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Search committee looking to fill singular LSU president-chancellor position

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BATON ROUGE – A big decision looms as LSU looks for the perfect fit for a new university chief. Thursday afternoon, the LSU Presidential Search Committee started the process of finding a new school president. A unanimous decision came to open up the position to a singular position.

There were talks about going back to an older system, where two people are in charge: a president and a chancellor. However, LSU Board of Supervisors chair Robert Dampf says that would be costly.

“The difficulty is if you have a chancellor system then you have a chancellor, and that’s a high-paying position. The chancellor needs a chief of staff and secretarial support folks,” Dampf said. “So literally creating another system can be millions and millions of dollars, and we want to spend our money on faculty and students.”

The one person position rules out a well-known candidate, Louisiana's Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne. He announced his interest in the role at first but only if two positions became available. He'd apply for the president over chancellor.

LSU’s interim President Tom Galligan, who took on the role after F. King Alexander left in January, says he's enjoyed the combined role and plans to apply for the job.

"He has done a fabulous job. I think he'll be an excellent candidate, but there'll be other excellent candidates,” Dampf said.

The search committee is planning to focus on who is interested through the end of the year, then start accepting applications in January. The timeline is tight, but the committee knows it's best to get someone in charge ASAP.

"A lot of presidential searches are nine to 12 months. We're going to do this in three to four months if at all possible. And i think it is possible,” Dampf said.

The governor said recently he thinks the president position should go to just one person, as it has been for the past couple of years.


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