Content tagged “University”

Study: 2012 LSU football games generated nearly $400M in added revenue for BR businesses

The seven home football games played by the LSU Tigers in 2012 generated more than $397 million in additional revenues for Baton Rouge area businesses and nearly $120 million in local household earnings, according to a report released today on the economic impact of LSU Athletics. The study, produced by economist Loren Scott for the LSU Athletic Department and Tiger Athletic Foundation, also shows that during the 2012 season LSU football generated nearly 4,000 jobs, $2.8 million in local sales tax revenues and $8 million in state sales tax revenues. "It's amazing what seven days of football does for the state and the city," says Ret. Gen. Ron Richard, chairman of TAF. "It's not just football. It's an economic engine that is generating jobs and revenues." The study, which is the first of its kind to be conducted in more than a decade, also looked at the impact more than $400 million in athletics construction projects over the past 14 years have had on the local economy. Those...

Negotiations continue over Tulane scholarships

State senators got bogged down on Tuesday over what restrictions they're willing to add to lawmakers' annual Tulane University scholarships. The Associated Press reports that Baton Rouge Sen. Dan Claitor is proposing to prohibit lawmakers from giving scholarships to their relatives, relatives of other elected officials and relatives of people who donate to their campaigns. Members of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee say they understand what Claitor wants to do. But they questioned if his bill went too far. Claitor, a Republican, delayed a committee vote until next week, trying to reach a compromise. The Tulane scholarship program lets each state lawmaker give one student annually a scholarship to the private university. It has been criticized as a way for lawmakers to help friends and contributors. As lawmakers are debating the issue, the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana has also released its recommendations for the scholarship program, including a new...

SU System begins search for BR campus chancellor

The Southern University System has started the search process for a new chancellor for its Baton Rouge campus. System President Ronald Mason Jr. says in a news release that he appointed a 17-member search committee last week that consists of the university board as well as faculty and staff, a student, alumni and members of the local community. The committee will be chaired by Murphy F. Bell Jr., chair of the SU System Board of Supervisors' personnel committee, and Monique Guillory-Winfield, the system's vice president for academic and student affairs. Mason says the system will hire a consulting firm to help with a nationwide search to fill the position. Southern's board voted in February against renewing Chancellor James Llorens' contract, which ends June 30. Llorens has led the campus for three years.

Alexander: LSU expects its impact on state's economic outlook to increase

Louisiana has undergone a boom in business attraction over the last several years, and LSU President F. King Alexander says in a new Daily Report guest column that LSU has played a significant role in many of the state's crucial wins—adding the university expects its impact on the state to "significantly increase and multiply" going forward. "Vital public-private partnerships connecting industry and higher education, with successful examples including industry giants IBM and EA Sports, have not only injected dollars and jobs into our state, but made Louisiana more visible to others looking to relocate or open new branches in locations conducive to expansion," writes Alexander. "With LSU's high-performing faculty, world-renowned research and a talented graduate pool of more than 8,700 students annually, we are playing a major role in driving Louisiana and our regional economies. But we don't stop there." LSU also provides workforce solutions to keep its graduates in...

LSU expects its impact on state's economic outlook to increase

Editor's note: This column was provided to Daily Report by the LSU Office of Communications & University Relations.

Entergy pledges $1 million to LSU College of Engineering

Though it has been nearly two months since LSU officials announced that they've met and exceeded the $50 million fundraising goal set for the renovation and expansion of Patrick F. Taylor Hall, the donations keep coming in. Entergy Louisiana announced today that it's pledging $1 million to provide a research lab and classroom complex within the expanded Taylor Hall, with the donation to be matched by the state under its public-private agreement for the project. Entergy says its gift will fund a first-of-its-kind research complex on the campus, specifically designed to focus on the application of how energy resources impact energy supply on a national scale. "Louisiana is experiencing an industrial renaissance that is spurring jobs and economic growth throughout the region" says Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO, in a

Survey: Majority in La. support sales tax increase for higher ed

Louisianans may be known for their hearty appetites, but when it comes to tax increases their stomachs have been historically weak. And yet, nearly 3 out of 4 Louisianans—72%—who recently participated in the LSU Public Policy Research Lab's Louisiana Survey say they would support a small sales tax increase if the funds were dedicated to higher education. As Daily Report first reported last week, the Louisiana Survey conducted in early February showed for the first time in the survey's six-year history that Louisianans are increasingly viewing education as the state's most pressing issue. Over the past year, the share of survey participants identifying education as the most important issue rose 9 points, from 20% to 29%. Over that same time frame, the share of Louisianans who said the economy was the most pressing issue fell from 25% to 23%. When asked a general...

Capitol Views: TOPS bills may be dead for session

Attempts to limit TOPS awards, which are heard every year, got nowhere in the House Education Committee today. More than likely, that means the issue could be dead for the session. The panel voted to defer HB 385 by Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville, which would have raised the eligibility standards from 20 to 22 for ACT scores. It would have also capped awards at $1,600 per semester and required partial repayment for students who lose eligibility. Calling his measure the "Lazarus bill"—since he brings it back from the dead each year—Harrison told the committee: "We talk about rigor. We want rigor in everything else but this." Currently budgeted at $235 million for the coming year and projected to increase to $375 million in five years, the program is unsustainable, he said. Barry Erwin of the Council for a Better Louisiana spoke in support. "While we are raising the standards for K-12, it is not unreasonable to raise standards for a lucrative program as this," he said.

LSU officials working to address increased traffic due to Tiger Stadium expansion

While three crews have been working around-the-clock shifts to complete the $87 million south end zone expansion at Tiger Stadium in time for LSU's first home game of the season on Sept. 6, LSU officials have been working on a different project—namely, how to deal with gameday traffic, which was already a problem and will now be a bigger one with some 8,000 additional seats. "It's a problem—the elephant in the room—I'm not going to sugarcoat it," says Ret. Gen. Ronald Richard, president and CEO of the Tiger Athletic Foundation. "Ingress, egress and parking are all an issue." A potential solution for the upcoming season is already in the works, however. TAF recently commissioned a study that addresses parking and gameday traffic. On April 10, it will unveil the results and present a new traffic and parking plan for the upcoming season. "It's going to be the same system, but other things will be involved," says Richard, who declines to disclose details yet. "It's not...

Boosting enrollment a top priority for new LSUA chancellor

Just three weeks into the job, new Louisiana State University of Alexandria Chancellor Daniel Howard is already moving forward with initiatives designed to boost the school's enrollment, The Town Talk reports, and he expects to see results just as quickly. "I can assure you [enrollment] will be up this fall," says Howard, who has been visiting government meetings and civic clubs recently to raise awareness about LSUA in the community. LSUA started the fall with just over 2,000 undergraduate students, and officials say increasing that number is especially important given cuts in state appropriations to public universities in recent years. Howard's initiatives include plans to offer more scholarships, increase the number of transfer students and add new degrees in high-demand but low-cost fields such as hospitality management and social work. Howard also plans to improve LSUA's correspondence with prospective students and restore the school's honors program, which he hopes will...

