LSU head proposes agricultural consolidation

LSU System President and Chancellor King Alexander wants to merge the LSU Agricultural Center’s administrative functions with the university’s College of Agriculture.

The two entities operated jointly until a split in 1972.

Alexander is expected to make the case for consolidation on Sept. 6 at the LSU Board of Supervisors meeting where he will lay a nine-month phase-in for the idea, if approved by the board.

The AgCenter supports Louisiana businesses and the overall state economy through agricultural research. The College of Agriculture prepares students for careers in the field.

Last year, more than 150 AgCenter employees also held jobs with the agricultural school.

“In keeping with the mission of a land-grant university, this allows LSU to broaden the scope of services offered through extension to include more business, education and health-related opportunities, along with the traditional agriculture services,” Alexander said in a news release.

The consolidation should help streamline the approval process for faculty hires, the manner in which promotion and tenure is considered and the appointment of faculty, the release said.

“This is an opportunity for the LSU A&M and AgCenter campuses to grow,” AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson said. “Consolidating the administration will fully integrate agriculture internally to LSU and externally to the citizens of Louisiana through outreach.”