LSU President made a visit to northwest Louisiana. Here's what was said about funds

Makenzie Boucher
Shreveport Times

On Friday, April 4, Louisiana State University President William Tate visited LSU Health Shreveport and LSUS. 

During his visit, he spent the morning exploring the new LSUHS Center for Medical Education, which is currently under construction with a price tag of $74 million. And, late Friday morning he attended the LSU Board of Supervisors meeting at the LSUS campus. 

During that meeting, members of the state legislature and local citizens spoke and advocated more funding and attention in the northwest region. 

The call to action comes in response to a recent floor speech in Baton Rouge.  Shreveport Representative Thomas Pressly said, "the LSU system has been great at building up some of its campuses. It has become clear that LSUS and the health science-based in Shreveport the third-largest city in the state are both not a priority for the LSU leadership of yesterday, today and tomorrow."

Louisiana Representative Thomas Pressly speaking about the need for allocations of funds for northwest Louisiana flagship campuses.

In 2019, LSU launched a $1.5 billion campaign to support flagship campuses such as LSU AgCenter, LSU Alexandria, LSU Eunice, LSU Health New Orleans, LSU Health Shreveport, LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center and LSU Shreveport. 

In that campaign LSUS, LSUA and LSUE would receive $29 million, while LSU Baton Rouge alumni association would receive $27 million. 

More:LSU Health Shreveport Celebrates Construction Milestone at the Center for Medical Education

Tate said, "fundraising is driven by private individual interest. So, when people give their money they don't just give it to LSU and we get to disperse it as we choose."

"In 2019 LSU had embarked on a fundraising campaign of $1.5 billion, it was a system-wide effort that effort included $27 million for the alumni association and new facilities in Baton Rouge on the alumni portion of the school. Where Shreveport's campus had less than $20 million, that was to be raised and allocated for our campus in Shreveport. That is a challenge certainly for fundraising. My view is that LSU helped set those priorities and donors are willing to help give to the priorities that are made," Pressly said at the meeting. "I believe Shreveport and northwest Louisiana has to be a priority for our state."

LSU President William Tate speaking about the allocations of funds for northwest Louisiana flagship campuses.

The meeting closed with future plans for discussions on how LSU can better serve these campuses.

LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark said, "there's a lot of caring and from that can come solutions. There's not an agreement on exactly what that solution looks like but I think anytime there is a chance you can see people talking about what's important that's a great day for LSUS."

Makenzie Boucher is a reporter with the Shreveport Times. Contact her at mboucher@gannett.com.