Jenkins: Finding a permanent LSU president/chancellor could be tough

It might not be necessary for the next LSU System president to be a career academic with a doctoral degree, says William Jenkins, interim president of the LSU System and interim chancellor of the flagship campus. He says about 70% or so of the university system presidents nationwide are “nontraditional,” coming from, for example, the business or political world as opposed to academia.

Still, Jenkins acknowledges traditional academic credentials are more important for a university campus chancellor. There’s been some discussion that the LSU president and chancellor positions should be combined permanently.

“For one person to be able to do both is going to be difficult,” Jenkins says, noting that the responsibilities are very different. “However, it’s possible, depending who your campus head will be. … It would depend on the individual, and the structure that’s put in place, and neither of those are resolved.”

If the LSU Board of Supervisors were to merge the two positions, someone, perhaps with the title of “executive vice president,” or something similar, would need to be able to run the campus with a fair amount of autonomy, he says.