While some members of the Faculty Senate are partially happy the suggested president and chancellor of the LSU System F. King Alexander is an academic, the Senate unanimously voted Tuesday to pass a no confidence resolution in the LSU Board of Supervisors.
The resolution states the Senate has no confidence in the Board to make the right decisions regarding administrative leadership, budget deficiencies or reorganization of the LSU System. Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope said he, along with other Faculty Senate members, is partially happy about Alexander’s position, but worried because Alexander has never been a tenured professor nor administrator at a major research institution.
“We are currently at a time where shamelessness is at a high end. This body … expects a given standard of performance even of the Supervisors,” Cope said. “LSU is currently in an accreditation cycle. If there are a number of shadows on the operation of the System, it is possible there might need to be some reform before the various accreditations go forward.”
William Daly, past president of the Faculty Senate, said the Board needs to listen to the Senate.
“The Faculty has communicated with the Board of Supervisors,” Daly said. “This is a very complex situation we’re going into right now. … I don’t think the Supervisors understand it fully. By saying there’s no confidence now, maybe they’ll listen to us.”
Faculty Senate member-at-large Judith Sylvester argued that the Board will be resentful of any issues the Senate has with a lack of transparency, and it will say the Senate got what it wanted in that Alexander is an academic and the Board conducted a nationwide search.
However, Faculty Senate member Dorin Bolder said there is a concern about Alexander’s lack of experience at a major research institution.
“This is a system structure that emphasizes research and teaching,” he said.
The resolution states that the California State University at Long Beach four-year graduation rate of 12 percent compares unfavorably with the University’s 29 percent four-year graduation rate.
Cope said there have been serious problems surrounding the presidential search since day one.
“There has been an extravagant expenditure of Foundation monies and an intense level of secrecy. We live in a period of propaganda,” he said. “When we have a candidate, the candidate is presented as head and shoulders above every other candidate. To claim this person is some sort of prodigy is false.”
The Faculty Senate and its resolution also took issue with the University’s faculty not having had a raise in five years, and the Board has not advocated for faculty raises.
Cope said the resolution would be sent to the Board of Supervisors and the LSU System president.