Editor: Arts deserve more appreciation at LSU

Several years ago, Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel had a small public relations contract with the LSU College of Art and Design, which comprises the schools of art, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design. "From a PR perspective, it was a veritable orchard of low-hanging fruit—an endless supply of positive stories about talented faculty and students whose designs and creations won national awards and earned prestige for the college and, by extension, the university," Riegel recalls in her latest column. "Which made it all the more troubling to learn, recently, that the School of Art—which is housed in the historically significant but crumbling Old Engineering Shops—has, once again, been bypassed for a desperately needed renovation." Riegel says the 80-year-old building is, "quite literally, falling apart around those who must toil there, without air conditioning or even heat." It's been slated for renovation since the early 2000s.

Publisher: For our children to compete globally, Louisiana needs Common Core

As the Louisiana Legislature kicks off today what is sure to be a lively discussion on the controversial Common Core education standards, Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister—who has closely observed education reform issues for more than 25 years—says that Louisiana needs Common Core. "I was experiencing a bit of dj vu when I heard Chas Roemer, president of BESE, talk about our students having to compete with children around the nation and around the globe," McCollister writes in his latest column. "Roemer, like his father, former Gov. Buddy Roemer, is well-educated and sees the future and the need to prepare our children for global competition." McCollister notes that the elder Roemer fought for reform 26 years ago and warned Louisiana parents then of the global competition their children would soon face. "Most ignored the call for raising the bar and stuck their heads in the sand, choosing to believe their children's and grandchildren's future would be...

No art appreciation

I had a small public relations contract several years ago with the LSU College of Art and Design, which comprises the schools of art, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design.

Speaking of education...

I am a product of Louisiana public schools, through and through. After two years of church-affiliated kindergarten, I did the requisite 12 years in Shreveport public schools and then four years (plus some bonus semesters) at LSU.

St. Paddy's trip to Ireland marks first overseas experience for most LSU band members

Of the 325 members of the LSU Tiger Marching Band who are leaving Baton Rouge today for Ireland—and will march in Dublin's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Monday—fewer than 40 of them have ever traveled overseas before. "This is really why the trip is so special," says LSU President F. King Alexander. "This will open so many of our students eyes to global issues, studies and travel." For 133 of the LSU band members, Alexander says, today's transatlantic flight is the first time they've ever been on an airplane. For 263 of them, the trip marks the first time they've had to apply for a passport, and for 291 it is the first time they'll make an overseas trip. LSU is one of just eight American bands marching in Dublin's famed parade Monday, according to the event website. Among others, they'll be joined by marching bands from Iowa, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Texas. The entire LSU band is making the trip to Ireland at an estimated cost of $700,000, paid for via private...

BESE backs overhaul of La. career-track diploma

Public high school students who aren't college-bound will soon need to obtain job skills certifications before they can receive a diploma, under plans that received support Thursday from the state education board. The Associated Press reports the redesign of Louisiana's career-track diploma, pushed by Superintendent of Education John White, emphasizes skills training for students who don't intend to go to a four-year university. White says the new program, called "Jump Start," will better prepare students for available jobs in a state where only 28% of residents have a degree from a four-year or two-year college. He says the remaining students need skills training to fill the jobs available to them. "Jump Start tries to address those kids, to give them a path to the middle class," White told a BESE committee today. The committee agreed to the plans without objection, with 10 of the board's 11 members present for the vote. A follow-up vote Friday will give the diploma redesign final...

Annexation's new twist

LSU President F. King Alexander is mulling a request from unnamed parties to petition the city of Baton Rouge to annex two large tracts of university-owned property that are outside the city limits. Included in the targeted package is 2,269 acres of farmland on Ben Hur adjacent to L'Auberge Casino. As first reported in Daily Report, the potential annexation would clear the way for L'Auberge—one of the parish's biggest sources of sales tax revenue—to also apply for annexation. It would be a significant development in the battle over the proposed incorporation of a new city of St. George.

'225': LSU grad boosting teenage self-esteem in B.R.

When Sarah Brown was crowned Miss Jackson State University, she turned her back on a lucrative career in astrophysics and discovered a hidden passion for public service. At Jackson State, she started a youth outreach program and continued to do so even as she came to Baton Rouge to pursue a master's degree in public administration at LSU. Though she is only one semester into the program, Brown has already decided to complete an optional master's degree project, focusing on young girls in public high schools, and her work is the subject of a profile piece in the March issue of 225. Her Baton Rouge project focuses on building self-esteem in the young women enrolled at Career Academy High School, where assistant principal Mandy LaCerte cites low self-esteem as the most common hindrance in the school's female students. The first time LaCerte saw Brown in action was a wake-up call, and the assistant principal says she has already seen a difference in the girls. "I think what...

White named dean of LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business

Richard White Jr., who has served as interim dean of the E.J. Ourso College of Business on LSU's flagship campus since June 2012, has been named dean of the business school, effective April 1 and pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors. "Richard White has served admirably in the role as interim dean, and we are pleased to name him dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business," says LSU President F. King Alexander in a prepared release issued this afternoon. "White is well respected among the faculty and staff in the college and across campus. With economic and workforce development being such an important issue across the state, Dean White and the faculty, staff and students of the business college will play an ever important role in meeting those needs and helping to make Louisiana a better place to live and work." LSU selected White after conducting a national search for the business college's next leader.

BRAC to back increased TOPS standards this legislative session

BRAC says it will back efforts during the legislative session that starts on March 10 to increase standards for students to utilize the TOPS scholarship program. "The TOPS program is an important tool as we work to retain our talented students in the region and prepare them to enter our workforce. BRAC recognizes that changes must be made in order to sustain this program," says BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp in a press release issued this morning. BRAC says it will also support legislative efforts to increase the amount of need-based aid made available through Go Grants in the state, and will also continue to support the stabilization of state funding and the transfer of tuition and fee autonomy for the state's higher education institutions. "TOPS has disproportionately been awarded to the state's most affluent students since the program's income cap removal in 1997, and almost eight out of ten recipients are Caucasian," reads the BRAC press release. "To prevent causing a...

LSU confirms it has been approached about annexation into B.R.

LSU officials have been approached about petitioning the city of Baton Rouge to annex two large tracts of university-owned property that are outside the city limits—including 2,269 acres of farmland on Ben Hur that are adjacent to L'Auberge Casino. LSU interim vice president for communications Jason Droddy tells Daily Report "the suggestion has been brought forward to LSU President King Alexander and we are considering it." Droddy was unable to say who floated the suggestion or whether the request was made by phone or in person. The potential annexation of the LSU property—which also includes the 120-acre Innovation Park near Gardere—would be extremely significant in the battle over the proposed incorporation of a new city of St. George. That's because it would clear the way for L'Auberge—which is not in the city and is one of the biggest sources of sales tax revenue in the parish—to also apply for annexation. A property outside the city limits...

