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LSU considers additional consolidation proposals

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The LSU Board of Supervisors is considering recommendations to reorganize the LSU System under the flagship campus in Baton Rouge and could vote as soon as Friday on the ideas.

The meeting comes one week after the board unexpectedly merged the system president and Baton Rouge chancellor positions.

Ideas for restructuring come from a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm hired by the university's governing board. The Association of Governing Boards proposes LSU should ditch its current model of autonomous campuses for a consolidated "flagship system."

LSU board chairman Hank Danos said the panel could decide Friday whether to follow some of AGB's recommendations, but those still leave lots of details to be worked out.

"I very much support the concept that AGB presented and that LSU can be better served by a more unified, organizational structure," Danos told The Associated Press.

He said he expects the board will ask LSU System President William Jenkins to form a task force to wade through the details of reorganization. He doesn't expect a timeline for restructuring.

"We need to be deliberate and thoughtful in taking the right steps," Danos said.

The current LSU System is made up of the flagship campus in Baton Rouge; the LSU Law Center and LSU Agricultural Center, which are next to the main campus; LSU Health Sciences Centers in New Orleans and Shreveport; 10 public hospitals and dozens of clinics across the state; and academic campuses in Alexandria, Eunice and Shreveport.

The different units act, more or less, on their own.

The Advocate reports that under the consultant's proposal, 14 vice presidents, who'd be responsible for everything from communications to health care delivery, would report to five executive vice presidents including a senior executive vice president and provost with primary responsibility for the main campus and all academic matters.

The executive vice presidents would report to the newly created president, who reports to the LSU Board of Supervisors.

University leaders have had mixed reactions to the ideas.

Law Center Chancellor Jack Weiss said he was "very concerned" with a perceived loss of autonomy and flexibility for the law school, while LSU-Eunice Chancellor Bill Nunez said his school can benefit politically and academically by sharing resources with other campuses.

LSU Agricultural Center Chancellor Bill Richardson said he is "overall pleased" by the AGB's proposal which largely leaves his institution unchanged.

Danos said restructuring the campuses doesn't require legislative approval and rests solely with the Board of Supervisors, according to the advice of a lawyer for the university system.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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