Message from the President
August 15, 2018
The beginning of the fall semester is such an exciting time. There are always lots of new faces around campus but this semester there will be more than usual as we welcome one of our largest freshman classes in recent memory. In true Southeastern fashion, I know you will greet these new students, as well as those who are returning this semester, with a positive and helpful attitude.
This semester brings many exciting developments on campus. Probably most noticeable are the new residential halls (Ascension and Twelve Oaks) that students moved into this last weekend. Once again, campus housing will be at capacity, and given the addition of the new facilities, this means we will have the largest student residential population in the history of Southeastern, over 2,700 students living on campus.
The new residential halls are as beautiful inside as they are outside. The architects, Holly & Smith here in Hammond, and general contractor, DonahueFavret in Mandeville, did a spectacular job with the project, meeting a very tight and aggressive project time line that allowed students to move into their new on-campus home last weekend in time for the beginning of the semester. Another impressive aspect of the project is that these new halls utilize an energy-saving geothermal heating and cooling system that we believe to be the first of its kind on a Louisiana college campus. Although there will be some minor completion work in and around the buildings in the weeks ahead, the buildings are occupied and up and running.
Demolition should begin soon on the now vacant Zachary Taylor residence hall, followed by construction of a new parking lot on the site. As it usually is at the beginning of the fall semester, parking on campus will be a little tight as classes start but should settle down after a few weeks. Please be patient as everyone adjusts to changes in traffic patterns and parking zones.
As academic programs and student support services continue to grow and evolve, we also have a significant number of new faculty and staff joining the university this fall. I am particularly excited that we were able to attract over twenty new tenure-track faculty, adding to the already impressive instructional and intellectual expertise in our academic departments. Please greet and welcome our new faculty and staff so they personally experience from their first day what it means to be part of the Southeastern family.
Many of our staff, along with their colleagues at Louisiana Tech and the University of New Orleans, are continuing to make good progress in the multi-year conversion of our campus ERP system from PeopleSoft to Workday. As staff from the three institutions work together to configure the new system for our business processes, they are learning and adopting best practices – often from each other. Not only will the collaborative implementation eventually be more cost efficient, I believe our three institutions will ultimately be able to improve workflow and operate more user-friendly systems.
Early in the fall semester I will reconvene our University Planning Council to continue work on Vision 2025, our new strategic plan. A great deal of information about the strategic planning process and the work of the Council is available at the Strategic Planning Portal. I encourage everyone to bookmark this webpage and to monitor it for additional updates.
It is going to be a great year, and I look forward to working with our students, faculty and staff to continue making great things happen at Southeastern.
John L. Crain