Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope plans to submit a formal request later this week on behalf of the Senate asking for the names and demographics of potential candidates for the new University president.
Since the LSU Foundation is a private entity, and it has contracted R. William Funk and Associates to handle the presidential search through private donor funds, it has not released the contract.
“I believe it is the right thing to do to give us the names,” Cope said. “The only reason for secrecy is because something bad is going on.”
Under the Louisiana Revised Statute 44:12.1, names of applicants for a public position of authority or public position with policymaking duties should be available to the public.
But Shelby McKenzie, the LSU System’s lead counsel, said there have been no written applications presented to the Board of Supervisors.
“As far as LSU is concerned, no applications have been submitted. … The initial identification of prospects is presently being conducted by William Funk,” McKenzie said. “Their job is to try and find us the best person that’s available. Whether or not that person actually becomes an applicant for the job will take place down the road.”
Cope said any candidate afraid of having his or her name publicized should not be applying for the job.
“A person who is so frightened to have his name exposed is a coward and a nincompoop and not a fit for the University,” Cope said. “Experience shows most candidates who are revealed end up getting counter offers and raises at their current jobs.”
University Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications Herb Vincent said candidates should remain anonymous.
“In order to attract the best possible candidates, confidentiality of the applicants is necessary,” he said.