While Tuesday’s Transition Advisory Team meeting was another step toward determining which combination of reorganization models will work best for the University, those leading the transition process say the next LSU president must shape the final structure.
The Transition Advisory Team’s subcommittees and task forces are examining details of the University’s reorganization, and Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, who addressed the Team via Skype, advised that many of the reorganization changes should be shaped by the incoming LSU president, whoever that may be.
“I’m not uncomfortable with that,” said Interim System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins. “I think a completely defined organizational structure is premature.”
SSA Consultant Christel Slaughter said one of the reorganization process’ objectives is to identify what direction the University should take and what that means for each of its components.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Research and Discovery Subcommittee Chair Jim Firnberg. “We’ve got to get this right.”
Ohio State is one of five “universities of interest” with an organizational structure being examined as a potential model for LSU.
The other universities included in the list are the University of Pittsburgh, Arizona State University, Pennsylvania State University and Texas A&M University.
It is unlikely that LSU will emulate any one of these models specifically, Jenkins said.
“I see these organization charts as models that we can study, but we have to create our own,” Jenkins said. “I don’t believe that at the end of the process, we’ll have a structure that will look like another university’s.”
Jenkins said instead of modeling the University after a pre-existing model, LSU will probably incorporate different aspects from many universities into one that works best for LSU.
“I think it’s going to be a hybrid,” Jenkins said. “I’d be surprised if that’s not what happens.”
The University’s reorganization, originally expected to be a 24-month process, will be an ongoing process and must include the input from the person who will lead the enterprise, Jenkins said.
“I don’t think we have to have a final organizational chart soon,” Jenkins said. “This will be a work in progress over the coming years. At the end of the day, the final facets of the reorganization need to be attended to by the new president.”
After an initial address, Gee took questions from the audience about how to consolidate campuses into a cohesive, research-driven university.
“Certain things need to be centrally driven,” Gee said. “Some things are better done at different levels, but there needs to be consistency throughout.”
Tuesday’s meeting was the fourth Transition Advisory Team meeting, and it was the last meeting before the Team will submit a preliminary reorganization proposal to the Board of Supervisors on March 18.
The Team will continue meeting and hearing from external experts until the final reorganization proposal is submitted for the Board’s approval this summer.