Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor and Interim CFO Robert Kuhn said Wednesday that he would step down from his position within the Office of Budget and Planning, seeking retirement after more than 39 years at the University, and allow President-Elect F. King Alexander to build his own team of administrators.
Kuhn’s announcement comes a few months after longtime University CFO Eric Monday left the University for a similar position at the University of Kentucky.
Kuhn’s departure marks the sixth high-level administrator to leave the University in a series of exits that began last year with the ousting of former System President John Lombardi, followed by former Chancellor Michael Martin leaving, former Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Jack Hamilton stepping down, Monday’s accepting of a new position and Vice Provost of Equity, Diversity and Community Outreach Katrice Albert announcing that she’s leaving as well.
“As soon as they conduct a search and find a replacement, I’ll be stepping down,” Kuhn said. “When I took the [CFO] position, I said it was on an interim basis, and I would commit to another legislative session and preparing another operating budget, but I’m ready to retire.”
Although Kuhn said he has not had a direct conversation with Alexander, he spoke with Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart Bell about the decision.
Kuhn said he asked Bell to see how he wanted to proceed with the search for Kuhn’s replacement. Kuhn said there is no search process in the works now, but he expects Alexander to begin looking at what positions he wants to fill.
“There’s a big group of people my age who are going to be retiring. It’s a natural progression,” Kuhn said. “This is a great opportunity for Dr. Alexander to put his own team together with his own fingerprints on the structure and who those individuals are.”
Kuhn’s retirement coincides with Alexander’s installment as the new University president.
“To me, Alexander has to build his own team. I don’t know how he wants to structure this with LSU 2015. I would assume the CFO would be responsible for more than this campus,” Kuhn said. “That’s something Dr. Alexander will want to put his fingerprints on, and I want to give him the opportunity to do that.”
Kuhn said Alexander will lead the University through these budgetary and reorganizational challenges. It’s a revolutionary time for higher education and those involved, and the team Alexander chooses will guide LSU through the process, Kuhn said.
“I wish I was 35 years old and starting over again because it’s a new and exciting time,” Kuhn said. “I’m willing to do all I can to help LSU, but on the other hand, I think there are people who can do it better than I. It’s just time for me to go.”