LSU officials make stop in Lake Charles - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LSU officials make stop in Lake Charles

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Louisiana State University Interim Chancellor and President William L. Jenkins, along with LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart R. Bell, were in Lake Charles on Thursday to meet with locals about the university and to field questions.

"With a number of our alums and supporters in the Lake Charles area, we have a chance to tell them a little about what's going on, on our campus and to engage them in questions," Bell explained.

Also traveling with Jenkins and Bell was the E.J. Ourso College of Business Dean.

With the largest incoming freshman class ever – 5,700 freshman this past fall – the university is growing. However, the university is also facing a slew of challenges with budget cuts and the search for a new system president.

Jenkins said meeting with people around the state is important. He said it gives university supporters an opportunity to ask questions. Bell said the Lake Charles area is an important one.

"Hundreds of Lake Charles students make their way over to LSU every year and it's an opportunity for us to talk about that," he said.

"There is still a great deal of pride and confidence for LSU and an expectation of LSU that we have to realize and we have to deliver on," Jenkins added.

Jenkins said university officials have already made stops in Shreveport and Lafayette and will continue to bring their stakeholders up-to-date on what's happening on campus.

Jenkins said in each city he visits, people have serious questions about looming budget cuts.

"We are going through a difficult financial time and we have to point out where we are concerned but also how we are going to address it," Jenkins said.

Bell said working with alumni and students to keep students in Louisiana after graduating can help with the state's budget problems.

"The way we are going to solve this is to be more productive," he said.

While Jenkins currently serves as the president and chancellor of LSU, the university is currently looking for a new president.

The president will also take the role of president and chancellor.

While Jenkins does not play any part in the search, he does trust the judgment of those who will decide.

"We are  a learn-and-see program with research, public service as well as education and that person needs to have a real sense of our purpose," Jenkins said.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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