LSU Student Newspaper Editor Sues University Governing Board Over Secretive President Search

Tim Goral's picture

The editor of LSU's student newspaper filed a lawsuit Monday against the university system's Board of Supervisors for refusing to provide information about the candidates considered to be LSU's next president.

"LSU has been anything but transparent throughout this process," Andrea Gallo, editor of The Daily Reveille, said in a statement.

F. King Alexander was hired by the Board of Supervisors last week as LSU president, a position that oversees the university system and that serves as chancellor of LSU's flagship campus in Baton Rouge. He is slated to begin the job in July.

Alexander was the only finalist for the position, and the board's search committee refused to release details about who was interviewed or considered during the closed-door search that began in November.

"At the end of the day, LSU prides itself on being a public research university. It's only fair that LSU lets the public take a look at the candidates and offer their input," Gallo said.

The board has said applications were handled by its private search firm, which was hired by LSU's private foundation. The board claims those entities aren't subject to public records law.

"A governmental entity cannot simply hire an outside consultant in an attempt to circumvent the Louisiana Public Records Law," Gallo's lawsuit says.

Board of Supervisors member Blake Chatelain, who led the search committee, said a public search would have limited the pool of contenders who would have been willing to be considered for the LSU position. Alexander agreed, saying he only agreed to talk to the search firm and board members because the candidates were kept confidential.

The LSU Faculty Senate registered a vote of no-confidence in the Board of Supervisors and its search, criticizing its secrecy.

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