LSU board makes right decision
posted Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 @ 4:59 pm
The LSU Board of Supervisors recently voted to merge the positions of LSU system president and chancellor of the main campus in Baton Rouge.
It was the right decision and one that was long overdue.
The idea to merge the system president position with the chancellor post at the Baton Rouge campus has been around for years. The board of supervisors did not act on it – until recently, that is – for one reason or another. Politics, by and large, played a major role in the board's reluctance to approve the merger. In other words, stakeholders were concerned a singular system president/chancellor would wield too much influence in the LSU community. Also, there was – and remains -- the sticky issue of chancellors of the outlying LSU campuses answering to a singular boss in Baton Rouge and losing their influence – and most likely their titles – along the way.
In voting to merge the system president and chancellor positions, the board of supervisors turned to an Association of Governing Boards' proposal for reorganizing the LSU system. AGB was charged with piecing together a plan to reorganize and hopefully streamline LSU so the university system could fully realize the benefits of the limited financial support it receives from the state. After all, it is no hidden secret that higher education in Louisiana, including LSU, has been under the budget-cutting knife at the Capitol of late where state lawmakers have been forced to rely on declining tax revenues to meet demand for state services on all fronts.
The LSU board still has some work to do before AGB's proposal is fully implemented, assuming the board of supervisors has the will to see it implemented to its fullest. Details must be worked out, including the roles existing chancellors at outlying campuses will play in a reorganized LSU system. There's also all of those assistant chancellors or vice chancellors and the bureaucracy underneath them that must be reassigned or eliminated in a reorganization.
The fiscal reality of if all is LSU has two choices in front of it. The university system can either eliminate faculty positions and programs, or it can cut back on the amount of money it spends on administrators.
Simply put, LSU must undergo some changes for the university to remain competitive. And that means LSU must shed some overhead for the university to realize its potential.
There is no nicer way to put it.