LSU board to redo vote on merger after criticism

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.