Businessman says O'Keefe's job in jeopardy at LSU; urges support

Reported by Associated Press

The (Baton Rouge) Advocate reports today that an Alexandria businessman has sent e-mail to other Louisiana business leaders saying LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe's job future is uncertain.

The newspaper reports that Johnny Martin of Alexandria alleges that LSU System President John Lombardi notified O'Keefe "that he should be looking for another job."

Martin was writing Monday to committee members of Blueprint Louisiana, an advocacy group of business leaders. Martin asked for the business community to support keeping O'Keefe at LSU.

O'Keefe said yesterday he does not recall Lombardi telling him to find another job.

O'Keefe, a former NASA administrator, is about to enter the fourth year of a five-year contract.

Lombardi, who became system president in September, declined comment.

Charles Zewe, LSU System vice president of communication, said that reviews of campus chancellors are routine and that O'Keefe serves at the pleasure of the LSU Board of Supervisors "contract or no contract.

Martin told the newspaper in a phone interview that he decided to take action after learning from reliable sources that Lombardi and some key board members are trying to remove O'Keefe from office.