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LSU Transition Advisory Team Holds Kickoff Meeting

January 09, 2013


BATON ROUGE - LSU's Transition Advisory Team held its first meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, in the LSU System Building to receive information about its role, expectations and timeline from LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman Hank Danos and Interim LSU System President and LSU Chancellor William Jenkins. The meeting served to launch LSU2015, a process designed to investigate best practices and develop recommendations for a vision and roadmap, which will be shared with the LSU board as they transform LSU to remain competitive and excel in the rapidly changing environment of higher education.

In December 2012, the LSU Board of Supervisors, with guidance from Jenkins, appointed 10 individuals to the Transition Advisory Team, each with a unique understanding of the LSU System. This team will hear testimonies from nationally recognized subject matter experts, receive reports and analyze information brought forward from a variety of sources, and advise and present facts and ideas to the Board on effective organizational models.

These organizational models will both inform the search process for a new president and assist with a roadmap for an effective transition. The team's first product will be a report to the Board of Supervisors in early March to ensure the search process for the next LSU President remains on track.

"Over the next 60 days, the Transition Advisory team will assist us to better cast our vision and define our aspirant goals. Their work will also allow us to better define what kind of leader we will need as we strive to become world class," Danos said.

The team will meet at least monthly over the next six months and will present the LSU Board of Supervisors with a final report of recommendations by July 2013. Their input will serve to assist the board and the new president as they lead LSU through a transition to become a highly competitive university with best-in-class faculty, distinguished innovation and research capabilities, and high performing graduates who are recognized as critical thinkers and who are well prepared for jobs of the future.

Five sub-committees will be formed to develop implementation recommendations in key focus areas. Chaired by members of the Transition Advisory Team, these sub-committees will be comprised of representatives drawn from across the LSU System as well as outside experts.  These workgroups will schedule meetings at campuses across the state, examine opportunities for improvement in specific topic areas, and then report their findings to the Transition Advisory Team.

Jenkins noted the important role that these sub-committees will play and how critical they are to the re-organization process. He stated that, "The sub-committees will allow for the inclusion of ideas from across the LSU System and provide opportunities for input from all interested parties which is crucial to our long-term success."

The sub-committees will address the following specific focus areas (chairs and co-chairs are listed by sub-committee):

  • Academic Sub-Committee will focus on inter- and intra-campus innovation and collaboration, academic standards and the strategic deployment of academic programs and leveraging technology for learning.

Co-Chairs: Dr. William "Bill" Jenkins, Dr. Lester W. Johnson

  • Finance and Revenue Sub-Committee will examine best practices in funding strategies and leveraging assets as well as reviewing the cost efficiency of administrative structures and functions such as human resources, finance and budgeting, facilities oversight and management, information management and public relations, fundraising and communications efforts.

Co-Chairs: G. Lee Griffin, Clarence P. Cazalot, Jr.

  • Research and Discovery Sub-Committee will review data on current productivity and strengths in research efforts, investigate opportunities for joint research proposals and projects with potential collaboration incentives, propose recommendations to improve productivity and accountability and leverage technology transfer opportunities.  

Chair: Dr. James W. "Jim' Firnberg

  • Student Experience Sub-Committee will focus on access and opportunity, support for student success to improve the graduation rate as well as workforce and career opportunities, service learning, student financial aid and improving student recruitment and enrollment efforts.

Co-Chairs: Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore', Carroll Suggs

  • Technology and Operations Sub-Committee seeks to identify opportunities to leverage technology to improve quality and efficiency in research, management and administration, information systems and communications, and to streamline board and administrative processes.

Co-Chairs: William M. Comegys III, William L. "Bill" Silvia

In addition, a Legal and Regulatory Advisory Group led by Shelby McKenzie and Dr. Firnberg will provide technical advice and support to each sub-committee.

Jeff Selingo, consultant and former editor at large at The Chronicle for Higher Education and a leading authority on higher education addressed the Transition Advisory Team regarding projected changes in the landscape of higher education and challenges facing Louisiana. Selingo is one of several speakers who will be asked to address the Transition Advisory Team and their sub-committees over the course of the next few months. 

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