January 2017 Board Action


Judge Wilson Fields swears in new Board members. From left to right: Tom Kitchen, Elizabeth Pierre, Lola Dunahoe, Al Perkins and Judge Wilson Fields.

Governor John Bel Edwards named four members to the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System.

His appointments include three new board members—at-large representative Lola Dunahoe of Natchitoches, Tom Kitchen of Metairie representing the First Congressional District and Elizabeth Pierre of Monroe representing the Fifth Congressional District. Edwards reappointed Al Perkins of Prairieville to represent the Sixth Congressional District.

Dunahoe is a Northwestern State alumna, Kitchen holds an undergraduate and graduate degree from the University of New Orleans, Pierre holds an undergraduate degree from UL Lafayette and a law degree from Southern University and Perkins holds an undergraduate degree from Xavier University and a law degree from Southern University.

The new Board Members will serve through Dec. 31, 2022.



New Board leadership. From left to right UL System President Jim Henderson, Board Parliamentarian James Carter,  Board Chair Al Perkins and Board Vice Chair Mark Romero.

The University of Louisiana System’s new slate of officers, Board Chair Al Perkins, Vice Chair Mark Romero and Parliamentarian James Carter, took the oath of office to serve the Board for the next year.

“I am honored that the Board has entrusted me with the chairmanship,” Perkins said. “I look forward to working with Dr. Henderson to meet the challenges in the upcoming year while advancing the mission of the Universities of Louisiana.”

The Board elected its new officers at the December meeting.



UL System President Jim Henderson interviewed after the Board meeting.

While System President Jim Henderson officially began his new role Jan. 1, today was his first Board meeting as president.

“Our Board coming together for a meeting that included swearing in four enthusiastic Board members and a new slate of officers is a positive way for our System to start the new year,” Henderson said. “Our opportunities among the Universities of Louisiana are vast. More than ever before, quality of life and economic empowerment are dependent upon educational attainment. I look forward to meeting the challenges ahead of us on behalf of the 90,439 students we serve.”

Henderson most recently served as president of his alma mater, Northwestern State University. He was named System President in October and replaces Interim System President Dan Reneau.


Today Board Chair Al Perkins named presidential search committees to fill the vacancies at McNeese State University and Northwestern State University.

MSU President Phil Williams announced his retirement Jan. 2 and will remain on campus through Jun. 30. Chairing McNeese State University’s search committee is System President Jim Henderson as a nonvoting member. Voting members include MSU Faculty Senate President Matthew Butkus and UL System Board Members James Carter, John Condos, Tom Kitchen, Al Perkins, Elizabeth Pierre, Virgil Robinson, Mark Romero, Robert Shreve and Student Board Member Antonio Torres. Nonvoting members are MSU SGA President Caleb Prince, MSU Foundation President Willie Mount, MSU Alumni Association President Kevin Caldwell and Vic Stelly as a community representative.

NSU’s presidential vacancy is a result of Jim Henderson being named president of the UL System. Chris Maggio is leading the university in the interim. Chairing Northwestern’s search committee is System President Jim Henderson as a nonvoting member. Voting members include NSU Faculty Senate President Marcia Hardy and UL System Board Members Ed Crawford, Lola Dunahoe, Pam Egan, Beau Martin, Shawn Murphy, Al Perkins, Robert Shreve, Winfred Sibille and Student Board Member Antonio Torres. Other nonvoting members include NSU SGA President John Pearce, NSU Foundation President Scott Andrews, NSU Alumni Association President Monty Chicola and Gail Jones as a community representative.

The System hopes to have new leadership in place at both universities by July 1.