LSU paid approximately $19,000 in travel expenses for key members of the administration, including nearly $3,000 to send four administrators, including President William Tate IV and Athletic Director Scott Woodward, to the Washington Mardi Gras in January.
According to expense reports obtained by The Reveille, during the period between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, the university paid the travel expenses of ten members of the administrative staff, including President Tate, Executive Vice President and Provost Matt Lee, and Exec. Director for the Board of Supervisors Jason Droddy.
According to the university’s travel policy set out in Standing Memorandum 13, the university provides travel funds for the “authorized travel of staff members who are designated by the appropriate administrative officer as delegates to conventions or association meetings,” the banner of most travel described in expense reports.
“LSU’s travel procedures and regulations exist to ensure compliance with state requirements, provide a procedural framework for employees and students traveling on University business, and outline fiscally responsible spending practices,” the LSU spokesperson explained. , Ernie Ballard.
Total travel expenses for staff members consisted of 51 charges amounting to $18,870.08, with the average amount spent per staff member being $2,096.68.
Here’s what each admin was reimbursed for:
Deborah Richards, Assistant to the President:
Thirteen charges totaling $5,686.99. The largest charge in Richards’ report was $1,354.25 for fees related to President Tate’s June 2022 trip to the Harvard President’s event.
Winston DeCuir Jr., Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel:
Six charges totaling $4,174.54. The largest fee on DeCuir’s report was $2,068.72 for the June 2022 trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was a speaker at the annual conference of the National Association of College and University Bars.
Jason Droddy, Executive Director for the Board of Supervisors:
Eleven charges totaling $2,522.49. The biggest allegation in Droddy’s report was a January 2022 trip to the University of Georgia for LSU administration and four Baton Rouge business leaders who attended in Athens, Georgia, to visit the UGA campus to see where their companies could help develop the LSU agriculture department.
Ashley Arceneaux, Chief of Staff:
Seven charges totaling $2,068.89. The largest charge in Arceneaux’s report was $1,084.54 for a January 2022 trip to Washington DC for the Washington Mardi Gras.
Louis Gremillion Jr., Policy Analyst:
Two charges totaling $2014.14. The largest charge in Gremillion’s report was $1,473.80 for October 2021 travel to attend the SEC’s Government Relations Conference in Missouri.
Matt Lee, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost:
Three charges totaling $916.85. The largest charge in Lee’s report was $545.40 as a June 2022 reimbursement for expenses to the National Security Forum in Montgomery, Alabama.
Mark Bieger, Vice President of Strategy:
Two charges totaling $744.35. The largest charge in Bieger’s report was $540.96 for the November 2021 trip to LSU Shreveport “to discuss the strategic planning of the Shreveport campus and the Shreveport Health Sciences Center.”
William F. Tate IV, President:
Six charges totaling $395.03. The largest fee in Tate’s report was $128.05 for a January 2022 trip to Athens, Georgia, to visit the University of Georgia’s agriculture department to learn how LSU can improve its ag department .
Scott Woodward, athletic director:
A one-way fare of $193.45 for a January 2022 trip to Washington DC for the Washington Mardi Gras.
Lucien Laborde Jr., Interim Vice President for Agriculture:
A one-time fee of $153.35 for a January 2022 trip to the University of Georgia to evaluate LSU’s development agriculture department.
Notably, the university paid for multiple trips to LSU’s Shreveport campus for Board of Overseers meetings and campus tours, in addition to helping select a new chancellor.
Ballard explained that paying to send the administration to Shreveport and Washington, as well as other trips listed in the expense reports, is to enrich the LSU community, “enhancing LSU’s reputation among potential future faculty and in funding agencies.”
“These travel opportunities help recruit faculty and graduate and undergraduate students, open doors to funding opportunities and partnerships, and provide visibility for the university at large among institutions, associations and the like,” Ballard said. “(It also allows) leadership to develop beneficial relationships with organizations and industry that can provide support for research and scholarship.”