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 Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.