Leslie Turk

Attorney Jim Roy heads LSU System board

by Leslie Turk

Lafayette attorney Jim Roy has succeeded Jerry Shea Jr. of New Iberia as chairman of LSU's 16-member board of supervisors. Roy is managing member of the civil litigation law firm of Domengeaux Wright Roy & Edwards and is past president of the Louisiana Association for Justice.

Just before Roy was sworn in at yesterday's meeting, however, a bit of controversy broke out, notes Baton Rouge's Daily Report. The board was split on selecting a new chairman-elect, although board member Alvin Kimble was assumed to be a shoo-in for the slot with 14-2 support. According to the online news service, no other members had expressed interest in seeking the spot until the 11th hour, when board member Dr. John George threw his hat in the ring:

Board members siding with Kimble charged interference by Gov. Bobby Jindal's office with getting some members to change their vote in favor of George, a Shreveport physician. Board member Laura Leach flew back from the Democratic National Convention in Denver in order to vote in support of Kimble. Those in favor of George said no coercion from Jindal's office took place, but did not deny communications had taken place. While board member Tony Falterman argued passionately that the board is an independent body and shouldn't be swayed by the governor, others argued that having a good relationship with the governor — by electing George — would be good for LSU. After another split decision on whether to delay the vote until the next board meeting, the board recessed for 15 minutes. Upon return the motion to defer the vote was carried, and new board chairman James Roy was sworn in.

Appointed to the LSU System board by then Gov. Kathleen Blanco in 2005, Roy was chairman-elect last year, putting him in line to automatically become chairman. During his tenure on the board, the 56-year-old has served on the executive committee, the flagship agenda committee and the audit committee. He also has been chairman of the finance and infrastructure committee and vice-chairman of the athletic committee.

Roy has been extensively involved in LSU-related activities for years, serving as annual fund chairman for LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where he is a member of the Law School Alumni Board of Trustees as well as the Chancellor’s Council.

A “Top 100" supporter of the Tiger Athletic Foundation, Roy and his wife, Ginger, have endowed the Jim and Ginger Roy Family TAF Foundation of Champions Scholarship for student athletes.

The Board of Supervisors is responsible for the oversight and management of the LSU System’s 11 institutions.