I write regarding Robert Dampf's March 22 open letter to the Oregon State University Board of Trustees. I know Dampf and have great confidence in his ability to act in LSU's best interests.
I must take issue, however, with his professed outrage in response to F. King Alexander's comments regarding the culture of Louisiana with respect to LSU. I do not write to defend Alexander or his performance as LSU chancellor. In fact, I think his record regarding Title IX issues was abhorrent.
As a lifelong resident of Louisiana, however, it is my opinion that this culture is directly responsible for the tragic events that recently have been exposed. This culture has held and continues to hold the success of the LSU football program as paramount to any academic or educational success. This culture has resulted in elected officials who pay lip service to the necessity of improving LSU's academic performance and reputation without actually doing anything to achieve those goals.
In my opinion, unless and until this culture of Louisiana changes, LSU will remain at best a second-rate university academically, regardless of the success of its football program.