Cofer named president at Missouri State University

ULM Contact: Laura Woodard, 318-342-5447 or

The Missouri State Board of Governors appointed ULM President James Cofer the new president of Missouri State University in Springfield today.

Cofer shared the news with ULM faculty and staff in an e-mail soon after receiving the notification: “We will forever treasure our work and our lives spent at ULM. The support of our university family and greater community paved the way for incredible progress at this institution. Thank you for this extraordinary journey; it will always remain with us as we continue our commitment to higher education.”

University of Louisiana System President Randy Moffett commended Dr. Cofer and First Lady Deborah for their vision.

“ULM has been fortunate to have Dr. Cofer’s leadership for the last eight years, as the university has flourished with Jim and Deborah. We wish them much success at Missouri State University,” Moffett said.

Citing his forward-thinking support of new academic programs, faculty member Jessica Dolecheck, department head of Health Studies, called Cofer a “visionary.”

“Dr. Cofer has been a progressive leader of this institution,” she said. “He supported so many new academic initiatives during his tenure, including the Bachelor of Health Science in Health Studies. He looked to the future and incorporated cutting-edge programs that not only benefitted faculty, but students as well. We wish him the very best.”

Graduating senior and marketing major Seth Hall, who grew up in West Monroe, referenced the university’s dramatic physical transformation under Dr. Cofer’s leadership.

“I remembered what this university looked like when President Cofer first arrived. The physical changes have been so incredible.”

Dr. Cofer’s relationships with students will be his legacy, said Hall, who will intern at Sam Houston State University this summer.

“It was so neat to walk into Schulze Cafeteria each day and see Dr. Cofer and Miss Deborah eating lunch with students. The number one reason he means so much to us is because he knows our names. He cares about us,” he said.

President Cofer will remain at ULM until July 30 to ensure a smooth transition. The UL System Board of Supervisors will direct the presidential search.

For additional information regarding ULM’s transformation under Dr. Cofer’s leadership, visit:


The UL System Board is consitutionally charged with hiring university presidents.  That process, which includes a national search, is outlined in the following Board Rule and Policy:

Board Rules, Chapter III, Section A. Chief Executive Vacancies

Policy and Procedures Memorandum, Searches for University Presidents