Poll is first step toward business push for career diploma program

Business leaders around the state are coming together to help fund a marketing campaign designed to change negative perceptions about career-training programs and high school students who do not pursue four-year college degrees. As previously reported by Daily Report, the Louisiana Workforce Education Initiative was created last month by several local business executives to raise money to drum up support for the state's new proposed career diploma program, Jump Start. Part of the group's initial focus will be to raise $75,000 to fund a statewide poll to determine existing attitudes about job-training programs and post-secondary education. "There is still a stigma attached to programs and students who do not choose a path to a four-year college degree," says Christel Slaughter, principal of SSA Consultants, which is involved with the initiative and overseeing the campaign.

LSU President King tells national press he likes Obama's college rating plan

The Washington Post reported Friday that unlike many of his peers across the nation, LSU President F. King Alexander finds a lot to like in President Obama's plan to have federal ratings for how well colleges do their jobs. Such rankings could serve to “counterbalance” private rankings from prominent magazines. “I think it's a good idea,” Alexander told the Post. “We're saying, 'Let's help the federal government measure value-added. . . . We need to start differentiating the good players from the bad.” Alexander added that institutes of higher learning need to “get real” about the price of an education and what it is worth in today's market.

Publisher: LSU flagship leading La. into brighter future

Business Report Publisher and LSU Board of Supervisors member Rolfe McCollister says in his latest column that "the flagship university in any state is important to the future and should be the leader—and announcements by LSU in January and February show why." Among those announcements: LSU's six-year graduation rate has increased to an all-time high for the third consecutive year—this time moving to 69.1%, up from 66.7% last year. Meanwhile, the LSU College of Engineering Breaking New Ground campaign—a public-private partnership that began in January last year—was completed three months ahead of schedule. With more than 450 individual and corporate donors pledging $52.5 million in private funds, McCollister says, it was the most successful, short-term fundraising effort in the history of the university. Also this year, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center announced the Childhood Obesity and Diabetes Research Program and the opening of a newly...

Alexander reflects on White House visit, discusses higher education reforms

In a wide-ranging Q&A with the Dallas Morning News, LSU President F. King Alexander reflects on his recent visit to the White House—where he advocated for greater accessibility—urges states to keep their financial commitments to higher education and touches on the challenges all parents face in motivating their children to go to college. "We've got a growing problem in social mobility. We did talk about that in the White House. If you're born in the lowest 20th percentile, you've got about a 5% chance of going to college, despite the fact that we're putting $170 billion in federal aid into trying to rectify that situation," Alexander says at one point in the interview. "It's worse now than it's been in who knows how long. I think we're increasingly moving into an area where if we don't do something that addresses these issues, if we don't stop pointing fingers, if we don't work more diligently to tackle these issues together, then higher education may not end up...

The LSU flagship leads off 2014

The flagship university in any state is important to the future and should be the leader—and announcements by LSU in January and February show why.

Delgado chancellor selected to succeed May as LCTCS president

Monty Sullivan, the current chancellor of Delgado Community College, has been selected to be the next president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. The LCTCS Board of Supervisors approved Sullivan's nomination today, effective Thursday, Feb. 27, and also voted to have board chairman Michael Murphy begin contract negotiations with Sullivan. The board selected him from four finalists who were interviewed Friday. He would take over as president from Joe May, who is leaving to become chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District in Texas. May is set to start in his new position on Feb. 26. Sullivan previously served as the executive vice president for the LCTCS. See Sullivan's complete bio. —Staff report

January jobs report shows wave of recent college grads found jobs

The jobs report for January issued by the government this morning—which showed the U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 6.6% in January from 6.7% the month previous—revealed that recent college graduates flooded the job market, and most found work. The Associated Press reports among workers older than 25, 668,000 college graduates began looking for jobs last month, citing the Labor Department report. And a nearly equal number of college graduates—663,000—were hired. Their influx illustrates that U.S. workers, as a group, continue to become better educated. Employers have hired an average of 136,333 college graduates each month over the past year. This has contributed to a decline in the unemployment rate among those with higher educations to 3.2% from 3.7% in January 2013. Not every social group benefited from the unemployment rate's decline to its lowest level since October 2008. The rate rose for African-Americans, Hispanics and workers younger than 24. Some...

LCTCS preparing to build a number of new campuses

Although funding for construction of $250 million in structures won't be available for almost 18 months, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System is taking preliminary steps to be ready when the money can be used. "Funding from state doesn't start flowing until July 1, 2015," Joe May, president of the LCTCS system, tells The Advertiser. "We're doing all the work getting ready for it. We're employing project managers, identifying site locations, and we'll soon start with architects and design work to get that ready." The Legislature in 2013 approved Act 360, which supplies money to build new campuses in Alexandria, Ruston and Jennings and a total of 29 structures across much of the state. The projects will be funded with bonds supported by $250 million from legislation authored by Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton. May, who is leaving the LCTCS on Feb. 26 to head the Dallas-area community college system, says it will take about a year to "determine locations and...

Alexander: LSU presents unified front on Capitol Hill

LSU President F. King Alexander makes frequent visits to the nation's capital to discuss higher education issues. But a 36-hour trip to Capitol Hill earlier this week was particularly significant: It was the first time Alexander went there accompanied by chancellors from the other universities in the LSU system. Together they lobbied with a unified voice for funding and federal support for LSU. "It is very important that we have a unified front and that one LSU shows up to talk to our delegation and work with our delegation and prioritizes the things that we need to work on," says Alexander, who, with the other chancellors, met with the state's Congressional delegation. "That is exactly what they told us. They said it's great to know LSU prioritizes and speaks with one voice." In the past, leaders of the various schools in the LSU system—to say nothing of the leaders of schools in the state's other higher ed systems—have traveled individually to Washington to lobby for...

LCTCS to name new president as early as next week

The Louisiana Community and Technical College System could have a new president as early as next week. LCTCS Board of Supervisors Chairman Michael Murphy tells Gannett Louisiana the plan is to make a selection one week from today, choosing one of the four "excessively impressive" candidates interviewed by the full board last Friday. He says he'd like the new president to be seated by or before Feb. 26 when current system President Joe May departs. "We've got a whole lot of information on each candidate, and we need some time to digest it," Murphy says. Tim Hardy of Baton Rouge, who headed the board's search committee, says it won't be easy to make a selection, but "we hope at that time [Feb. 12] to reach a consensus." May, president for the past seven years, is leaving to take a similar job in Dallas, near where several members of his family reside. May's salary is about $271,000 a year. Finalists for his replacement are: Deborah Blue, chancellor of the State Center Community College...

The president goes to Washington

It's nothing new for LSU President F. King Alexander to visit the Washington, D.C., to discuss higher education policy.

Mid City Studio

The empty lot on North Boulevard that once held Romano's Pack & Save neighborhood grocery could one day host a fresh foods retailer and caf run by the homeless. Architecture students from LSU and Southern University spent the fall 2013 semester drafting versions of this Utopian vision for landowner, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

LSU exceeds $50 million fundraising goal for engineering college expansion

Not only has the LSU College of Engineering met and exceeded its $50 million fundraising goal for the renovation and expansion of Patrick F. Taylor Hall, but Gov. Bobby Jindal also announced today that the state will be matching, dollar-for-dollar, all private funding that exceeds the $50 million match already pledged. The $100 million public-private partnership was first announced in October 2012, and the private fundraising effort began in January last year. It's completion, announced today by Jindal and LSU officials, comes three months ahead of schedule. In total, more than 450 individual and corporate donors pledged $52.5 million in private funds. The largest single donation was a $15 million gift from Phyllis Taylor, co-chair of the LSU College of Engineering Breaking New Ground campaign and widow of Patrick Taylor, the LSU grad and Taylor Energy Company founder for whom the engineering building is named. Twenty-two companies, including Dow, RoyOMartin, Entergy, BASF, Turner...

