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Sep 16, 2010 3:51 PM

Chancellor of UNO Relieved of his Duties

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The chancellor of the University of New
Orleans said Thursday that he was relieved of his duties by the LSU
system, which runs UNO.
Timothy Ryan said LSU system president John Lombardi summoned
him to the system's flagship Baton Rouge campus Thursday morning
and told him that he was being relieved but would not give him
specific reasons.
He said the system has been increasingly micromanaging UNO, and
he believes he was ordered to step down because "I would not let
UNO be run as a branch campus of LSU-Baton Rouge."
Lombardi will be UNO's interim chancellor as well as system
president, said a statement from LSU. It said Lombardi "accepted
Ryan's resignation, noting Ryan's long service to UNO that spanned
many roles, ranging from faculty member to chancellor."
It said a committee led by Lombardi and two other system
officials will manage the transition while the system looks for a
new chancellor.
That leaves the university without any strong internal voice as
the LSU system makes budget cuts, Ryan said. "There could be no
worse time to make this kind of change in leadership."
Students and faculty lined the hallway of the UNO administration
building and applauded Ryan as he walked into the news conference.
Although LSU's announcement said Ryan would return as a tenured
professor in the UNO College of Business after a six-month
sabbatical, Ryan said he isn't sure what he will do after he
finishes teaching a class this semester.
Edward Chervenak, an assistant professor of political science,
said he was shocked. He said that, at a Wednesday meeting led by
Ryan, he didn't get any indication that Ryan was going anywhere.
UNO was founded in 1958 as a branch campus of LSU, and was
called LSU-New Orleans. The name was changed to University of New
Orleans in 1974. LSU also has four-year campuses in Shreveport and
Alexandria, though both operate under the LSU name.
Like other state colleges and universities, UNO has been ordered
to prepare operating budgets with cuts of 23 and 35 percent - in
UNO's case, $14 million and nearly $19 million - because federal
stimulus money runs out next year.
The university is still working on the larger proposal. It said
losing $14 million in would mean 114 layoffs and, among other
things, elimination of a number of degree programs in education and
accounting.
Last year, UNO announced it could no longer afford Division I
athletics because of a steep drop in enrollment after Hurricane
Katrina and state budget cuts. It received NCAA approval to drop to
Division III in July.
Ryan has been chancellor since October 2003 at UNO, which has
11,724 students, 1,700 fulltime employees and a current annual
budget of $122.6 million.
The state has cut $22.6 million from its budget since July 1,
2008, and it faces another $18.8 million in cuts for the 2011-2012
fiscal year.

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