Opinion: LSU presidential candidates should be secret - lsureveille.com: Opinion

Opinion: LSU presidential candidates should be secret

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Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013 4:01 pm | Updated: 9:19 pm, Sun Feb 24, 2013.

You hate Nick Saban.

If you don’t, you’re in the minority on this campus.

As you all know, Nick Saban left LSU to coach the Miami Dolphins and, eventually, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

You hate him because he abandoned LSU to coach one of our greatest Southeastern Conference rivals. You hate him even though he waited two years after leaving us to do so.

Imagine if you found out today that Les Miles is considering — seriously considering — leaving LSU for a head-coaching job at Florida.

If you don’t already hate him, you’d hate him.

That’s why the LSU Presidential Search Committee should remain steadfast in its decision to not disclose any names of candidates for the newly created president of LSU position.

Various groups have called for those names to be made public. Most notably, The Daily Reveille and LSU’s Faculty Senate have both demanded the list of about 30 candidates to be shared with the public.

After all, students and faculty deserve to know and participate in who is being considered to lead Louisiana’s flagship institution, don’t they?

The answer is a resounding, “Maybe.”

There is no doubt it would be ideal for everyone on and off campus to know who was being considered for this position. Students and faculty alike could get to know the candidates and offer insight into who would be the best fit to steer our wonderful institution, not only through the soon-to-come system-wide transition, but also for the foreseeable future.

The problem, according to search committee chairman Blake Chatelain, is “if [LSU] doesn’t keep this confidential, we’ll limit our     candidate field.”

He has a valid point.

Just like in the football metaphor mentioned earlier, schools don’t like hearing their leaders are flirting with leaving.

How can LSU hope to attract the best — and surely the most beloved — candidates for a position like this if their interest in the job is made public?

Especially at this stage of the game, when there is essentially a one-in-30 chance of being hired, why would the best of the best wager the goodwill they enjoy in their current jobs for a long shot at this one?

As usual, the solution lies somewhere in the middle.

LSU’s Faculty and Student Government Senates should have been given the opportunity to appoint a member to the search committee. Those members could then have signed a non-disclosure agreement to ensure they would not make the information public.

That solution would have allowed students and faculty to place a trusted member on the committee who would have at least been able to testify to the nature of the selection process post-hire.

Or maybe we can come to another compromise.

When the time comes, the search committee could release the names of the final three candidates, opening them to questions and concerns from LSU’s faculty and students.

That could, of course, cause the same problems releasing all 30 names would, but at least it’s worth discussing.

We all know that won’t happen though, so we might as well just buckle in and trust the committee will choose the best candidate for the job. 

At least we know they won’t be scared to apply. 

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