Cliff Vannoy named LSU Alumni Association leader

Cliff Vannoy, who has been serving as acting head of the LSU Alumni Association in recent weeks, has been named the new president and Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit alumni group.

“The LSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors is pleased that Cliff has accepted the position of president and CEO,” board Chairman Gil Rew said in a news release Wednesday. “His experience and reputation at LSU and with alumni across the country make him uniquely prepared to lead the association forward. The board, the staff, association members and chapter leaders are excited about working with Cliff and with LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander to make our beloved LSU one of the best universities on the globe.”

The national board approved Vannoy for the job on Friday. He previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Vannoy took on the acting president role earlier this month, after former CEO Charlie Roberts retired amid a lawsuit that claims he had entered into a monetary arrangement with a former employee to keep secret a sexual relationship between the two.

Vannoy joined the LSU Alumni Association, then known as the Alumni Federation, in 1981 as assistant to the director for corporate giving. According to the news release, which came from the LSU Office of Communications & University Relations, he was “involved in the establishment of numerous scholarships, professorships and programs that benefit LSU students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

“We have a talented team of employees, dedicated board of directors and loyal and generous alumni and friends. There is no doubt that, as we move forward with and for the university, we will accomplish even greater things for LSU,” Vannoy said in the release.

Roberts, who had served as head of Alumni Association for three decades, has admitted to a relationship with former Alumni Association staffer Kay Heath but denied that there was any monetary arrangement in exchange.

The lawsuit claims Roberts, 78, offered Heath, 63, payments of $3,200 a month for the rest of her life if she kept their alleged relationship secret. It says she sued Roberts and the LSU Alumni Association after the payments stopped last month. Heath dropped the Alumni Association, which runs as a nonprofit entity separate from the university, from her lawsuit once Roberts resigned from his post there.

Roberts filed a response to Heath’s lawsuit this week, characterizing her depiction of their relationship as amounting to prostitution.

“Dr. Roberts believed at all relevant times that he was in a mutual, romantic and loving relationship with Ms. Heath and that he was gratuitously providing her with financial support when she was in need as an expression of his affection for her and an out pouring of what he believed was their mutual love and respect for each other,” his response states.

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