The 74th annual CLCU, hosted by Nunez Community College, was held on February 27, 2013 in Baton Rouge at the LSU Lod Cook Alumni Center. The theme of the conference was “Higher Education and the 21st Century Economy.” Conference speakers and panelists discussed higher education’s role (both past and present) in meeting the demands of the State’s economy through research and workforce training.
Each year the Conference attracts higher education leaders and government officials from across the State to exchange ideas on the improvement of post-secondary education in Louisiana. This year’s conference was no exception. The conference was well attended with 91 attendees. In attendance were faculty and staff from both public and private post-secondary institutions throughout Louisiana, legislative representatives, and various governmental officials.
Rex Nelson, President of the Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities, spoke to CLCU attendees about the four years he served on the Delta Regional Authority, a regional planning and economic development agency that serves 252 counties and parishes in eight states. Mr. Nelson stressed the importance of education as a major driver in regional and state economic development.
Following Mr. Nelson’s presentation, Curt Eysink, Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), showcased the LWC’s “Star Jobs Rating System.” The easy-to-use database provides a forecast of the most in-demand, high-value jobs in Louisiana and provides information on the credentials individuals will need to obtain those jobs. You can access the Star Jobs Database from the the LWC’s homepage at www.laworks.net.
Just before lunch, Dr. Jim Henderson, Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College, moderated a diverse and informative panel. The panel was comprised of representatives from all five post-secondary education systems in the State, members of both the House and the Senate, a representative from Louisiana Economic Development (LED) and the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC). Panelists were asked to expound upon the role their agency or system plays in workforce and economic development in the State.
During lunch, Dr. Curtis Manning, Professor of History at Nunez Community College, entertained conference attendees with stories of colorful characters throughout Louisiana’s history, all of whom left an indelible impact upon higher education in the State. He shared the research and major points which make up his book, “The History of Higher Education in Louisiana.” All conference attendees received a free copy of the book.
Following lunch, representatives of each of the five systems of post-secondary education in the State briefly showcased programs and initiatives taking place in their system which are connecting higher education with Lousiana’s workforce and economic demands.
Rounding out the program was Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Jim Purcell. Dr. Purcell’s presentation, entitled “Moving Local Economies Forward by Maximizing the role of Higher Education in the Process,” reiterated, with data and literature, the points made by all of the previous speakers and panelists. He stressed the need for human capital accumulation via a regional approach to economic development, an approach which calls for collaboration between educational, business and governmental leaders.
All conference presentations may be viewed here.
Congratulations to the 2013-14 CLCU officers, elected during the business meeting.
President-elect: Dr. Peter Fos, President, University of New Orleans
Treasurer: Dr. Adena LeJeune, Louisiana College
Member-at-Large: Ms. Emily Saleh, Policy Analyst, Louisiana Board of Regents
Member-at-Large: Dr. Victor Ukpolo, Chancellor, Southern University-New Orleans
Member-at-Large: Dr. Stuart Bell, Exective Vice Chancellor & Provost, LSU A&M
Member-at-Large: Dr. Jim Henderson, Chancellor, Bossier Parish Community College
Member-at-Large: Dr. David Rowe, President, Centenary College
Also, congratulations to Dr. E. Joseph Savoie on assuming the CLCU Presidency for the 2013-14 year. Dr. Savoie is the President of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Special thanks to Lod Cook Alumni Center, the staff of Nunez Community College and to 2012-13 CLCU President, Dr. Thomas Warner.