academic institutions and medicine.
  • Possesses a successful track record of administration and leadership in a complex higher education environment.

Application Process

The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, comprehensive curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of five or more references) to be submitted to the search firm assisting the LSU System. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The Search Committee prefers that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm website prior to March 15, 2021.

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Grant Higgison, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-804-1996 X 102, X 109

lwilder@parkersearch.com
pwilliams@parkersearch.com
ghiggison@parkersearch.com

Diversity is fundamental to LSU’s mission. The university is committed to creating and maintaining a living and learning environment that embraces individual differences. Cultural inclusion is of the highest priority. LSU recognizes achieving international prominence depends on the human spirit, participation, and dedicated work of the entire university community. The LSU Strategic Plan will be realized by bringing together diverse ideas, perspectives, skills, and talents of the nation’s preeminent scholars, brightest students, and leading higher education professionals. Through its Commitment to Community, LSU strives to create an inclusive, respectful, and intellectually challenging climate that embraces individual difference in race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, religion/spirituality, socioeconomic status, disability, family or marital status, genetic information, veteran’s status, experiences, opinions, and ideas. LSU proactively cultivates and sustains a campus environment that values open dialogue, cooperation, shared responsibility, mutual respect, and cultural competence—the driving forces that enrich and enhance cutting-edge research, first-rate teaching, and engaging community outreach activities. To learn more, visit LSU Together at lsu.edu/together/.

Louisiana State University is an exceptional university committed to serving its state, the nation, and the world through education, research, and public service. Located in one of America’s most beautiful and unique locations, LSU is a community of scholars and professionals committed to opportunity without restrictions that are based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

State Registration Requirement

Louisiana Revised Statute 42:31 requires all unclassified employees earning $100,000 or more annually to provide proof of a valid Louisiana driver’s license and that all vehicles titled in their name have been registered in the state of Louisiana. Accordingly, successful candidates impacted by La. R.S. 42:31 will be expected to comply with these requirements within 30 days of hire as a condition of employment. Employees must continue to comply throughout the duration of employment.

An Equal Opportunity Institution

LSU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran’s status in its programs and activities and provides equal access to Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. For more information or if you believe you have been subject to discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or disability, please contact LSU’s Title IX, ADA, and 504 coordinator Jennie Stewart at jstewart@lsu.edu, 225-578-3918, or University Administration Building, Ste 123.