LSU Trumpets Academic As Well As Gridiron Success

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana State University is getting a lot of attention thanks to Monday night's football championship game. But the 148-year-old Baton Rouge institution is beefing up its academic side, too, and it is using the Internet, broadcast media and the program for the championship game to tout its construction projects, its aggressive hiring and its growth as a research institution.

Chancellor Sean O'Keefe says LSU is among the big-time universities in the United States. One way to measure a university's research strength is in the amount of grants its researchers receive. In the three years since O'Keefe took office, he says that sum has risen by more than 60 percent, from $90 million a year to about $150 million annually.

Besides relying on federal grants, LSU is working with corporations. For instance, O'Keefe says, Shell Oil Co. has given the university about $4 million for research into coastal restoration, an issue that has achieved paramount importance since Hurricane Katrina swept through.