Dear Alumni and Friends of the Law Center:
For those of you within Louisiana, I hope this message finds you and your family well following events of this week. It will be some time before our communities return to normal, but Louisianians are resilient. I have received numerous calls expressing concern for the Law Center, so I write to give you a brief report from the campus on how your Law Center is faring in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.
There is a lot of good news and very little bad news.
- First and foremost: as far as we’re aware, students, faculty, and staff are safe and well. Some are still without power but in one piece and working to restore their daily lives in an astonishingly good-natured frame of mind.
- The Law Center’s physical plant sustained some damage but none that has significantly affected our operations. We are in the process of surveying and analyzing the damage at this time. There were trees and tree limbs down around the perimeter of our buildings but the cleanup effort was remarkably thorough and swift. We anticipate no lasting effects. Our power was restored late last week and classes resumed on Monday, September 8 with nary a hitch.
- We missed only four days of classes (Tuesday through Friday of last week). All classes will be made up. Vice Chancellor Joseph and the Registrar are engaged in formulating a comprehensive and orderly schedule of make-up classes. We will use the fall “reading days” to make up two of the four lost class days and should have little trouble making up the remaining two days of classes over the balance of the semester.
- We have been in close and continuing communication with LSU Chancellor Martin and LSU Ag Center Chancellor Richardson and other officials of the Baton Rouge campuses throughout the run-up to and response to Gustav. We have likewise been in ongoing touch with President Lombardi and LSU System officials, as well as members of the Board of Supervisors. All have been most supportive and helpful. We have worked together as one university system to meet this challenge.
The bad news is that electrical power (and therefore air conditioning) may not be restored to the residences of some LSU Law community members (students, faculty, and staff) for some as yet undefined period of time. Services (notably food and medicine) in the broader Baton Rouge community are being restored, but slowly. Several colleagues sustained significant damage to their homes from falling trees. The early going, even though classes have resumed, is going to require a determined effort by our community to continue with the educational process while life beyond our walls remains inconvenient and unpleasant for a good many. I have every confidence, however, that our law school community will pull together to meet that challenge and to do all we can to put this event behind us as quickly as we can. The leaders of the SBA have been especially helpful in providing input to us and in organizing assistance for students who need temporary housing or other amenities.
As matters progress, I will keep you as up to date as I can. Our website will carry continuing updates. Meanwhile, we can only be thankful that the consequences of the storm, although certainly disruptive in the short term, appear to have been very limited for the Law Center and should not materially affect the continuing successes of our program. We still look forward to a great year.
I also wish a speedy recovery to our alums that have been adversely impacted by the storm.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns that I can address.
Jack M. Weiss, Chancellor