LSU System center of Rotary Club program

By: Jeannine LeJeune
CROWLEY – The LSU System is more complex than just a flagship university and a few smaller schools, just ask Past President of the LSU Board of Supervisors Jerry Shea Jr.

Shea, who is also the brother of Rotarian Mary Zaunbrecher spoke to the club Tuesday discussing what the board of supervisors is and does among other things.

“It’s easy to talk about a university that’s been your life’s blood for many years,” he said.

Shea opened up his program talking a little LSU football, joking that it’s always the first question he is asked.

He admitted that he’s probably the worst person to ask because he’s convinced that LSU is going to go undefeated and win the national title every year.

The football talk provided the perfect transition into his discussion of the LSU System as he pointed out that often athletics, particularly football is almost like a promotional tool for the university. And, if used properly, can even help a school get better students.

The LSU Board of Supervisors meets formally eight times per year and is currently comprised of 16 members, two for each congressional district, one at-large member and a student member that is chosen by the student government presidents of each LSU school.

The board has 10 standing committees. Shea said that the athletics committee chair is always the most sought after chair on the board.

It also appoints the LSU System president, which he believes is the board’s most important job.

Shea also discussed how the budget is broken down. Like he stated earlier, many people think of the LSU system as the flagship university in Baton Rouge, but there are multiple other schools, two- and four-year universities, as well as hospitals and health care providers. In fact the hospitals and health care providers make up half of the LSU System.

The hospitals discussion brought up the semi-controversial new hospital in New Orleans that is still in the developmental stages. Shea hopes and believes that the hospital can help New Orleans become a destination for top medical care like Houston currently is.

“If you don’t have the vision... you won’t get anywhere,” he said.

Earlier in the meeting, Preston Joseph Dejean Jr., a master plumber and electrician, was awarded the Rotary Club’s 2011 vocational award.

Considering it was the final meeting of the club year, it seemed fitting that President Isabella delaHoussaye announced that the club’s website was complete and up and running. The club’s site can be found at

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