The Daily Reveille submitted a series of public records requests Wednesday for the names of the 30 potential candidates in the search for the new LSU System President position.
The requests were submitted to the LSU Foundation, Board of Supervisors Chairman Hank Danos, Interim System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins and the candidate search firm R. William Funk and Associates.
Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations Herb Vincent declined to comment Wednesday evening.
“By submitting so many requests, we figured we had all of our bases covered,” said Editor in Chief Andrea Gallo. “We’re not sure who actually does have the list of names at this time.”
The Reveille’s requests come after the rejection of a similar request submitted to the LSU System by The Advocate in February.
The legal basis for The Reveille’s request lies in Louisiana public records law, which provides that candidates for public positions should be made available for public scrutiny, Gallo said.
The LSU Foundation is a private entity, however, which would generally mean that its records are not public domain.
“Even though the LSU Foundation is private, the Board of Supervisors is public and the president position is public,” she said. “They hold records for public positions.”
Gallo cited transparency and public scrutiny as reasons to request the release of the potential candidates’ names.
“I think it would generate more interest in the search to see a concrete list of names. Right now, the people interested are administrators and faculty members,” she said. “Students don’t seem to care, but if you gave them a list of names and you research those names and someone on that list has a bad name or record, students will start caring.”
Gallo said the same would be the case if the name of a known and respected potential leader for the University arose.
“It’s important for the public to be able to look at these names and offer its input on who these people are and if they should be running the LSU System,” she said. “The people making this decision shouldn’t only be high-ranking officials who work at LSU. LSU is a public research university, and therefore the public deserves input on who its leader is.”