The 76th annual CLCU, hosted by the University of New Orleans (UNO), was held on March 18, 2015 on the UNO campus. The theme of the conference was “Improving by Degrees: Educational Attainment & Beyond.” The conference was well attended with approximately 75 attendees. In attendance were faculty and staff from both public and private post-secondary institutions throughout Louisiana and various governmental officials.
CLCU began with opening remarks from Dr. Peter Fos (2015 CLCU President and President of UNO), Dr. Jim Robinson (President of the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates), and Dr. Kevin Cope (President of the LSU A&M Faculty Senate).
The keynote address was given by Dr. Joseph Rallo, Louisiana’s newly appointed Commissioner of Higher Education. Dr. Rallo became the 8th Commissioner of Higher Education on January 2, 2015. During his keynote address, he discussed transformative forces currently influencing higher education and encouraged faculty members to become more innovative in their approaches to teaching and curriculum development.
Following Dr. Rallo’s address, two presentations on strategic enrollment management were given. Dr. Barbara Hatfield (Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs at Louisiana State University Alexandria) highlighted the steps her institution took to increase enrollment by 20%. Dr. Brett Kemker (Vice President for Student Affairs at UNO) and Ms. Sarah Debacher (Chair of Freshman Writing at UNO and Director of the Greater New Orleans Writing Project) discussed with attendees the steps their institution is taking to build an academic community in an effort to increase retention and persistence.
Prior to lunch, political commentator and New Orleans resident, Mr. James Carville, addressed conference attendees. In his address he called upon the higher education community to challenge legislatures in the upcoming legislative session to reinvest in public higher education in the State.
In the afternoon, two panel discussions were held. The first focused upon the upcoming legislative session, which begins April 13, 2015. Panelists included Representative Christopher Broadwater (R- District 86), Representative Cameron Henry (R- District 82), Representative Julie Stokes (R- District 79), and Senator Conrad Appel (R- District 9). The second panel was comprised of representatives from each of the four public postsecondary management systems, and the Commissioner of Higher Education. Each of the panelists gave their reactions to the previous legislative panel and highlighted their system’s top priorities for the coming year.
CLCU continued with the awarding of the 2015 CLCU Trailblazer Award. The Trailblazer Award honors a Louisiana leader who has made significant and lasting contributions to the progress of higher education in the state. This year’s recipients were Mr. Patrick F. Taylor (posthumously) and Mrs. Phyllis M. Taylor. CLCU President, Dr. Peter Fos, presented the award to Mrs. Taylor in recognition of her and her late husband’s extraordinary service to public higher education through the creation of the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), Louisiana’s merit-based scholarship program.
Congratulations to the following individuals on their election to the CLCU Board during the annual business meeting:
- Dr. David M. “Buck” Landry was elected as the 2015-16 CLCU President. Dr. Landry is the President of Our Lady of Holy Cross College.
- Dr. Jim Henderson was elected as CLCU President-Elect. Dr. Henderson is the President of Northwestern State University.
- Dr. Daniel Roberts was elected as CLCU Treasurer. Dr. Roberts is the Vice President of Academics and Student Affairs of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
- Mrs. LeAnn Detillier was elected as a Member-at-Large. Mrs. Detillier is the Assistant Commissioner for Program Administration at the Louisiana Board of Regents.
- Mrs. Rachel Kincaid was also elected as a Member-at-Large. Mrs. Kincaid is the Vice President of External Affairs for the University of Louisiana System.
Special thanks to the staff of the University of New Orleans, and to 2014-15 CLCU President, Dr. Peter Fos.