LSU Board of Supervisors Holds March Meeting
BATON ROUGE – During the March meeting of the LSU Board of Supervisors, the Presidential Search Committee presented F. King Alexander as the consensus candidate for LSU President.
Alexander, currently president of California State University-Long Beach, drew praise from search committee members as a “strong decision-maker that is very collaborative.”
“One of the things that really interested us was how good of a communicator he is,” said search committee and board member Stephen Perry.
“I want to thank the members of this committee for their hard work and diligence in this process,” said Search Committee Chair R. Blake Chatelain.
Alexander will visit LSU’s campus in the coming days and meet with faculty, staff, students and board members. The board is expected to vote on his candidacy at a special meeting on Wednesday, March 27, at 10 a.m.
“I’m thrilled and sure that [Alexander] will make a wonderful leader, both in the near and long term,” said Board Chair Hank Danos.
More information on Alexander can be found at http://www.lsu.edu/ur/ocur/lsunews/MediaCenter/News/2013/03/item59169.html.
The board also approved a master plan for the Nicholson Gateway area of LSU’s campus. The proposed development, along Nicholson Drive, will include the former site of Alex Box Stadium and feature residence halls, retail and dining space. It will also be anchored by a proposed LSU Foundation building, for which the board approved a ground lease agreement.
“We’ve looked at this for a long time and considered some alternatives, but feel this would be the best use of this space,” said LSU Interim President and Interim Chancellor William Jenkins.
The proposed four-to-six story Foundation building would house multi-use space that would be open to university units for meetings with donors, among other activities. The space would also become home to University Relations and the LSU Press’ offices.
“We’ve got a plan to get this done and it is very simple,” said G. Lee Griffin, president and CEO of the LSU Foundation. “We’ll all enjoy seeing what this space becomes.”
Christel Slaughter of SSA Consultants updated the board of the progress of the LSU2015 Transition Advisory Team, which to date has held 21 meetings that have featured more than 50 hours of collaboration among stakeholders.
Slaughter stressed that higher education, nationwide, is undergoing disruptive changes due to unsustainable cost trends, changing consumer demand and the effects of new technology.
“It’s not just LSU,” she explained.
The Transition Advisory Team and its five subcommittees have hosted some 41 speakers, including G. Gordon Gee, president of the Ohio State University and presidents emeritus of the universities of Michigan and Illinois.
“The hope is, by 2015,” Slaughter said, “you will look to LSU to be a statewide, integrated university committed to service, rich culture, and bold enterprise, recognized by peer institutions, faculty, students and employers for its high level of academic achievement and research excellence.”
Perry noted that with all of the information and findings coming from the process, the board might be better served by more incremental reports. This would also help the board work closer with other bodies, such as the Board of Regents or Louisiana Legislature, to form consensus on the directions the transition would take.
“I’d like to talk about how we, as board members, can help create some emotional ownership of this process among our legislative stakeholders,” he said.
Additionally, the board discussed the fiscal year 2013-14 executive budget and proposed distribution by the Louisiana Board of Regents, presented by System CFO Wendy Simoneaux. Several faculty members voiced displeasure with the recent budget cuts the university has undergone, and their effects on faculty salaries. Perry stressed that the board understood these concerns, and that the university needed to encourage the public to support this cause with the state legislature.
“We need the people of this state to stand up for the heart and soul of this institution,” he said.
Among other actions, the board also approved a request from LSU to use revenue from the LSU License Plate Program to find the Tiger Transfer Scholarship, as well as the Penelope W. and E. Roe Stamps IV Leadership Scholars Scholarship. More information on the Stamps Scholarship is available at http://www.lsu.edu/departments/gold/2012/07/stamps.shtml.
Other actions taken by the board include:
- Acceptance of written reports on the second quarter audit summary and LSU System institution metrics.
- Approval of recommendations to name the following spaces in the LSU Olinde Career Center: the Cale P. Smith Student Financial Center, the Humphrey T. Olinde Executive Conference Room and the Landon F. Von Kanel Interview Room.
- Approval of a recommendation to name the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center’s auditorium conference room the Judge Ralph E. Tyson Room.
- Approval of the Mary Sandefur Tobin Endowed Professorship in the College of Agriculture.
- Approval of degrees to be conferred at the spring and summer 2013 commencement exercises.
- Approval of an honorary degree from the LSU Health Science Center for Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman, a pioneer in the field of molecular genetics and human metabolism.