Crain addresses ‘State of the University’ at convocation

Contact: Rene Abadie
Date: August 14, 2012

1)Presidents excellence winners2)Bill Neal and President John L. Crain

1) PRESIDENT'S EXCELLENCE WINNERS RECOGNIZED – At its convocation Friday, Southeastern Louisiana University President John L. Crain, far right, presented the President's Excellence Awards to faculty and staff. Receiving the awards were, from left, Jayetta Slawson, teaching; James Kirylo, research; Gary Keown, artistic activity; Kent Neuerburg, faculty service; and Sandy Summers, unclassified class service.


2) EMERITUS HONOR BESTOWED ON NEALBill Neal, left, assistant dean and former interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development, was named Professor Emeritus of Education at the university's fall convocation Friday. Neal, who recently retired, was also recognized for 40 years of service to the university. With him is President John L. Crain.


      HAMMOND –Stating that the past several years have been the most difficult in his 26 years in higher education, Southeastern Louisiana University President John L. Crain thanked the university's faculty and staff for their efforts to maintain the academic integrity of the university.

     Crain gave his state of the university address at the annual fall faculty-staff convocation Friday (Aug. 10) held at Southeastern's Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.

     With financial support from the state declining significantly and the cumulative reduction from the state approaching $40 million, Crain said the university has far fewer resources to operate its enterprise.

     However, through reorganization and reconfiguring of departments and programs, elimination of 320 positions -- almost half of which were filled -- and increasing workloads on faculty and staff, Crain said, "It has not been easy or fun, but we are still operating successfully thanks to the dedication of our faculty and staff."

     He had special praise for Southeastern's Physical Plant staff, which has introduced various creative and cutting edge solutions to drastically reduce the institution's energy usage and costs.

     Robert Bruno, a member of the Louisiana Board of Regents, told the audience Southeastern has found new ways of doing business in spite of draconian budget cuts.

     "The university is an example of the spirit, quality and passion you have in this area," he said.

     He pointed to Southeastern's sustainability program – which focuses on recycling, energy generation, conservation, and other environmentally sound activities to increase savings and reduce costs – as a highly successful venture.

     "This sustainability program will make Southeastern one of the greenest universities in the state," he added.

     At the convocation, five faculty and staff were recognized with the President's Awards for Achievement, Southeastern's highest recognition for faculty and staff. Recipients included:

-- Jayetta Slawson, associate professor of English, Excellence in Teaching;

-- James Kirylo, associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Excellence in Research;

-- Gary Keown, fine and performing arts professor, Excellence in Artistic Activity;

-- Kent Neuerburg, professor of mathematics and head of Honors and International Initiatives, Excellence in Faculty Service; and

-- Sandy Summers, assistant director of the Small Business Development Center, Excellence in Unclassified Staff Service.

     Faculty member Bill Neal, professor and assistant dean of the College of Education and Human Development, was recognized as professor emeritus of education and also honored for his 40 years of service to the university.

     Also, newly endowed professorships were announced at the convocation, including the Hammond Jaycees First Generation Endowment; the James Ernest, May Hemby and Holman Hemby Morgan First Generation Endowment; the Marcia K. Galatas Endowed Professorship in the College of Education and Human Development; and the James Ernest, May Hemby and Holman Hemby Morgan Endowed Professorship in the College of Education and Human Development.

     The Convocation included recognition of all new faculty tenure appointments and promotions and awards to faculty and staff for 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of service and was followed by a picnic on campus sponsored by the Southeastern Alumni Association, First Guaranty Bank, North Oaks Health System, La Capitol Federal Credit Union and Aramark.

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