Higher ed post hiring considered

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- The LSU Parade Ground is at the center of the LSU Baton Rouge campus, shown here in 2010. Show caption
Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- The LSU Parade Ground is at the center of the LSU Baton Rouge campus, shown here in 2010.

Bill would strip authority from legislators

The House Education Committee approved legislation Wednesday that would strip some authority over the hiring of the state commissioner of higher education from lawmakers.

The higher education commissioner appointment currently is subject to Senate confirmation, and the salary is approved by the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.

Senate Bill 108, which the committee approved 11-2, would remove both of those requirements.

Supporters of the legislation, including Board of Regents chairman W. Clinton “Bubba” Rasberry, say that the change will help the state attract better candidates because it will provide more certainty.

The board currently is in the process of finding a successor to former higher education commissioner Jim Purcell, who quietly left the post in March.

“We want a transformational person,” Rasberry said.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp.