Accreditor Questions Louisiana State U.’s Leadership Merger

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools took issue with the appointment of William L. Jenkins as both interim president of the LSU system and interim chancellor of the flagship campus, in Baton Rouge, as well as the system governing board’s recently approved plan to consolidate those positions. A commission official wrote a letter to Mr. Jenkins explaining that his dual role “raises questions” about compliance with the commission’s standards. Mr. Jenkins and LSU officials maintain that they are in compliance with those benchmarks. Faculty leaders have criticized the board’s plan.

The LSU Board of Supervisors decided in October to merge the system president and main campus chancellor’s jobs, a vote it will redo next week after the attorney general’s office said it had concerns the vote violated the state’s open meetings law.

Shelby McKenzie, lawyer for the LSU System, said the proposed resolution to be considered at the December board meeting will “cure the concerns” of SACS.

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