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Professor group criticizes LSU reorganization

Last Modified: Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:04 PM

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The nation's top organization of college professors asked LSU this week to end what it calls a "seeming disregard" for faculty participation in a university reorganization effort.

The American Association of University Professors, based in Washington, D.C., said efforts including faculty in the discussion have been largely symbolic.

The Advocate reported that a seven-page letter sent to LSU leaders is a politely worded warning that the university could end up on the organization's censure list for the second time in less than 12 months.

The LSU Board of Supervisors is working to consolidate the LSU System and Baton Rouge campus under a single leader. University faculty members have criticized the board as shutting them out of the process.

"We hope that the administration and board will address the faculty's concerns and do so in a manner that is respectful of widely accepted professional norms within the academic community," AAUP Associate Secretary Robert Kreiser wrote.

He noted the LSU presidential search committee has only one faculty member; the Transition Advisory Team leading the reorganization process has no faculty members; and the official job description for a new president doesn't mention the need for credentials.

LSU Board Chairman Hank Danos did not return calls seeking comment about the letter, but he previously has denied disregarding faculty input in the reorganization.

Danos has said faculty opinions were used to help draft the 25-page report from a consulting firm that kicked off the reorganization and noted that the board has held breakfast meetings and other informal discussions with faculty members.

The AAUP voted in June to censure LSU for mistreatment of faculty, a move that gave the Baton Rouge campus the distinction of being the only public flagship university on the list. Censure is seen as a blemish on a school's reputation that can hamper faculty recruitment and retention.

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