Pay Adjustments, College Affordability the Focus of July Board of Supervisors Meeting

Transition Advisory Team Delivers Final Report

The July meeting of the LSU Board of Supervisors featured the announcement that LSU System employees will be receiving their first pay adjustment in four years, as well as a report illustrating that LSU is one of the best values in higher education, and a final presentation from the Transition Advisory Team.

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander made the announcement during the board meeting on Friday, July 26, in the LSU System Office. The pay raises or supplements will range up to 4 percent, and will vary by and within institution and personnel types. The effective dates will also vary within institution depending on each institution’s current financial obligations and circumstances. More information on the pay raises is available at http://www.lsu.edu/ur/ocur/lsunews/MediaCenter/News/2013/07/item62607.html.

“At a time when the economy is improving in some ways, we must do better and we shall do better,” said Alexander. “We must use this as a new benchmark for stable salary increases for years to come.”

During his first President’s Report before the board, Alexander also revealed that applications for the fall 2013 semester have surpassed the 2012 figure, which resulted in the largest freshman class in LSU history.

Additionally, Alexander provided a short presentation on LSU’s commitment to affordability for its students, notably that:

  • LSU’s tuition and fees remain approximately 17 percent below the anticipated Southern Regional Education Board average of peer institutions;
  • LSU supports students with $11.5 million in institutionally provided aid, and virtually all Louisiana residents admitted qualify for the TOPS scholarship; and
  • Approximately 20 percent of LSU’s undergraduate students qualified for Federal student aid last year. However, the average LSU graduate pays about 13 percent less towards a student loan repayment, with LSU accounting for a 4.9 percent student loan default rate – well below the national average of 13.4 percent.

“This is an issue that I have studied extensively across the country,” said Alexander. “I’m very pleased to be at LSU where we can lead this argument.”

In other news, the LSU 2015 Transition Advisory Team presented its final report to the board. Christel Slaughter of SSA Consultants, who has facilitated the process, detailed the work of the team and its five sub-committees and multiple task forces and work groups. In the past six months, the Transition Advisory Team has:

  • Held 50 meetings, watched by more than 700 people via a live online stream on the LSU 2015 website;
  • Spent more than 134 hours collaborating with stakeholders in the LSU System;
  • Consulted 16 national experts on LSU’s reorganization process; and
  • Surveyed 2,752 faculty members, staff and students from the 10 institutions of the LSU System.

Slaughter thanked team members, especially the sub-committee and task-force chairs, and detailed the vision statement LSU 2015 has produced, particularly to “build a cohesive, accountable and sustainable operating model for the 21st century.”

“I believe that is exactly what was produced,” said Slaughter. She also praised the spirit of collaboration that the process fostered among the LSU System’s 10 campuses and institutions.

“I believe that this is going to continue,” she said. “The relationships forged through this process will build a foundation for the future of this system. These people get it.”

Slaughter offered the board members some of the transformational priorities designated by the Transition Advisory Team, including the need to recruit aggressively for all campuses; to build a globally competitive LSU research enterprise; project a single, globally competitive LSU; and generate new revenue and savings through streamlining policies and procedures.

“We are the flagship university of the state of Louisiana,” said Slaughter. “We need to hold people to a high standard.”

Alexander and the board will receive the full report and will begin working with a team to set priorities in the reorganization process.

“We thank you, Christel, and everybody involved in this process for helping envision a bright future for LSU,” said Board Member Ray Lasseigne.

The board also received a report on the first-year status of the LSU-Shreveport commitment plan, including collaborative degree programs offered with the LSU main campus and transferable course programs with Bossier Parish Community College.

Other actions taken by the board include:

  • Approval of a request from LSU to endow gifts received from the Leon Henderson Estate;
  • Approval of a request from LSU to establish a restricted account for the Greek assessment fee collected from members of LSU fraternities and sororities, and to establish restricted accounts in departments that college registration fees from training and academic orientation session and continuing education sessions;
  • Approval of a construction project for re-roofing the LSU Student Health Center building;
  • Approval to name the conference room in the Chemistry and Material Science Building the “Dr. Benjamin Pierre Boussert Conference Room”;
  • Approval of the branding name of Burden Property on Essen Lane in Baton Rouge;
  • Approval of an exclusive patent and know-how license with Pamlab/Nestle at the LSU AgCenter;
  • Approval of a post-baccalaureate certificate in construction management at LSU;
  • Approval of an exclusive patent license between Virdia Inc./Virdia Ltd. And the LSU AgCenter; and
  • Approval to establish a restricted account at LSU System institutions for the building use fee authorized by Act 426 of the 2013 Louisiana Legislative Session.