Study: LSU economic impact on La. totaled $3.9 billion, 36,757 jobs in FY2013

LSU's nine campuses across Louisiana supported nearly $3.9 billion in sales during fiscal year 2013, as well as $1.5 billion in new statewide earnings and an estimated 36,757 direct and indirect annualized jobs. The figures come from a study by the LSU Division of Economic Development at the E.J. Ourso College of Business that was presented by LSU President F. King Alexander to the LSU Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting today. "These numbers demonstrate how invaluable LSU is to our state from a variety of angles, whether it's through jobs created, sales generated or drawing nonresidents into Louisiana," says the study's author, Stephen Barnes, assistant professor of economics and director of the economic development division. "LSU is most definitely a critical economic driver for the state of Louisiana." For every operating and capital dollar provided by the state to LSU during the past fiscal year, the study says, LSU provided a return of $5.08 of economic activity. The...

LSUS adopts purple, gold as school colors in rebranding

Purple and gold will replace blue and gold in LSUS logos this summer. The Shreveport Times reports the change is part of a rebranding campaign as the LSU system moves to a common identity. LSU System President F. King Alexander touched on the issue and others during a speech to LSUS Foundation members on Monday night. "As the 'one LSU' discussion continues around the state, a lot is happening," Alexander said, noting that he expects more collaboration among campuses. Other system changes include merging the LSU AgCenter—a separate entity since 1972—with the College of Agriculture. "Quite honestly, Baton Rouge wasn't very helpful" in promoting a unified system in the past, Alexander said. LSUS administrators announced the rebranding to students Monday. While the school colors will change, no decision has been made about the Pilots sports team name or Pete the Pelican. LSUS' logo looks similar to that at LSU Alexandria, which already adopted the colors and the same...

4 finalists named for top spot at LCTCS

The names of four finalists vying to become the next president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System were released by a search committee this morning. The finalists—all of whom have been invited to participate in interviews with the college system's full board in a public meeting on Wednesday next week—are: Deborah Blue, chancellor of the State Center Community College District in California; Marie F. Gnage, president of West Virginia University at Parkersburg in West Virginia; James Henderson, chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana; Monty Sullivan, chancellor of Delgado Community College in Louisiana. The four finalists named today were culled down from a list of seven candidates who were interviewed publicly on Tuesday. The next system president will replace Joe May, who left to lead the Dallas County Community College District. —Staff report

LSU biz school tops 'U.S. News' list of MBAs with best value

U.S. News & World Report has placed the E.J. Ourso College of Business at LSU at the top of its ranking of the 10 MBA programs in the country providing the most financial value at graduation, released today. "Business school graduates often have a starting salary that's barely higher than the debt they owe. But there are several institutions where students make three or four times their debt following graduation, making loans easier to pay off. Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge is one of them," the magazine reports. "At the school's E.J. Ourso College of Business, the average starting salary for full-time 2012 graduates three months after graduation was $59,762; the average debt for full-time 2012 graduates was $8,181. With graduates on average making about 7.3 times their student debt, Ourso offers the best financial value after graduation, according to data submitted to U.S. News by 99 ranked schools." Trailing E.J. Ourso on the list are Auburn University,...

Jindal budget includes $141.5 million increase for higher ed

After six years of cuts, Louisiana's public colleges stand to gain $141.5 million in increased funding under Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget proposal to be unveiled later this week. Jindal this afternoon announced his recommendations for financing Louisiana's colleges in the fiscal year that begins July 1, saying his proposed budget for higher education represents a 6.6% increase over budgeted funding for the current fiscal year. At today's press conference at LSU, the governor was surrounded by higher education leaders from throughout the state, who applauded the news. Much of the new money would come from increased tuition costs on students. The Associated Press reports that, unlike in past years, Jindal won't recommend that the new tuition dollars replace state funding. Instead, he is proposing that the campuses get a stable base of state funding, with the new tuition income on top of that. He's also recommending a new $40 million state funding pool to help campuses with initiatives...

News alert: Jindal proposes $141.5 million increase in higher ed funding

Gov. Bobby Jindal joined leaders from higher education systems across Louisiana today to announce a proposed funding increase of $141.5 million for higher education institutions for the next fiscal year. The funding hike represents a more than 6% increase over the higher education budget for the current fiscal year. This funding includes a new higher education workforce incentive initiative of $40 million called the Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy plan, which will be a collaborative effort of LED, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the Louisiana Board of Regents, the University of Louisiana System, the LSU System, the Southern University System and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. Read Daily Report PM for more details. —Staff report

LCTCS releases names of those interviewing for system president

The list of names of those who will interview to be the next Louisiana Community and Technical College System president was released this afternoon by the LCTCS Board of Supervisors search committee. The list of candidates, who will conduct public interviews on Tuesday, includes: Deborah Blue, chancellor of the State Center Community College District in California; Marshall Drummond, former chief operating officer and provost of Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates; Marie Gnage, president of West Virginia University at Parkersburg; James Henderson, chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College; Joan Smith, chancellor of the Yosemite Community College District in California; David Steele, dean of the College of Business for San Jose State University in California; and Monty Sullivan, chancellor of Delgado Community College. The next system president will replace Joe May, who left to lead the Dallas County Community College District. —Staff...

LSU president invited to White House to discuss college access

LSU President F. King Alexander will be among the more than 100 college and university presidents from across the country who will partake in a discussion on higher education access hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on Thursday. The event will focus on new actions universities can take to increase college opportunity, according to an LSU news release issued today. "Access to a college education has never been more important," says Alexander in a prepared statement. "If nothing changes, the United States will fall to 19th in college completion rates among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, countries." Inside Higher Ed quotes Obama as saying of the event: "I've got a phone that allows me to convene Americans from every walk of life—nonprofits,...

BASF donating $1 million to LSU for College of Engineering expansion

LSU has received another sizeable donation for its $100 million renovation of Patrick F. Taylor Hall and expansion of the College of Engineering on its flagship campus in Baton Rouge. The university announced this morning that BASF Corp. is pledging $1 million toward the expansion. "The development and investment in the Louisiana workforce is critical to BASF's long-term success," says Tom Yura, senior vice president and manager of the company's Geismar site, in a prepared statement. "In addition to BASF's sustainability efforts, this project is part of our local activities to invest in students and help them be prepared for career opportunities in engineering and science while making a difference in the world today." Gov. Bobby Jindal allocated $50 million in capital outlay funding for the Taylor Hall renovation in his budget for fiscal year...

