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LSU narrows down list of presidential candidates to 8; see their names here

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BATON ROUGE - LSU's presidential search committee has narrowed down the list of people it will interview for the position of university president after interim chief Tom Galligan announced he would no longer seek the permanent position.

After revealing a list of 23 applicants Wednesday, the search committee narrowed down the list to eight who will get full interviews.

Candidates will be interviewed starting Monday, April 26.  Scroll down for the interview schedule. 

View the full list of initial candidates here

Of the eight selected to interview, four have ties to LSU. Dardenne, who currently serves as the state's commissioner of administration, graduated from LSU and served as student body president.

Mary Ann Rankin, the former provost of the University of Maryland, College Park, graduated from LSU, as did Lt. Gen. (ret.) Jeff Talley.

Rustin Moore, dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University, worked at LSU's School of Veterinary Medicine from 1994-2006.

Laurence Alexander, Chancellor of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, is a native of New Orleans.

Jim Henderson, the president of the UL system, is a native of Shreveport.

Of the 23 candidates to apply, three were women. Rankin was the only woman to be selected for an interview.

"I'm just not aware of anything else that we could have done to attract more women to the position," said James Williams, the search committee.

Galligan's decision not to stay beyond his interim assignment leaves the door open for a fresh face to lead the state's flagship university.

"It was really time to make a decision," Galligan told WBRZ Tuesday.

Galligan has served in the role since January 2020, and previously expressed interest in the full-time job. In recent weeks, however, a family trip coupled with a longing to return to teaching at LSU's Paul M. Hebert Law Center, made Galligan, 65, reconsider applying. Over the weekend, he says he made the final choice not to continue with the search.

"I realized I'm not going to get to see my kids as much if I'm in this job no matter how hard I try," Galligan said. "That's really important to me. And when I thought about my children, I then thought about my teaching. I love to teach."

The application window to lead the LSU system closed earlier this week, though the search committee voted to continue accepting any additional applications until the position is filled.

The search committee met Wednesday to decide which candidates to interview, the next step in a process outlined earlier this month by Williams, that will be nearing the finish line by month's end.

The candidates will be interviewed April 26 and April 27. From there, finalists for the job will be named and presented to the LSU Board of Supervisors April 30.

Once finalists are selected, a period of public input will span the first week of May, before the board ultimately makes the call on who to hire.

Henderson, the president of the UL system, told WBRZ he is interested in the gig.

"Louisiana needs a strong LSU," Henderson said in a statement to WBRZ. "I believe I am uniquely well-suited to help address the acute challenges and begin realizing the long-term potential.”

Galligan, who will remain on the job until his successor starts, won't say who he thinks should replace him, but did offer one recommendation.

"It's apparent that what we need is a president who's going to say, 'I'm here for at least five years,'" Galligan said.

Shortly after announcing the eight semi-finalists, Williams said he wasn't aware of a hard commitment the committee would seek from the candidates.

"We need to look at the candidate," Williams said. "How much time can you give us? What are your academic credentials? What is your administrative experience? What's the total package that you, as a candidate, bring to the table? The number of years of service you want to devote to the job is certainly one of those things. I don't want us to have to go through all of this work, only to have to restart it a year from now."

Schedule of interviews

Laurence Alexander will be interviewed at 9 a.m. Monday.

James Henderson will be interviewed at 11 a.m. Monday.

Mary Ann Rankin will meet with interviewers at 1 p.m. Monday.

Jay Dardenne will roundout Monday interviews with a meeting at 2:30 Monday afternoon.

Kelvin Droegemeier will start the interview process Tuesday morning at 9.

Ronald Clark will meet with interviewers at 10:30 Tuesday.

Jeffrey Talley will meet with the interview committee at 12:30 Tuesday.

Rustin Moore will be interviewed at 2 p.m. Tuesday. 


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