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."
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Pot industry gearing up for holiday shoppers; uncertainty in Ferguson; Patriots' winning streak and more national and international news for Monday, November 24, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
Pat Cooper is contesting his termination by the LPSB, filing a petition Tuesday that calls the recent decision “arbitrary and capricious.”
A look at the numbers highlights the challenge facing Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu as she tries to win a fourth term in a Dec. 6 runoff against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.
A national animal rights group has been rebuffed by a Baton Rouge district court judge, although the group might still get its day in court.
The administration says public college campuses won't be on the chopping block.