LSU graduation rate rises to all-time high of 69.1%

LSU reports its six-year graduation rate has once again increased to an all-time high—for the third year straight—this time moving to 69.1%, up from 66.7% last year. Last year marked the first time LSU surpassed the average graduation rate of its peers in the Southern Regional Education Board report, LSU says in a release issued today. This year's graduation rate would also surpass that latest SREB published figure, which was 65%, LSU says, noting the newest SREB report and peer average will be released later this year. "We also graduated the second largest class in LSU history, meaning we were more successful than we've ever been and with a larger number of students," LSU President F. King Alexander says in the release. LSU implemented its first admission requirements in 1988. In 1994, that incoming class had a reported six-year graduation rate of 44.2%. LSU has now...

Challenges await next LSU of Alexandria chancellor

Louisiana State University of Alexandria needs a chancellor who can help the school boost enrollment and develop its identity in central Louisiana. At least that's the consensus view of some involved in the search for a chancellor, as well as some faculty members, The Town Talk of Alexandria reports. "I think LSUA needs a strong leader who can not only be comfortable with the community but who can help continue its reorganization and focus to increase enrollment and enhance our student population," says Alexandria attorney Charles Weems III, LSUA Foundation Board chairman and search committee co-chairman. Weems says he isn't sure there is a "magic number" for enrollment but that a population of more than 3,000 students—up from fall enrollment of about 2,236—would be beneficial for the university and community. "There's no reason why we can't do that," he says. LSU has named three finalists for the chancellor position: Luoluo Hong, vice chancellor for student...

Who's on the board?

Gary Laborde, New Orleans
President & CEO, Laborde Marine Lifts Inc.

LSU names new CFO of system and flagship campus

LSU President F. King Alexander announced today that Daniel T. Layzell has been tapped to fill a new position within the university system, in which he'll be chief financial officer of both LSU's statewide operations and the flagship campus in Baton Rouge. Layzell, who has been vice president for finance and planning at Illinois State University since 2009, will take over as LSU vice president for finance and administration on Feb. 25 should his appointment be approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors. His new role will include executive-level planning, implementation and assessment of financial and administrative strategies, policies and procedures, according to a news release LSU issued earlier today. In his new job, Layzell will report directly to Alexander, serving as chief adviser to the president and board of supervisors on all fiscal and administrative matters. "I'm excited...

Smart growth in the new year

The year behind us included several huge announcements for developments in Baton Rouge, and all of these projects look to improve the urban core of the city in 2014. We take a look at the stats on some of these projects below:

Leonela Guzmn

Occupation: Student, Public Relations Coordinator for Delta Literary Journal
Hometown: Lake Charles
Age: 22

Richard Koubek

Occupation: Dean, LSU College of Engineering
Hometown: Berwyn, Ill.
Age: 54

F. King Alexander

Occupation: President, LSU System; Chancellor of Louisiana State University and A&M College
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
Age: 50

Task force suggests changes to tuition and TOPS

A study panel is recommending that lawmakers give up their authority to control college tuition costs and put limits on the state's free college tuition program called TOPS. The suggestions were approved today by a group of higher education leaders and students—called the Tuition Task Force—that has been looking at college tuition policy since October. As The Associated Press reports, the recommendations will be submitted to lawmakers for consideration in the next legislative session. But the ideas aren't new, and many of them have been rejected by the Legislature in prior years, so it's unclear if they'll get renewed traction. The task force says tuition control should be given to university boards rather than lawmakers, and says TOPS awards should be a flat amount not tied to the price of tuition.

Aimee Simon

Under an oak tree in the shadow of Tiger Stadium stands a very special wall. Inscribed on it are the names of LSU football players who have achieved Academic All-American status, and above them is the name of an organization that has helped many Tiger athletes achieve academic success: the Bengal Belles.

10 Questions: Southern University

It has been nearly two years since Southern University's Baton Rouge campus declared a financial emergency to cut costs by eliminating tenured faculty. The exigency is over, but the reorganization into a more sustainable, effective university has just begun. Chancellor James Llorens talks about the road ahead.

Will Campbell Jr.

"I learned my work ethic from my parents while growing up in Mississippi. I started my own business when I was 10 years old with my brother, cutting grass. I got that from my mom and dad. My dad worked as a machinist for a shipbuilder, and he had a transportation service. He always had two or three different things going on at one time. When he was laid off, he got a truck to haul wood to the mill. My mom was a home health aide and had a job even on the weekends. It was always instilled in me: Do whatever it takes to make it. My faith and my roots have made me what I am today."

The extra mile

Cornerback, New York Giants

'Business Report': Facing extraordinary demand, Louisiana's vocational campuses are expanding

At least three new technical colleges are in the works in the Capital Region. As Business Report details in a feature from the current issue, the expansion couldn't come at a better time, considering a period of massive industrial expansion has arrived in south Louisiana—creating a demand for tens of thousands of new workers with the kinds of skills that such campuses provide: welders, carpenters, electricians, instrumentation specialists, millwrights, pipefitters and the like. In September, the Baton Rouge Community College opened its new 15,547-square-foot Westside campus behind Plaquemine High School. Construction is underway on the new River Parishes Community College in Gonzales, slated to open next fall. And consultants have been hired to evaluate the feasibility of a proposed campus in Livingston Parish. The campuses may help close the gap between Louisiana's ability to produce skilled technical workers and the rising regional demand for them. A recent Louisiana...

Getting technical

At least three new technical colleges are in the works in the Capital Region.

LSU president continues push for more state support

LSU's newest supercomputer, SuperMIC, can complete one quadrillion computations per second, a scientific marvel LSU President F. King Alexander used as an illustration of the dramatic power of investment in higher education in his remarks to the Baton Rouge Press Club today. Alexander wants to do even more with LSU's supercomputing program, one reason LSU needs state government to increase its investment. "We will continue investing in our computational power as a platform," Alexander said in describing part three of his six-part agenda for the future of LSU. He has been advocating for greater state support and investment in talks to various community groups over the past few weeks. Two weeks ago, he gave a similar speech to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge. One thing Alexander said state funding would be used to address is deferred maintenance. LSU is now $250 million-$300 million...

Community college may build at LSU Alexandria

Officials with LSU at Alexandria are touting a plan for a community college to build on its campus. Central Louisiana Technical Community College is looking at four possible sites to build a new main campus. Besides LSUA, The Town Talk reports, the college is also considering sites in Alexandria, in Pineville and at England Airpark. The state has approved $19 million for the community college to build a new campus. Paul Coreil, interim chancellor at LSUA, says the community college could save money by building on the university's campus south of Alexandria. LSUA has underused space, according to a report from the Board of Regents, and officials say the community college could use LSUA facilities such as its library, bookstore, child-care center, student housing and recreation facilities. A direct partnership between the two...

Southern wants to strengthen ties to local businesses

Southern University has long had strong relationships with national corporations, says James Llorens, chancellor of the Baton Rouge main campus. That includes large corporations with a local presence, such as Dow Chemical and ExxonMobil. But he says ties haven't been as strong with local businesses. "I think that's an opportunity for us to grow," Llorens says. Many national companies make a point of having a diverse workforce, he explains, so historically black colleges and universities like Southern are an important part of their recruiting base. "A lot of our students are winding up outside of Louisiana, going to Texas, or to job opportunities in the Northeast or on the West Coast," he says. "Some of those students would love to remain here in Louisiana." Llorens says Southern is reaching out to local companies, encouraging them to participate in the school's advisory boards, to make sure the university is producing graduates with skills the local market needs. He also is looking...

