Leslie Turk

LITE executive director steps down

by Leslie Turk

The LITE Commission today announced that Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira will step down from her position as the center's executive director and continue serving as its full-time chief scientist. She will shift her focus to working with students and faculty to advance UL by capitalizing on LITE’s technology, the commission said in a prepared statement.

The commission contends Cruz-Neira was initially recruited as the chief scientist at LITE in 2006 and accepted the dual-role upon her arrival in Lafayette. As LITE and the responsibilities within each position have grown, they said, the roles of chief scientist and chief executive officer became distinctly separate. Henry Florsheim, LITE’s chief operating officer, has been named interim CEO.

“This is the perfect time to capitalize upon our strengths, which are Dr. Cruz-Neira’s scientific and research experience and Mr. Florsheim’s leadership, operations and business development background,” says Dr. Bradd Clark, chairman of the LITE Commission. “I am amazed at Dr. Cruz’s dedication and energy in the development of LITE. I am excited about our continued relationship and working with her through her role as Chief Scientist at UL.”

LITE spokeswoman Erin Fitzgerald could not be reached for comment on whether a national search for Cruz-Neira's permanent replacement will be conducted.