The chief question concerning the various worrisome issues with respect to the governance of Louisiana’s flagship university has for some time been “who over there is in a position to make a good decision?” In other words, where are the strong players in LSU’s chain of command?
To those who focus on athletics at LSU, there hasn’t been a lot of confidence that athletic director Joe Alleva is that man. Among the general public it doesn’t appear that university president F. King Alexander is that man. And it’s been quite some time since there was any particular faith the LSU Board of Supervisors are the source of much leadership.
If you’ve had those concerns, you might not be any further along toward resolving them after yesterday’s board meeting. Alexander, who is the most unpopular leader LSU has had in recent memory, was showered with a raise and extension…
LSU President F. King Alexander will be running the state’s flagship university until 2023 after system’s governing body extended the leader’s contract Thursday.
The LSU Board of Supervisors reviewed Alexander’s work performance behind closed doors, then approved renewing his contract.
“He has led us through another fantastic record-setting year in the face of tremendous adversity,” said LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman James Williams said. “Overall, the evaluation was positive to say the least.”
The Board bumped Alexander’s $610,666 salary by 3 percent, which was the same increase LSU faculty received this year. He is one of the highest paid university leaders in the country.
Alexander’s contract now runs to July 1, 2023.
The board was in such a generous mood that it also voted to give an extension to embattled women’s basketball coach Nikki Fargas, whose program appears to be in a state of collapse. LSU’s women’s basketball team won’t have a single freshman this winter, as Fargas went exclusively for the JC and college transfer market in recruiting – something very rare among successful programs. That’s a concern, as Fargas’ work ethic on the recruiting trail has been a problem from the start.
It’s somewhat questionable what adversity Williams was talking about with respect to Alexander. LSU’s funding has been something of a question mark amid the state’s budget issues, but this is nothing unusual – LSU never has enough money coming from the state general fund for its purposes. Otherwise? Yes, there was the Max Gruver incident. It’s hardly clear Alexander has handled that well – so far, it looks like his response to that tragic case is to commence an all-out war on Greeks on that campus when most of the fraternities and sororities aren’t guilty of the kind of idiocy the Phi Delta Theta chapter was.
And LSU’s “record-setting year” has to do with the size and academic qualifications of the current freshman class – based, according to some critics, on admissions standards Alexander is attempting to abandon.
But one imagines none of that really matters, because the Board of Supervisors isn’t interested in change. They made that pretty clear yesterday.