Message from the President

January 05, 2024

Community Commitment

We believe that engagement is essential for creating a vibrant and enriching university experience. We strive to provide equal opportunities for students, faculty, and staff, ensuring that everyone has the chance to thrive and succeed. Our commitment extends to creating a safe and accessible campus, where individuals can feel secure and supported in their pursuit of knowledge and personal growth. Above all, we prioritize excellence in all aspects of our work, aiming to uphold the highest standards of education, research, and service.

Dear LSU Community,

As we begin a new year, we enter with a renewed sense of commitment to our university community and to the state of Louisiana. We are in the final stages of preparing our long-awaited system and flagship strategic plans, and in advance of that unveiling, we will begin implementation of a central and unifying theme: engagement.

Engagement is defined in several ways. We use two forms of the definition. For us, it represents a two-way process that enables change on both sides. To fully deliver on the promise our flagship offers, we must engage with each other to exchange views and experiences and share potential solutions to our most pressing challenges. Second, engagement reflects a serious commitment. We must commit to find ways to translate our discoveries and talent to serve and elevate the state and its people.

To expand our impact on Louisiana and the world at large, we must increase engagement at every level. That’s a challenge we’re willing to take on for the betterment of our flagship, our friends, and our neighbors.

We’ll start with the largest component of our community: our students. Working with the Division of Student Affairs, the Division of Enrollment Management & Student Success, and every college on campus, the Division of Inclusion, Civil Rights & Title IX will sharpen its focus to enable students across four key areas:

  • Leadership development
  • Career readiness and workforce development
  • First-year experience, college readiness, and mentoring
  • Health, safety, and wellness

We will measure the impact this change has on all indicators of success across our student body. Additionally, to better reflect this shift, the Division of Inclusion, Civil Rights & Title IX will now be known as the Division of Engagement, Civil Rights & Title IX. And to further incentivize and reward students who excel in this area, we will also introduce the Tiger Engagement Award, which will provide two students annually with an award of $500.

Next, we look to faculty. To support engagement with our esteemed colleagues, we will enact several initiatives. First, we will formally add faculty engagement to all Academic Affairs administrators’ portfolios. We will also introduce an annual award recognizing the university’s most distinguished engaged faculty member with a $3,000 stipend to acknowledge and encourage work that engages individuals and the community in the spirit of our land-grant mission. Additionally, we will work with interested faculty to develop an annual symposium on engagement, service, and the land-grant university. You will soon see a survey to this effect in your inbox, and we hope you’ll take a moment to share your input and perspective.

We also want to recognize the contributions of our valued staff members through introducing the Scholarship First Staff Engagement Award. This annual recognition program will award two exceptional staff whose efforts have resulted in increased engagement on campus and beyond our gates with a $1,000 stipend, and two additional staff members whose efforts have been commendable with a $500 stipend each.

Details and instructions related to award nominations and applications will be forthcoming. All award recipients will be selected via committee.

Finally, we will continue our commitment to state of Louisiana and its citizens through our supplier engagement initiatives. A portion of LSU’s $6.1 billion economic impact is our purchasing power, and we are focusing our efforts to engage suppliers with opportunities to partner with LSU. Details on an upcoming supplier engagement event for the spring will be released later this month.

As we continue to refine our strategic plan, we will share additional measures that will support engagement at both the faculty and staff level, and others that promote the same across our university community and beyond. Moving forward, we will continue to promote engagement through faculty, staff, student, and community groups, both as a core value of our strategic plan and through specific initiatives. Representatives from the Division of Engagement, Civil Rights & Title IX, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Marketing & Communications, and/or the Division of Finance & Administration will reach out to help your division navigate this focus on engagement as appropriate.

We have significant accomplishments to tout, but we should never lose sight of the people who make the university special, and that’s you – our students, faculty, and staff. Our university’s success in education, research and creative scholarship, and outreach is dependent upon our community’s willingness to engage with one another both in and outside of our campus gates.


William F. Tate IV
LSU President