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As LSU sets up presidential search process, Galligan and Dardenne appear interested

1 week 2 days 20 hours ago Wednesday, October 14 2020 Oct 14, 2020 October 14, 2020 12:58 PM October 14, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ TV

BATON ROUGE – A search committee has been formed to hire the next president of LSU and its first order of business is crafting a job description and qualifications for perspective candidates.

It’s been no secret Jay Dardenne is interested in the job. Dardenne, an attorney and the state’s Commissioner of Administration, handles the responsibility of running the operations of Louisiana government.

In its announcement, the search committee noted that the next head of LSU should be able to extend the “knowledge of [LSU] well beyond the borders” of its campuses. Robert Dampf, LSU board chair, said the committee will find candidates that have “led or are capable of leading one of the nation’s premier academic, research and health care enterprises.”

It wouldn’t necessarily be unusual for LSU to hire Dardenne, who does not hold a Ph.D., to be the steward of LSU. Sean O'Keefe, who holds a masters in public administration and is a former NASA official, was chancellor of LSU from 2005 to 2008. At the time, LSU’s chancellor and president roles were split. They were consolidated in 2015.

Dardenne was president of student government when he attended LSU.  In December, he told The Advocate: "The only job in government that I would be interested in, other than [Commissioner of Administration], would be that presidency.”

LSU announced Wednesday (Oct. 14), 20 people were appointed to the search committee.

“The committee will also have the latitude to recommend any structural or organizational changes that might facilitate identifying the best leader for the future of LSU,” the university said in a statement about the committee.

The group is expected to submit its description of the job to the LSU Board of Supervisors at its meeting next Friday (Oct. 23).

The next president of LSU would permanently replace Dr. F. King Alexander who left to become president of Oregon State University. He’d been president of LSU since 2013.

Since January, Tom Galligan, the head of the LSU law school, has served as interim president and Wednesday confirmed to WBRZ he was interested in the job full-time.  Galligan told The Advocate earlier, he "got the bug" and wanted to be a part of seeing the university through social change and the COVID crisis.  

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