Leslie Turk

More shakeup at LITE

by Leslie Turk

The day after the LITE Commission's Wednesday statement that Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira would step down from the top post as executive director and continue serving as its full-time chief scientist, The INDsider learned that LITE's newly-hired director of business development, Dr. Albert Baker, would no longer be working at the center. LITE officials would not confirm Baker's departure yesterday and by 11 a.m. today had not returned phone calls and e-mail inquiries for comment, leading to speculation more changes may be in the offing.

The woman answering the phone at LITE said Baker was not in; when asked if he still worked there, she offered to transfer the call, sending it to a general mailbox.
In a mid-October press release, LITE announced Baker’s position. Before joining LITE, he worked in a similar capacity while a software architect at ABC Virtual Communications in West Des Moines, Iowa.

LITE announced Wednesday that Cruz-Neira will shift her focus back to research and working with students and faculty. The commission contends she was initially recruited as chief scientist in 2006 and accepted the dual-role upon her arrival in Lafayette. As LITE and the responsibilities of each position have grown, the commission said, it became clear that the organization needed separate roles for chief scientist and a chief executive officer.

A national search for Cruz-Neira’s replacement will be conducted.

In the meantime, Henry Florsheim, LITE’s chief operating officer, has been named interim CEO. Florsheim also did not respond to an inquiry about whether he will seek the position on a permanent basis.