RS 48:105     


§105.  Louisiana Transportation Research Center

A.  The Louisiana Transportation Research Center, hereinafter referred to as "LTRC", is hereby created as a cooperative research and technology transfer unit administered jointly by the Department of Transportation and Development, hereinafter referred to as the "department", and Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, hereinafter referred to as the "university".  The domicile of the LTRC is Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

B.  The purposes of the LTRC are as follows:

(1)  Establish cooperation in the mutual efforts toward improvement of the transportation systems of the state of Louisiana.

(2)  Introduce new technology.

(3)  Enhance higher education in the general transportation field.

(4)  Benefit Louisiana economically by enhancing job opportunities.

C.  The functions and duties of the LTRC are as follows:

(1)  To develop and conduct a nationally recognized short and long range research program in transportation systems in order to implement more efficient design, planning, maintenance, operation, and construction practices and to enhance traffic safety.

(2)  To offer educational and training programs in both fundamental and state-of-the-art practice in the field of transportation systems and related areas by offering training sessions, short courses, demonstration projects, and conferences funded by the department and the United States Department of Transportation-Federal Highways Administration.

(3)  To develop and implement a technology transfer program funded by the United States Department of Transportation and the department which shall provide a mechanism for conveying modern transportation systems practices and procedures to municipalities and parishes.

(4)  To establish cooperative relationships with the Louisiana Transportation Research Board, the research divisions of other highway and transportation departments, other universities, and national and international technical associations and agencies.

(5)  To report and publish research findings which contribute to fundamental knowledge and facilitate the implementation of enhanced technology which may result in more economical practices in transportation systems.

D.  The activities of the LTRC will be funded by the department funds, part of which is funded with federal highway planning and research funds.  The funding of LTRC shall be contingent upon the availability of federal highway and research funds as appropriated by the Louisiana Legislature.

E.  The projects funded for research organizations other than LTRC shall have project account numbers appropriate to that organization and shall be administered in accordance with that organization's policies.

F.  LTRC may enter into contractual agreements only with the approval of the secretary of the department, or his designee, and said agreements must conform with contracting policies of the department.

G.(1)  A LTRC policy committee shall be established and charged with advising and making recommendations to the LTRC as well as reviewing and recommending research and technology transfer programs to be pursued by the center, reviewing and recommending fiscal year budgets, and reviewing the activities and progress of the center.  The committee shall meet at least twice a year.  It shall be composed of eleven members, one of whom shall be the director of LTRC, three who shall be appointed by the secretary, one from each of the six public universities that have a college of engineering with a civil engineering department appointed by the president or chancellor of the respective university and one member who shall be a dean of a college of engineering of a nonpublic institution of higher education selected by the committee from a list submitted by the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.  The Federal Highway Administration shall be invited to appoint an observer.  The director of LTRC shall be an ex officio member of the committee.

(2)  The term of office of members of the policy committee shall be for two years; however, in order to assure continuity, two of the initial members appointed by the chancellor and two of the initial members appointed by the secretary shall be appointed to serve for three years.  Thereafter each member shall be appointed to a two-year term.  Committee members may be reappointed.

(3)  No salaries shall be paid the members of the LTRC policy committee, but said members shall be reimbursed for their expenses as per Division of Administration regulations.

(4)  The officers of the LTRC policy committee shall be a chairman, a vice chairman, and a secretary, all elected by the committee.

(5)  Should a vacancy occur on the LTRC policy committee, that member shall be replaced in the same manner in which that particular member was appointed.

(6)  The director of LTRC shall be chosen by the secretary of the department and the LTRC policy committee from a slate of nominees submitted by a search committee, which search committee shall be selected by the LTRC policy committee.

(7)  The director shall annually develop fiscal year programs designed to implement the functions of LTRC described above, and to meet the funding commitments to the university, also specified above.  The director shall administer the day-to-day activities of the LTRC.  The director shall submit an annual written report on the activities of the center to the policy committee, to the dean of the college of engineering at the university, and to the secretary of the department by March fifteenth of each year.  The annual reports shall address the activities and achievements of the center and provide an assessment of the extent to which the center is fulfilling its functions.

(8)  The personnel of the LTRC shall consist of full-time classified employees of the department and faculty, staff, and students of the university.  University employees will be participating in specific projects, but their activities shall not be limited to those being funded by or under the administration of LTRC.  Short-term appointments may also be made to provide assistance on specific problems or to work on short-term research projects.  The university's personnel policies and benefits shall apply only to its personnel.  Likewise, the personnel policies and benefits of the department shall apply to the department personnel.  In accordance with its academic personnel policies and regulations, the university may utilize and recognize the department's professional personnel as active members of its academic community.

H.(1)  The principal office of the LTRC shall be the Transportation Research Center building located on Gourrier Avenue on the grounds of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, provided to the LTRC by the university.

(2)  The LTRC shall carry, for the mutual protection of the university and the department, with an appropriate loss payable clause in favor of the university, as their interest may appear, a public liability insurance policy.  In addition, the department shall, at its expense, maintain a worker's compensation policy in the minimum amount necessary to meet the requirements of the Louisiana Worker's Compensation Act in regard to any work performed by the department on the premises.

(3)  The university shall not transfer, assign or sublease said building or any part thereof to any person or persons, corporation or corporations as long as the LTRC is a functional entity.  In the event the LTRC becomes nonfunctional, the department shall have first opportunity to lease the building should the university decide to lease it.

(4)  If the building shall be destroyed or damaged by fire, storm, or other casualty, the university shall restore the building to substantially its former condition as promptly as is reasonably possible.

Acts 1986, No. 137, §1; Acts 1988, No. 451, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1018, §1.