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LSU Student Union's glass facade shines at night on LSU's Campus, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021.

With over 7,000 incoming students, the university admitted its largest freshman class this semester. 

Interim Executive Vice President & Provost of Academic Affairs Matthew Lee says his biggest advice for incoming students is to not isolate themselves from the vast resources LSU has to offer.

Lee said students shouldn’t wait until they’re struggling to seek out support. By taking advantage of resources now, like the Center for Academic Success, students will know where to go when they need guidance.

“Don’t do LSU alone,” Lee said. “We expect everyone to seek out that academic support. There is no shame in that game here. Everyone should be open to asking for help.”

CAS provides supplemental instruction, academic coaching and tutoring. 

Lee, a criminologist by training and sociology professor, is serving as interim provost and vice president of academic affairs while the University conducts a national search for a candidate to fill the position. Stacia Haynie was moved to another position at LSU shortly following President Tate's entrance to the university.

Lee told the Reveille that that search will likely take close to a year, and that he’s not opposed to applying for the permanent position. 

“I’m not going to rule it out, but frankly, I’m more focused on the immediate right now,” Lee said. “We’ve got to get through the next couple of weeks.” 

Lee completed his PhD in sociology at LSU in 1999 and returned to the university to teach in 2004. He’s held multiple faculty and administrative positions since then. 

When President William Tate asked Lee to be the provost, he told him he’d have to talk to his wife first. 

“We have four teenagers,” Lee said. “The first thing I had to do was to talk to her to see if this fit in with our lifestyle. I told [Tate] I’m interested but let me talk to the boss first.”

Student retention and success are some of Lee’s top priorities this semester. “We want to do better,” he said. “We need to meet [students] where they are and make sure they’re properly supported.”

When asked what students should know about him, Lee said he’s an old-school metalhead and punk rock fan. Some of his favorite bands include Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth. 

“Many of their songs are pro-environment, anti-violence, anti-drug, anti-totalitarianism and all these kinds of things that resonate with my values and the kind of values I think we have here at LSU and I think resonate with our student body,” he said.

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