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 Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
Saints fans were to gather, make merry, eat/drink compliments of a new Downtown group and watch the Saints beat Carolina and claim 1st place in the NFC South. But...
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram doesn't see his dramatic spike in production as any sort of validation.