Crain addresses "State of the University" at Southeastern's Fall Convocation
Contact: Rene Abadie
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1) PRESIDENT’S EXCELLENCE WINNERS RECOGNIZED – At its convocation Friday, Southeastern Louisiana University President John L. Crain, left, presented the President’s Excellence Awards to faculty and staff. Receiving the awards were, from left, Lee Lind, unclassified staff service; Cynthia Elliott, faculty service; James Winter, artistic activity; and Agnieszka Gutthy, research.
2) REGENTS PRESENTS MATCHING FUNDS – Robert Bruno, left, a member of the Louisiana Board of Regents presents a matching funds check from Regents to Southeastern President John L. Crain. The funds help support the Dorcas and H.N. Capron Jr. Endowed Professorship in Marketing, the Joseph H. Miller Endowed Professorship in Business, and the Marcia and Cameron Barr First Generation Endowed Scholarship.
3) EMERITUS HONOR BESTOWED ON MOFFET – Barbara Moffett, former professor and head of the Southeastern Louisiana University School of Nursing, was named Professor Emeritus and Department Head Emeritus of Nursing at the University’s Fall Convocation Friday. With her is Southeastern President John L. Crain.
HAMMOND – Calling to mind the popular management book “Who Moved My Cheese,” Southeastern Louisiana University President John L. Crain said the institution has undergone a first-hand experience in the dynamics of change in recent years.
In presenting his State of the University address at the annual fall convocation Friday (August 12) at the university’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, Crain noted that while additional budget reductions of the projected catastrophic magnitude did not occur, the Southeastern family has learned invaluable lessons, namely that change – however uncomfortable – has to be dealt with directly.
He noted that a relatively standstill budget means the university has an opportunity “to re-direct our energy from reacting to budget cuts to instead developing and implementing new strategies and plans that will help us meet our GRAD Act performance goals,” referring to legislation that allows universities to raise tuition and fees in exchange for meeting specific targets. He said to meet those goals, the university will have to be smart and efficient in how financial and human resources are prioritized, allocated and utilized.
Among the many initiatives to help meet performance expectations, especially in the areas of student retention and graduation rates, he pointed to last year’s increased admission standards, the university’s fourth increase since 2000; a rapidly growing partnership with Northshore Technical/Community College; and the steadily growing Early Start program in which area high school students can pursue college-level credit through coursework at their own schools.
“Things are not going to return to the way they were; no one is going to just put ‘our cheese’ back where it was before,” he said. We have to confront and address reality head on.”
Acknowledging there was no growth in the new budget, he added, “Today we start a new academic year with financial circumstances that are much better than they might have been.”
Crain thanked members of the area’s legislative delegation who were present for helping to curtail additional catastrophic cuts to higher education.
“Although we are a little bruised and battered from the last couple of years, Southeastern is still a great university with a beautiful campus and many caring faculty and staff committed to the success of our students,” he said.
At the convocation, four faculty and staff were recognized with the President’s Awards for Achievement, Southeastern’s highest recognition for faculty and staff. Recipients included:
-- Agnieszka Gutthy, professor of Spanish, Excellence in Research;
-- James Winter, assistant professor of acting and directing, Excellence in Artistic Activity;
-- Cynthia Elliott, professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Excellence in Faculty Service; and
-- Lee Lind, director of Student Publications, Excellence in Unclassified Staff Service.
Faculty recognized with emeritus awards included Donnie Booth, professor emeritus of nursing and dean emeritus of nursing and health sciences; David Evenson, professor emeritus and department head emeritus of music and dramatic arts; Katherine Kolb, professor emeritus of foreign languages and literatures; Hunter McAllister, professor emeritus of psychology; and Barbara Moffett, professor emeritus and department head emeritus of nursing.
Also, new endowed professorships and the university’s inaugural First Generation Endowed Scholarship were announced at the event. Robert Bruno, Louisiana Board of Regents member presented a matching funds check from Regents to help support the Dorcas and H.N. Capron Jr. Endowed Professorship in Marketing, the Joseph H. Miller Endowed Professorship in Business, and the Marcia and Cameron Barr First Generation Endowed Scholarship.
The Convocation included recognition of all new faculty tenure appointments and promotions and awards to faculty and staff for 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service and was followed by a picnic on campus sponsored by the Southeastern Alumni Association.