LSU consolidates AgCenter, College of Agriculture

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE –The LSU Agricultural Center and the LSU College of Agriculture will administratively consolidate in an effort to expand its statewide impact through more integrated teaching, research and public service, while also creating more administrative efficiencies. 

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander presented the administrative consolidation at the Sept. 6 Board of Supervisors meeting, and the Board of Supervisors approved the measure.

Alexander will now initiate and oversee a nine-month process where faculty, staff and students will work with administrative officials to consolidate efforts to enhance the College of Agriculture and the AgCenter to better serve the academic and public service needs of Louisianans in every parish throughout the state.

The process will begin with implementation of administrative oversight. College of Agriculture Dean Kenneth Koonce will return to faculty effective Oct. 8, and AgCenter Chancellor William “Bill” Richardson will take on the new role of Vice President of Agriculture and Dean of the College of Agriculture.

This past year, there were 154 faculty and staff who were jointly employed in the LSU and the LSU AgCenter. With the administrative consolidation, there will be opportunities to streamline and blend processes for approval of faculty hires, the manner in which promotion and tenure is considered, and appointment of faculty with the consideration of workload. Shared resources among faculty allows for more flexibility to address emerging needs for academics, research and extension.

Over the past several years, both LSU and the LSU AgCenter, which have been separated since 1972, have discussed ways to combine academic units and expertise to capitalize on shared resources. At the request of the president, and with the support of both LSU and the LSU AgCenter, this proposal consolidates administration of agricultural programs for all three functions:  teaching, research and extension.