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LSU board to redo vote on merger after criticism

Last Modified: Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:16 PM

BATON ROUGE (AP) — LSU's governing board said Thursday it will reconsider an October decision to merge two of the system's top jobs after the attorney general's office said it had "serious concerns" that the vote violated the state's open meetings law.

The Board of Supervisors will vote again next month on whether to consolidate the positions of system president and chancellor of the flagship campus.

"Since the LSU board does not want there to be any question about this important action, we will reconsider and take action on combining the positions at our December meeting," board chairman Hank Danos said in a statement.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's office questioned whether the previous vote was handled properly, saying the board didn't appear to have advertised its intention to vote and, as a result, didn't appear to give enough ability for the public to comment on the idea.

"We have serious concerns regarding the board's compliance with the notice provisions," Assistant Attorney General Emalie Boyce wrote in a Wednesday letter to Danos.

The Board of Supervisors unexpectedly agreed at its October meeting to merge the jobs after hearing a presentation of a consultant's report suggesting a system-wide reorganization.

A vote on the merger had not been specifically listed on the board agenda, and several critics said the abrupt vote stifled public vetting of the idea. They said Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration was trying to shove the consolidation through without proper public debate. Jindal's appointees fill nearly ever board position.

Kevin Cope, president of the LSU Faculty Senate, filed a complaint with the attorney general's office alleging the violation of Louisiana's open meetings law.

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