Regents ask for $87M budget increase next year

The state's top higher education board is asking Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Legislature for an $87 million boost in college funding next year. The Board of Regents approved its 2014-15 budget request Wednesday, to be forwarded to the governor's Division of Administration. The Associated Press reports that the Board of Regents' proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 comes after six years of budget cuts that have stripped $690 million in state financing from Louisiana's colleges. Tuition has filled only part of the gap. The request includes a $36 million base increase for two-year and four-year campuses, $17 million for specialized programs like the law schools, $4 million for research facilities and $30 million to reduce the backlog for high-demand programs. Jindal won't unveil his 2014-15 budget recommendations to lawmakers until early next year.

Taking work for a test drive

While having a college degree may be your ticket to an interview after graduation, your experiential education is what will actually help you land a job.

Real work stories!

Name: Adrian Griffin (on right)
Hometown: El Dorado, Ark.
High School: El Dorado High School
College: Louisiana Tech
Major: Professional aviation (minor in aviation management)
Employer: Wampold Companies
Current city: Zachary

Learning takes flight

What's new in the world of unique classes and degree programs at Louisiana colleges and universities this year?

Begin with the end

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. ... Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
—STEVE JOBS

LSU president calls on community to invest in the next generation

LSU President F. King Alexander today implored members at a Rotary Club of Baton Rouge luncheon to view state funding for higher education as an investment. "We must engage our states to prioritize higher education once again," Alexander said, supporting his plea with encouraging statistics. For example, he said a $1 investment in a neighbor's daughter or son will produce $12 in return. Also, LSU creates $1.3 billion annually in direct and indirect sales and 22,000 jobs in Baton Rouge, he said. The latter figures appear to be from a 2011 study on LSU's economic impact on Baton Rouge. Alexander noted that though LSU fares well in comparison to other universities in terms of tuition affordability and salaries of graduates, Louisiana ranks 49th in college graduates, a shortcoming he attributes to funding cuts. "I don't want to be a part of the first generation that leaves the next...

Head of security

There are two chiefs on LSU's campus.

'Forbes' ranks LSU's Ourso College of Business No. 67 among business schools

Forbes magazine has ranked the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business at No. 67 in its bi-annual listing of the nation's top 100 business schools. While acknowledging that the recession and financial meltdown that began in 2008 took the bloom off the rose for many recent business school graduates, Forbes concludes an MBA is still worth the hefty price tag—which the magazine estimates can reach $300,000 for tuition at a prestige school and foregone salary. "An increasing number of students are finding it hard to make the degree pay off, particularly when they are saddled with debt levels that can top $100,000 at graduation (the typical alum from the Class of 2008 had $65,000 in debt)," Forbes says. Forbes bases its rankings on the return on investment graduates get at the leading business schools across the country. According to the rankings, the average E.J. Ourso College of Business graduate in 2008 paid off their education bills in five years and ended...

New task force begins to study La. college tuition rates

A group of higher education leaders is starting Louisiana's latest study on the tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges and universities. The Tuition Task Force was created by lawmakers earlier this year in a resolution by Rep. Stephen Ortego, D-Carencro. The task force is scheduled to hold its first meeting today, according to The Associated Press. When formed, the study panel was asked to look at the following: the impact of increased tuition rates on the state's free college tuition program called TOPS; strategies for increasing college access and affordability; and new ways of charging tuition to generate additional money for campuses. Louisiana is the only state in the nation that requires a two-thirds vote of state lawmakers to raise tuition. Higher education leaders have tried unsuccessfully for years to remove that requirement. —Staff report

Americans in Paris

Centenary College announced Oct. 1 that students entering in fall 2014 will begin their college experience with immersive study in Paris, France. Centenary joins a very small number of colleges and universities across the nation that offer a shared international study experience to first-year students.

LSU calling

The decision by the LSU Board of Supervisors to craft its search for a new chancellor/president in a way that seems designed to skirt the intent of Louisiana's open records law raises the question: Just what is the intent of the people's representatives in the Legislature when it comes to conducting the public's business where the sun shines?

Higher ed hopes to avoid state funding cuts, Southern president says

Southern University System President Ronald Mason says there's a decent chance that state funding for higher education may stabilize in the immediate future. "I've talked to people in the administration, and they told me they thought the pain was going to be over for higher ed, but we won't know until we get there," he said. The Southern system merged back-office operations to improve efficiency and has "cleaned up" problems that led to issues with accrediting agencies and negative findings in audit reports, Mason added. "This year, we had a perfectly clean state audit, a perfectly clean federal audit, and a perfectly clean foundation audit," he said, speaking to the Baton Rouge Press Club today. Southern’s two-year school in Shreveport now provides remedial classes at the Baton Rouge and New Orleans campuses, boosting head counts at the latter two schools and helping those students complete a four-year degree, he said. Southern will have six online degree programs by October.

UNO, DOTD want your input on transportation priorities

The University of New Orleans Transportation Institute is asking Louisiana residents to share their opinions on land use and transportation issues facing many communities, including commuting choices, transportation infrastructure and finance, and managing future real estate development and growth. The statewide public opinion poll, which is available online, is part of a study sponsored by the Department of Transportation and Development and the Louisiana Transportation Research Center that's focused on how to more effectively coordinate transportation investments and manage growth to promote the development of more livable, economically competitive communities. The results of the poll—which takes about five minutes to complete—will be used to inform state legislators and DOTD about how to more effectively support the needs and priorities of communities in Louisiana, UNO says. Take...

LSU board hit with penalty in public records case

The price tag for the LSU Board of Supervisors' refusal to publicly release its presidential search records has topped $140,000. A Baton Rouge judge today ordered the university system board to pay thousands of dollars in penalties and lawyers' fees to the two newspapers that sued for the information. The Associated Press reports Judge Janice Clark applied the maximum $100 per day civil penalty from the time the public records request was filed until the board turns over all documents under seal. The fine reaches at least $25,000, but could grow higher because Clark is awaiting some records. "The defendants' failure to respond appropriately was unreasonable, capricious and without cause," Clark said in levying the maximum fine. In addition, LSU must reimburse The Advocate and The Times-Picayune for attorneys' fees and court costs. Today's decision was estimated to cost LSU about $80,000—on top of $63,000 in contempt of court fines that Clark earlier ordered...

EBR students make up largest share of LSU enrollment since 2001

In the first story of a three-part series exploring enrollment data at LSU's flagship campus from the past 13 years, student newspaper The Daily Reveille reports that data it has analyzed shows a total of 99,019 East Baton Rouge Parish residents have enrolled at the university since 2001—the most of any parish in the state. This can be attributed to a strong alumni network and the large number of high schools in Baton Rouge, says Mandy Hoffman, associate director of Communication, Programs and Tours for LSU. Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management David Kurpius says students from East Baton Rouge Parish also have less competition among universities than students from the Greater New Orleans area, who are recruited by other schools like the University of New Orleans and Xavier University. Nonetheless, every year since 2001, when nearly 10,000 EBR residents enrolled at LSU, there has been a decrease in students coming to LSU from the parish. This fall,...

