BATON ROUGE – The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System today named John L. Crain the 14th President of Southeastern Louisiana University.
Crain, a 22-year veteran of the Hammond university, is a tenured faculty member and has served as Faculty Senate President, Head of the Department of Accounting, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and most recently, Interim President.
“I am both humbled and honored that you have allowed me to continue working with the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community. I assure you I will do my very best to be an effective and successful president at Southeastern Louisiana University,” said Crain. “There are many people who have a keen interest in Southeastern and that means great things for the future of this university.”
During his interview today, Crain noted his involvement in the creation of the Southeast Louisiana Business Center that houses several economic development agencies including the Southeastern Small Business Development Center (SBDC), as a highlight of his service. Since 2002 the SBDC has assisted 125 start-ups or expansions with capital, helped secure over $8.3 million in loans and equity capital, created or retained 434 jobs, and trained over 2,000 private sector employees.
“I have tremendous respect for Dr. Crain, and I am confident Southeastern will continue to flourish under his leadership” said UL System President Randy Moffett. “His innovative ideas, tenacious work ethic, and dedication to the university community are just some of the reasons why he will be successful.”
A native of Washington Parish, Crain holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Southeastern Louisiana University. He completed certified public accountant (CPA) requirements in 1983 and also earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Accountancy from the University of Mississippi.
He has published over 50 refereed journal articles, chaired numerous university committees, and secured $200,000 in external grants. His community service includes board memberships for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum and the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Museum. He was also a member of the Louisiana Blue Ribbon Commission on Educational Excellence, the Louisiana Board of Regents Master Plan National Advisory Panel Workgroup on Retention and Completion, and is a member of the Hammond Rotary Club.
“My observation is if it’s bad times or good times, if it’s at Southeastern Louisiana University or any institution in America, John Crain is ready to be president. Fortunately for us, it just happens to be now and at Southeastern,” said UL System Board Member and Hammond resident Andre Coudrain.
As Southeastern’s President, Crain oversees Louisiana’s third largest public university with over 15,000 students and an operating budget of $124 million.
The university was recently named "a great college to work for" by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Since 1990, Southeastern has been one of the fastest growing universities in the state, with an enrollment growth that has exceeded the state average. At the same time, the university increased admission requirements and its regional and statewide profile. This fall, incoming freshmen with an ACT of 24 or above increased by 19 percent.
The university is a catalyst for economic development along I-12, playing a central role in workforce development, strategic partnerships, the generation and transfer of ideas and technology and enhancing the quality of life in communities throughout the region.
Crain’s permanent appointment is the culmination of a six-month search process that attracted 19 applicants from throughout the country. A 10-member search committee was formed in August after Southeastern President Randy Moffett assumed the top position at the University of Louisiana System, which oversees Southeastern and seven other universities.
“Southeastern has a tradition of excellence. We all look forward to working with President Crain as he continues to grow this university to greatness,” said UL System Board Chair and Slidell resident Elsie Burkhalter.
Crain’s appointment marks the 14th era of presidents at Southeastern Louisiana University, which includes:
Randy Moffett, 2001 – 2008
Sally Clausen, 1995 – 2001
G. Warren Smith, 1986 – 1995
J. Larry Crain, 1980 – 1986 (no relation to John Crain)
Clea E. Parker, 1968 – 1980
J.B. Wooley (acting), 1967 – 1968
Luther Dyson, 1953 – 1967
Clark L. Barrow, 1952 – 1953
Gladney J. Tinsley, 1945 – 1951
George W. Bond, 1944 – 1945
J. Leon Clark, 1937 – 1944
Y.L. Fontenot, 1933 – 1937
L.A. Sims, 1925 – 1933