Memorial Tower

The LSU Memorial Tower stands Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2020 on Tower Drive, Baton Rouge.

The LSU Presidential Search Committee voted unanimously Friday to hire Parker Executive Search to be the search firm for University President.

Board of Supervisors Immediate Past-Chair Mary Werner led the subcommittee that searched for firms and said the subcommittee conducted interviews with seven firms over two days. The subcommittee then narrowed the seven firms down to three: WittKieffer, Anthem Executive and Parker Executive Search.

At its meeting Friday, the Presidential Search Committee discussed all three firms at length, highlighting the pros and cons of each before voting for the firm it hired. 

"The ones [firms] that rose to the top -- everybody had a connection to LSU in some form or fashion, so they were all familiar with us in some form or another," Werner said.

LSU Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel Winston DeCuir said Parker has a "real understanding" of SEC schools.

"They did a lot of work in the Deep South," DeCuir said. "They understand the political dynamic and they have some experience placing diverse candidates at predominately white schools in the Deep South, which they talked about at length."

DeCuir said the LSU Foundation has offered to fund the cost for the search firm; he is hoping to have Parker under contract "by next week."

LSU-Eunice Director of Student Success and Search Committee member Jessica Jones said she liked that Parker had "relatability" because it has worked with different schools in the area. She praised the diversity of the team at Parker.

"I think they're very invested in the diversity piece," Jones said.

According to its website, Parker Executive Search has conducted over 500 searches for a variety of leadership positions within higher education. Its website cites the University of Oregon, Clemson University, the University of Tennessee and Iowa State University as some of its other clients in higher education.

At the meeting, the Presidential Search Committee also unanimously approved a job description for University president that will be circulated throughout the campuses within the LSU system for further feedback.

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