King calls for end of education funding cuts in Louisiana

Speaking to the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance in Alexandria on Monday, LSU President F. King Alexander called on lawmakers to reverse the trend of spending cuts in education, The Town Talk reports. King says spending on education is one of the best investment lawmakers can make. Funding for higher education has dropped dramatically in recent years as Louisiana has struggled to balance a shrinking budget. Alexander argues that stripping funding from education should be a last resort. Encouraging young people to attend college and finish with a degree once they start should be the highest priority, he says. Instead, the cost of tuition and student debt are skyrocketing. Alexander cited the G.I. Bill several times as a comparable example. Unpopular with many at the time of its inception, he says, it has had a transformational effect on the economy. "This is not simply an issue Louisiana is dealing with," Alexander says. "We're in a national downward spiral in...

UL President: Open search worked for Nicholls

Bruce T. Murphy was chosen earlier this month as Nicholls' fifth president, and the public process that led to his hiring contrasts with the secretive and controversial one that led to F. King Alexander's hiring at LSU. But UL System President Sandra Woodley says what worked for Nicholls might not have worked for LSU. "The higher profile the search, the more concerns there are," she says. A search firm received 46 applications to be the next president of Nicholls State University. The firm forwarded 17 to the search committee, and those applications immediately were made public. "There are a certain number of candidates that are not going to apply if they think their name is going to be put out in the list of 17," Woodley says. "We just have to do the best we can in balancing the need for transparency and openness, and respect for people we're trying to recruit." Woodley isn't sure what she would have done in LSU's position, saying she isn't fully versed on the details. "I sympathize...

LSU freshman class among largest in recent history; overall enrollment rises 1%

With 5,501 freshmen enrolled, LSU says this year's class of first-year students is the third-largest since the university implemented admission standards in 1988. Freshman enrollment this year trails last year's figure by just 224 students, but the 5,725 freshmen who entered the campus in 2012 marked a record high in the era of admission standards. In 2004, 5,700 freshmen were enrolled, making it the second-largest class since 1988. LSU reports its overall enrollment stands at 29,865, a 1% increase from 2012, or 316 more students. This year's enrollment figures include 128 students taking courses through the new LSU Online program, university officials say, adding LSU's overall enrollment is now at its highest level since 2005. Check out the complete enrollment reports from LSU.

Showdown at LSU

The months-long legal battle between the LSU Board of Supervisors and the daily newspapers suing to get records from the university's recently concluded presidential search came to a head Sept. 10, when state District Court Judge Janice Clark ordered the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office to confiscate the records.

LSU to produce presidential search records under seal

Attorneys for the LSU Board of Supervisors and two newspapers seeking documents related to the hiring of LSU President F. King Alexander signed off on a compromise today. Attorneys for both sides and District Judge Janice Clark will have access to the records, but the names of the candidates will remain under wraps as the board appeals Clark's April 30 ruling that the information is public record. "I think things are moving along," Clark remarked today. Jimmy Faircloth, attorney for the board, says the records will be delivered electronically to him; he will subsequently print them out and deliver them to the court, possibly as early as today. That would end the $500 per day in fines for noncompliance that the board has been racking up. The two sides have one court appearance left with Clark concerning possible penalties related to LSU's response to the initial public records request, which has not been scheduled. At that point, Faircloth expects to file an appeal with the First...

News alert: LSU board, newspapers reach deal over records

The LSU Board of Supervisors has agreed to turn over records pertaining to its presidential search to 19th Judicial District Judge Janice Clark. The records will remain under seal as the board's appeal moves its way through the legal system. Attorneys for the board and two newspapers—The Advocate The Times-Picayune—reached the agreement at a hearing today. The newspapers are seeking the names of those considered for the post that was filled by F. King Alexander. Read Daily Report PM for additional details.

Sheriff's deputies come up empty handed in LSU records search

Two East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputies escorted by LSU police served the LSU Board of Supervisors office this afternoon with a subpoena demanding that it turn over all records related to its presidential search. The deputies arrived on campus around 2:45 p.m., but left empty handed. "We had nothing to give them," says Robert Rasmussen, assistant vice president for system relations. "As far as we know, they [the documents] are in the possession of Bill Funk, the search consultant in Dallas." 19th Judicial District Court Judge Janice Clark issued the subpoena earlier today. It calls for the board to turn over all resumes of applicants considered by the board during its presidential search. As of publication time, the deputies were headed back to Clark's courtroom, where they were to report that the documents were not available locally. It is not clear what steps Clark will take next. On Monday, Clark ruled that the LSU Board of Supervisors can either turn over records regarding...

LSU drops 11 spots on Best Colleges list over 3 years, but does it really matter?

In dropping 11 spots over the past three years to No. 135 overall on the just-released U.S. News & World Report's 2014 Best Colleges list, LSU has seen one of the largest declines of any college included in the rankings in recent years, Washington Post's Nick Anderson notes in a new column. But do the rankings really matter? "In many ways, the U.S. News and World Report college rankings are an annual parlor game that makes irresistible reading for students, parents, alumni, educators and, of course, journalists," Anderson says. For one thing, he says, changing methodology can cause fluctuations on the list. Also, he says, some schools misreport their numbers, and "myriad other factors could cause ups and downs." Even so, Anderson says, "if a given school rises or sinks 10 or more spots in the course of a few years, that could illuminate a significant...

News alert: Judge threatens LSU board with additional punishment for withholding records

19th Judicial District Court Judge Janice Clark has told the LSU Board of Supervisors that it can either turn over records regarding its presidential search or face additional punishment beyond the $500 a day fine the judge has already levied on the board, multiple local media outlets are reporting. Attorneys for both the board and a pair of newspapers that brought suit against it over the records—The Advocate and The Times-Picayune—are due back in court Tuesday morning, when Clark will reportedly rule on whether or not her order has been complied with. Clark ruled in April the board must turn over records about its presidential search. After the ruling was not complied with, Clark imposed a $500 per day fine in August until the records are released. The board is appealing the ruling and its attorneys have thus far said the fine would not be paid until the appeal has been resolved. Clark reportedly told the board's attorney today that its members could face...

LSU board swears in new chairman; backs ag consolidation

Bobby Yarborough, CEO of Manda Fine Meats, was sworn in today as the new chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors. He replaces Hank Danos, who has been chairman since December 2011. Ann Duplessis, a senior vice president with Liberty Bank & Trust, was selected chair-elect, meaning she will become chairwoman next year. She is the former deputy chief administrative officer under New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "I have reflected upon the following saying from the guru of modern management, Mr. Peter Drucker: 'No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it,'" Yarborough says in a statement released by LSU. "'It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.' This board is most certainly full of very capable and talented individuals." Also today, the board approved President F. King...

