We are writing to express our alarm at the recommendations of the AGB report that proposes to abolish our Chancellor at LSU Health Center Shreveport and replace it with a third level Vice President. Our community worked long and hard to establish a chancellor who reports directly to the LSU President. The success of this decision has been evident through the years in that LSU Health Center in Shreveport has become the model of a public health and teaching institution. Because of our having a separate chancellor, we have grown and established our institution to a level that serves all of North Louisiana. Revenue at LSU Health Shreveport has grown significantly over the years and today approaches $350 million.
Through efficient operations, management and local leadership the net income generated by the Shreveport hospital provides financial support to our medical school. These local earnings have also been transferred to health care initiatives in South Louisiana. The financial health, patient care and research component of LSU Health Center Shreveport has been and continues to be stellar. This success is also evident in the fact that Louisiana is considering public/private partnerships for our institution alone in order to bolster the rest of the LSU Health systems. The Shreveport Chamber supports those initiatives.
Our community is offended at the proposal to reduce our leading institution to a third level reporting position within the LSU system. We strongly recommend that LSU Health Center Shreveport report directly to the LSU President.
We take no issue with the proposal to combine the LSU President and Chancellor position into one. Our opposition is making the leading public health institution in Louisiana that serves all of North Louisiana report to an Executive Vice President who then reports to the President. We want our Chancellor/Vice President reporting directly to the LSU President.
Finally, this newly combined LSU system that reduces the independence of LSU Health Center Shreveport causes us to fear the security of our Foundation investments and our ability to fully utilize those dollars at home, as our donors intended. We want assurance that our Foundation assets are protected and will remain in the communities from which the funds were raised. Our donors did not intend for their investments to be used in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
The only way we, as a community, can ensure the continued success of the LSU Health Center Shreveport as a leading public health and medical school model for our state is to continue to allow us the independence and direct reporting authority that we have been dedicated to and have earned through the years. Reducing our institution to the middle levels of the LSU system will be detrimental to the model we have established for North Louisiana.
Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors