University system president resigns
University of Louisiana system president Sandra Woodley announced she will resign at the end of the year.
After presiding over nine universities including the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana Tech and the University of New Orleans since 2013, Woodley announced her resignation will take effect Dec. 31. After, she said she will aid in the transition until March 15.
“Next year will be a critical time for higher education and securing the next leader as soon as possible will be important,” she said in a letter to the system’s board members. “I offer this letter of resignation to the Board to ensure a smooth and productive transition.”
However, State Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo said he believes the transition will be easy and expects cooperation among higher education leaders regardless of Woodley’s successor.
“We work very hard to make sure that higher education speaks with that unified voice,” he said.
Woodley did not give a reason for resigning; however, she did address the obstacles the board overcame while she was on the board.
“I am proud of our efforts that developed and implemented a statewide strategy fueled by a strong coalition of education leaders that reversed the eight-year trend of budget cuts,” she said.
“She has been such a strong proponent for higher education in Louisiana. She’s going to be missed around the capital,” said Louisiana House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, disappointed and surprised at the announcement.
Chairman of the system’s board of supervisors Gerald Hebert acknowledged Woodley’s accomplishments.
“We would also like to acknowledge her tireless efforts in guiding our system through the challenges of a very difficult budget climate for higher education,” he said.
The university system was founded in 1974 and is composed of Grambling State University, UL Lafayette, UNO, Mcneese State University, Nicholls State University, LA Tech, Northwestern State University Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
According to ulsystem.edu, the system is the largest in Louisiana with about 90,000 students enrolled in fall 2013. The 16-member board is composed of 15 members appointed by the governor for six-year terms, and one student member who is selected by the universities’ Student Government Association each year.