LSU transition team releases final report

The LSU Board of Supervisors appointed a 10-member Transition Advisory Team in December to assist the board and new president F. King Alexander as they work to build a "single, globally competitive LSU" by 2015. TAT spent several months meeting with faculty, staff, students and subject matter experts, and on Thursday completed its 100-plus page final report, which contains an overview of the challenges facing the LSU system, suggestions for addressing them and goals for the future. It endorses the board's desire to transform LSU "from independent units to one powerful university with an overarching brand" [page 62], but acknowledges there are unresolved issues related to how that process would impact funding equity and campus-level autonomy. The report recommends creating an annual legislative agenda supported by all campuses, and directs the president's office to strengthen relationships with lawmakers. TAT also recommends "establishing a service model research foundation" [page...

An ambitious to-do list

The LSU Board of Supervisors says it wants to build a "single, globally competitive LSU" by 2015. Combining the positions of flagship chancellor and system president, and hiring F. King Alexander to fill that role, is touted by the board as a big step in that direction.

Hit the ground running

The LSU AgCenter Rice Station in Crowley is not the kind of place bigwig, university administrators typically visit. In fact, in his 10 years as station director, Steve Linscombe cannot remember a top LSU official ever making the 80-mile trek from Baton Rouge to the sprawling, 1,000-acre farm site in southwest Louisiana.

Some LSU raises to be bigger than originally expected

Pending faculty raises at LSU's flagship campus will range from 2% to 6%, faculty members have been told. The high end of that range exceeds the maximum of 4% initially reported at the LSU Board of Supervisors meeting in July. "This is a zero-sum game," says Kevin Cope, president of the LSU Faculty Senate. "For everybody who gets 6%, there's somebody who gets 2%, or maybe more than one person who gets 2%." Cope expects details to be available on or about Sept. 7; the board's next meeting is Sept. 6. Not everyone in the system is guaranteed a pay adjustment, and some employees may only receive one-time supplements. "Of course, in the gossip mill out there, people either know or they think they know, but there's not been an official announcement," Cope says. As LSU spokeswoman Kristine Calongne explains, 4% is the maximum in aggregate for each unit at the main campus. Some employees may receive more than 4% and some may receive less, depending upon their performance as judged by the...

LSU board to take up budget, consolidation and restructuring

When the LSU Board of Supervisors meets next week, it will take up the 2013-14 operational budget, the consolidation of administrative duties in the LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture, and the restructuring of departments at LSU Shreveport, among other items. The board today released its complete agenda for the meeting, which will take place at 10 a.m. Friday in the University Administration Building on the Baton Rouge campus. LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander will present the measure for administrative consolidation. Over the past several years, both LSU and the AgCenter have discussed ways to combine academic units and expertise to capitalize on shared resources, the university says. At the request of Alexander, and with the support of both LSU and the AgCenter, the proposal would consolidate administration of agricultural programs for all teaching, research...

Mann to step down as director of Reilly Center at LSU in December

Political columnist Robert Mann is stepping down as director of the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communications in December to return to full-time teaching and writing. Mann tells Daily Report his desire for more daily contact with students and the need for more time to focus on his various writing projects—including several books, a political column for NOLA.com and his blog, "Something Like the Truth," motivated his decision. "I really do enjoy the job, but I am really more passionate about writing and research," Mann says. As director, Mann typically taught just one senior-level course per semester, which he says inhibited his ability to get to know students and guide them through their careers. "I couldn't do both," he says. "I had to choose the part of the job that excited me the most, and that is the daily contact with students in the classroom." Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Manship School, says he notified faculty over...

LSU's Alexander applauds Obama's ambitious proposal to lower cost of college

President Barack Obama wants to make colleges more accountable and affordable by rating them. He outlined an ambitious higher education agenda this morning at the University at Buffalo that attempts to combat rising college costs and make college affordable for American families. His plan will measure college performance through a new ratings system, giving students and families information to select schools based on value. Obama hopes that after this ratings system is established, Congress will tie federal student aid to college performance so that students maximize their federal aid at institutions providing the best value. LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander says he welcomes Obama's plan. "We at LSU welcome a new federal funding emphasis on the concept of 'value,' which means new funding policies could incentivize...

New president to help LSU students move in Thursday

When students arrive on the LSU campus Thursday morning to move into the university’s residence halls, among those on hand to help them will be new president and chancellor F. King Alexander. He’ll be making the rounds to the university’s dorms in an effort to meet parents and students and make them feel welcome. “We always did it at Long Beach,” says Alexander, whose last position was as president of California State University in Long Beach. “We don’t want it just to be a hot, miserable day for them. We want to make it special.” To that end, LSU’s some 200 student-athletes will also roll up their sleeves and help out with the heavy lifting. That includes members of the Tiger football, baseball and basketball teams. “We wanted them to be a part of this so our students and parents can feel a sense of community,” he says. Since arriving at LSU in June, Alexander has made a point of meeting with students, faculty,...

Filling the gap

With the country's new health care law set for a phased-in implementation, its ultimate impact is increasingly hard to predict. But one near-certainty is that it will prompt more people than ever before to seek health care services, and some say the increased demand will strain the system.

CABL: Addressing higher ed funding means taking on state model, tuition and TOPS

The Council for a Better Louisiana says House Speaker Chuck Kleckley "pretty much laid it on the line" earlier this week when he challenged his fellow lawmakers to find a unified voice and get serious about addressing the challenges facing higher education funding in the state. "Given the prickly issues in postsecondary education these days, that's a tall order, but it's clearly one that needs to be tackled. And if it is, lawmakers better be ready with a healthy dose of political will in the wings," reads the latest CABL newsletter. "Perhaps the biggest problem is that there are so many complicating factors when it comes to funding postsecondary education and nearly all of them somehow need to be addressed." That includes tackling the state funding model for higher ed, CABL says, as well as...

Alexander planning LSU Day in D.C. in January

New LSU President F. King Alexander is working with the university's lobbyist in Washington, D.C., to organize an LSU Day on Capitol Hill early next year. The event, he says, will be part of a broader effort to better coordinate the federal funding requests and grant applications that are made by the various campuses and institutions falling under the LSU umbrella. "I have asked for a complete and comprehensive list of all the federal dollars we ask for and also what we receive so that we can have better coordination," says Alexander, who was in Washington earlier this week and met with LSU's lobbyist, Jeff Brooks of Adams and Reese, to discuss the more targeted approach to seeking federal funds. Alexander says the purpose of LSU Day will be to present a coordinated agenda to members of Congress, who will be fresh from their winter break. Between now and then, he will be working with the chancellors of the various campuses and members of Louisiana's congressional delegation to begin...

Judge finds LSU board in contempt of court in records dispute

A state judge found the LSU Board of Supervisors in contempt of court today and ordered it to pay a fine of $500 per day or publicly release information about the candidates it considered hiring for the chancellor and president position that ultimately went to F. King Alexander, multiple media outlets report. Judge Janice Clark ruled on April 30 that LSU must turn over the records to The Advocate and The Times-Picayune—which filed suit after a request for the names was not filled—but the university hasn't done so. Today Clark reaffirmed the ruling and imposed the fine as a result. "There is a reason for the public to have access to its records, particularly in situations such as searches for executive personnel to direct or manage large institutions that are largely supported by public funds," Clark said, according to a report by The...