Maginnis: Time came for LSU president to go
Fired LSU President John Lombardi will be missed, though it's not clear by whom. Not by his bosses on the Board of Supervisors, who chose not to wait until his contract expires in January and instead dumped him via a 12-4 vote Friday. Not by Gov. Bobby Jindal, who no doubt grew weary of Lombardi's second-guessing of the administration's budget policies and proposals for restructuring higher education, plus his inability to just stay quiet when told. Legislators had enough of him after his first visit to the State Capitol, when he spoke down to them like they were errant frat boys. Chancellors within the LSU System and other college presidents and board members were fed up with his brusque style and imperious attitude (though many quietly appreciated his saying things they dare not). Big-time alumni contributors—the kind of guys who buy out football coaches' contracts—wanted to get rid of him for not showing them due deference and for his diverting funds from the main campus to other system institutions. Lombardi lost the students early when he said they could afford to pay higher tuition, given the number of Lexuses and Mercedes he saw on campus. But he will likely be missed by those who appreciated his intellect, his candor and his resistance to the dissolution of the LSU empire statewide. Read the full column here.
(John Maginnis publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com.)
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