- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State lawmakers, faculty and hundreds of students have rallied around Southern University Chancellor James Llorens after Southern’s Board of Supervisors voted 9-6 over the weekend not to renew his contract when it expires June 30.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1jsocXf) Southern’s Faculty Senate held a meeting Monday to show their support of Llorens

The board voted down a recommendation from Southern System President Ronald Mason that would have extended Llorens‘ contract for one year under the condition that the chancellor work with the system office to revamp how the Baton Rouge campus is run.

The move has been considered by many a continuation of Mason’s consolidation of administrative functions among Southern’s five campuses in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, which could cost people jobs. Conversely, Llorens has been strongly in favor of keeping the flagship Baton Rouge campus more autonomous, as it has been traditionally.

Southern students were energized almost immediately after Friday’s vote, creating a Facebook page, starting an Internet petition and posting flyers online, all in support of keeping Llorens in place as chancellor.

The support continued Monday with Southern’s Faculty Senate holding a meeting on short notice in support of Llorens. Many of them suggested the chancellor had been a casualty of the system president’s desire to run the campus - a charge Mason has repeatedly denied.

Later Monday, students packed a room in the student union, filling all 300 seats with several dozen more students packed into the back of the room where it was standing room only.

Student Government President Simone Bray, who is also on Southern’s board, organized the rally. She said the general feeling around campus is Llorens is moving Southern in the right direction despite shaky finances and little support from the state.

Students cheered frequently for guest speakers, including state Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge and a Southern alumnus.

“I support the president, I like the president, but I love Jim Llorens,” James said.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com


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