A wealthy Baton Rouge businessman and supporter of Louisiana State University is calling for the ouster of the school’s president and athletic director.
Richard Lipsey, who recently stepped down in December from the Board of Regents, noted a number of scandals that have hit the university as reason for the proposed changes. Specifically, Lipsey pointed to the suspension of basketball coach Will Wade, the university’s involvement in hospital foundation fraud allegations, and criticism from the legislative auditor for improperly paying a vet school professor who had been disciplined.
Lipsey wrote a letter calling for the firing of LSU president F. King Alexander and athletic director Joe Alleva, which he posted to a website for a foundation he started last year.
"We call on the new leadership at the LSU Board of Supervisors to quickly remove King Alexander and Joe Alleva form their current positions and replace them with nationally recognized interims while appropriate permanent leadership is selected," Lipsey wrote.
Louisiana Governor Bel Edwards said he wasn’t ready to back Lipsey’s suggested firing of the LSU officials. Edwards is seeking re-election this year and maintained his distance from the controversy.
“I’m not prepared to echo what he is saying with respect to the current leadership at LSU, and I’ll just leave it at that," Edwards said when asked about Lipsey's letter.
For its part, the board evaluated Alexander’s job performance last October and voted to give him a raise, according to The Advocate.
“A lot of good items were discussed at this (board) meeting that Mr. Lipsey failed to mention in his blog,” said LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard who noted a number of awards that LSU students and faculty had won recently.