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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
by: Rene Abadie
Web photo courtesy of The Advocate.
HAMMOND – University of Louisiana System President Sandra K. Woodley will serve as commencement speaker at Southeastern Louisiana University's graduation ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Scheduled at 10 a.m. at the University Center, the ceremony will recognize more than 1,250 students receiving bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.
Woodley joined the system as its eighth president in early 2013. As the largest higher education system in the state, the UL System serves approximately 90,000 students with a total operating budget of more than $750 million. The system has nine universities under its governance, including Southeastern.
"Dr. Woodley has really hit the ground running as leader of the UL System, and the initiatives she is spearheading have the potential to create a tremendous positive impact for students," said Southeastern President John L. Crain. "I know our graduates will be inspired, not just by her vision for the schools in our system, but by her own personal story of hard work and achievement."
Woodley previously served as a chief financial officer and strategic planner in university systems in Texas, Arizona, Kentucky and Alabama. Most recently she was vice chancellor for Strategic Initiatives for the University of Texas System where she was responsible for strategic planning, policy research and accountability for the system, composed of 16 academic and health institutions.
She began her education as a non-traditional student, starting out in a community college before earning bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Auburn University and a doctorate in business administration and management from Nova Southeastern University.
Early in her career, she served as the fiscal analyst for the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office, where she was the senior financial analyst to the legislature regarding public community and technical colleges and universities, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, and the economic development agencies in the state. She has served on the faculties at Auburn University, where she taught economics, and at Midway College in Kentucky, teaching accounting and statistics.
Woodley is leveraging her expertise in strategic planning and budgeting through the development of a strategic framework for the UL System that will provide a comprehensive picture of the system's vision and clarify how existing university efforts and system initiatives can be connected to achieve the best outcomes for students, business and industry, and the state.