LSU President William Tate laid out his plans for LSU's future at his Presidential Investiture speech Friday, which included investing in cancer research and upholding the university's military roots. Tate hopes to put scholarship first at the university by seeking truth, demonstrating empathy and operating with courage.
Tate said he is looking to the future but wants to remember the history that formed the modern LSU. He said LSU’s historical connection allows him to focus on aspirations for the future.
“The great force of history is what we carry in us,” Tate said. “It is history that we owe our frames of references, identities and aspirations.”
Tate said he learned from the leadership of Bishop John Fisher and Thomas Jefferson to create top-tier educational institutions. He said their approach to classical education and pursuit of truth is how LSU operated when it was first established in Pineville, La.
“Jefferson believed in the pursuit of truth and so do I,” Tate said. “LSU is a foundational institution that will help us reach aspirations.”
Tate also said he wants to prioritize cancer research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Facility. He said Louisiana is 10th in the U.S. for cancer deaths, with 183 of every 100,000 people dying from cancer. He said it is “our duty as a flagship” to eradicate that number.
LSU garnered $160 million in research funds this past year, which had a $490 million economic impact on the state of Louisiana. Tate said he wants to invest in several fields, including mental health services and coastal sustainability, among others, during his presidency.
“We must build on and recommit to our investment in agriculture,” Tate said. “We need better infrastructure in science, engineering and technology.”
He also said energy and alternative forms of energy “remains a target we must double down on.”
Tate said he wants to continue the university's military traditions and make LSU a premier ROTC university.
Tate concluded his speech by saying the institutions he’s been at in the past have always had a comparative view to other universities. He said he wants LSU to focus on LSU and its future.
“We are outstanding at what we do,” Tate said. “We are a great institution.”