LSU presidential search committee sets ‘aggressive’ timeline to fill position

Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 4:32 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A search committee tasked with picking the next president/chancellor of LSU laid out an “aggressive” plan to finalize the process by the end of the year.

With only seven work weeks left in 2020, the 20-person committee was divided into four sub-committees during its first official meeting, which was held Thursday, Oct. 22.

“We have too much ground to cover in too short of a time to try and all 20 of us do it at once,” said Search Committee Chairman James Williams. “But if we split it up, hopefully we will give ourselves a chance to try and conquer it.”

The first committee will explore any possible changes to the organizational structure of the leadership of the university.

The second committee is devoted to defining what the job will include.

“We were unable to find a job description for the president of LSU,” said Williams. “That is shocking to me. There is no real, official, complete, comprehensive job description for the president of the university.”

The third committee is tasked with picking a search firm to assist with identifying the best applicants for the position.

Finally, the fourth committee will seek out the opinions of those who will need to “buy in” to the selection process and ultimately the person who is selected.

“I think buy in is a very, super important part of this process,” Williams explained. The last thing we want to do is get to the end of this process and folks start throwing stuff at us."

All of the sub-committees must work quickly and efficiently to achieve the “aggressive” end of the year timeline.

“This process is going to have to involve some holding the feet to the fire,” said Williams.

That fire is already burning strong with students set to leave campus after the Thanksgiving break.

Williams said a meeting schedule for the committee will be distributed Friday, Oct. 23.

Search Committee Chair

  • James Williams; Former chair, LSU Board of Supervisors from the Second Congressional District; New Orleans, La.

Committee Vice Chair

  • Gabriela González, Boyd Professor, LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy; Baton Rouge, La.

Search Committee Members

  • Glenn Armentor; LSU Board of Supervisors from Third Congressional District; Lafayette, La.
  • Verge Ausberry; LSU Executive Deputy Director of Athletics and Executive Director External Relations; Baton Rouge, La.
  • Hannah Barrios; Vice President, LSU Student Government; Pollock, La.
  • Chip Campbell; Alumnus and President of Campbell Companies; Shreveport, La.
  • Clarence Cazalot; Alumnus and Chair of the LSU Foundation; Houston, Texas
  • Larry Clark; Chancellor, LSU Shreveport; Shreveport, La.
  • Jessica Jones; Director of Student Success, LSU Eunice; Eunice, La.
  • Valencia Jones; LSU Board of Supervisors from the Fourth Congressional District; Natchitoches, La.
  • Lester W. Johnson; Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, LSU Health Monroe; Monroe, La.
  • Luke Laborde; Instructor, LSU School of Renewable Resources; Baton Rouge, La.
  • Roland Mitchell; Dean, LSU College of Human Sciences & Education; Baton Rouge, La.
  • Lori Martin; Professor, LSU Department of Sociology; Baton Rouge, La.
  • Steve Nelson; Dean, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine; New Orleans, La.
  • Christel Slaughter; Alumna and co-owner of SSA Consultants; Baton Rouge, La.
  • Tara Smith; Professor and Regional Director, LSU AgCenter Central Region; Alexandria, La.
  • Rémy Starns; Chair-elect, LSU Board of Supervisors from the First Congressional District; Metairie, La.
  • Takeyra Wagner; Education Technology Specialist and Staff Senate President at LSU Alexandria; Alexandria, La.
  • Mary Leach Werner; Immediate Past Chair, LSU Board of Supervisors from the Third Congressional District; Lake Charles, La.

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