A divided Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors voted 12-4 Friday to fire system President John Lombardi and began a nationwide search for his replacement. Board Chairman Garrett "Hank" Danos of Larose said that Lombardi, hired in 2007, has not provided the leadership the state's premier university needs to progress.
"Some of us believe our current leader has not assisted us in reaching our true potential," Danos said, launching a spirited 45-minute debate over Lombardi's fate. "We haven't seen the true vision and leadership" from the system president.
Critics said that Lombardi's brusque management style and outspoken nature often worked against him when dealing with chancellors in the LSU system as well as legislators and the governor's office.
Lombardi defenders said that he is well-versed on the issues that LSU has to address. "He knows the issues; he doesn't play politics with the issues," said Laura Leach, a longtime board member from Lake Charles whose term expires June 1.