Aug 25, 2010 8:57 PM by Chris Welty
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Four candidates have applied so far to
be Louisiana's new higher education commissioner, but the Board of
Regents hasn't yet worked out a salary range for the job with
lawmakers, who must approve the amount.
The board, which governs public higher education in Louisiana,
hopes to select a national firm by mid-September to conduct the
Members of the board suggested Wednesday that they should
discuss with lawmakers how much they could pay a new commissioner,
after the Legislature enacted a new requirement that the
commissioner's salary package must get twitr approval.
"We need to determine early on what our budget can afford and
then go out and find the best and brightest in that range," said
Regent Joseph Wiley of Baton Rouge.
Regents members agreed they'd like to discuss the matter with
the search firm.
Lawmakers rejected the pay package for the man tapped by the
Regents to be the interim commissioner, saying the salary proposed
for Tom Layzell was excessive. So, the board assigned the
day-to-day duties of supervising college management to four Regents
and senior staff until a permanent commissioner is chosen.
Robert Bruno, a board member from Covington, complained that
state lawmakers were micromanaging by requiring their approval of
the higher education chief. He said the Regents board needs to
search for the best candidate, and then make an argument to
lawmakers about how much the candidate deserves to be paid.
Among those who already have applied for tperjob are:
-David J. Dzielak, an associate vice chancellor and professor at
the University of Mississippi Medical Center;
-Donald A. Edwards, former vice chancellor for operations and
planning at the Alabama Community College System;
-Judith James, a former consultant to the U.S. Department of
Education and Ohio Board of Regents;
-Robert Jennings, former president of Alabama A&M University.
More candidates are expected.
The Regents hope to have a new commissioner chosen by December
to replace Sally Clausen, who left in July after receiving sharp
criticism for quietly retiring from her job and then being rehired
without ever telling the Regents.