She maintains that neither Gov. Kathleen Blanco nor retiring UL President Ray Authement will have a say in who becomes the sixth president of the 107-year-old university. "I have not talked to the governor or anyone else in her administration," Clausen says. "I'm not interested in talking to anyone."
The system president, who will serve as non-voting chair of the search committee, also maintains Authement will play a role only if asked by the committee. She says a more appropriate function for him is to help the new president make a smooth transition into the position. "I think that's a better use of his time," she says.
Clausen insists the process will be open to the public. And while some candidates may not like the transparent method because of its potential to jeopardize their current jobs, Clausen wholeheartedly embraces it ' even more so because of her own experiences as a potential candidate for president of the LSU System. Just last year, she endured immense criticism after two state legislators charged that LSU System President William Jenkins was forced out by then board Chairman Bernie Boudreaux ' Clausen's boyfriend ' to pave the way for her ascension to the more prestigious LSU post. As a result of the controversy, Boudreaux resigned from the board, and Clausen stayed put as head of the UL System. "I've already been through this myself personally, and I know how it can sting," she says.
If she's contacted by the consultant the LSU System hired to seek out candidates, Clausen says she would only apply if her interview is conducted in public. "There are people that are unsure of the process," she notes. "In the long run, the openness serves us better."
Meanwhile, the search committee for Authement's successor, appointed by the UL System board's chairman, Jimmy Long Sr. of Natchitoches, is beginning to take shape and should be finalized by the end of the month. Dr. John Meriwether, who has taught physics at UL Lafayette for four decades, will have a vote in who is recommended as Authement's successor, and longtime English professor Dr. Harry Bruder will serve as a non-voting member of the search committee. The duo was chosen last week by the UL Faculty Senate.
Like Clausen, Meriwether says an above-board national search will be conducted. "All I can tell you right now is what I see and what I'm told," the physics professor says. "If it doesn't turn out to be an open process, I'm not a shy person ' I will speak up."
By December the search committee, primarily consisting of system board members, will recommend a new president to the full board, which makes the final decision.
Baton Rouge's Business Report, however, isn't buying the search rhetoric and made a brazen prediction in its latest issue. The publication typically editorializes on its BalanceSheet page (available only in the print edition), which includes a "What you read" and "What it means" section. Here's what Business Report says about Authement's pending retirement: "Look for the news to set off this chain reaction: E. Joseph Savoie, commissioner of higher education, will take over as chancellor [president in the UL system] at University of Louisiana-Lafayette; Sally Clausen moves from University of Louisiana System president to head the Board of Regents [Savoie's job]; and Jimmy Clarke, who is Gov. Blanco's chief of staff, goes to head the UL System." That same rumored scenario has been making the rounds in some Lafayette Parish School System circles, too.
Clausen is quick to say this kind of speculation shouldn't discourage anyone ' particularly Savoie and UL Vice President of Academic Affairs Steve Landry (another candidate many observers think may be in line for Authement's post) from applying for the job. "I will welcome all candidates," she says. "I am adamant that because someone has spread a rumor, you don't kill off the person."
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.