MEDIA ADVISORY – University of Louisiana System Presents Plan to Target New Dollars for Access and Success – Jun 28, 2007
Universities to graduate more students faster
BATON ROUGE, La. – The University of Louisiana System will graduate 2,400 more students per year and at a faster rate by 2012. These are two of the expected results outlined by ULS President Sally Clausen, Board Chair Jimmy Long, Sr., and the eight campus presidents during a presentation to the Louisiana Board of Regents today.
The ULS delegation discussed how the infusion of $103 million in new state operating dollars will assist campuses to meet these key priorities and others during today’s meeting. Of the new dollars, $69.3 million are to raise university funding to 100 percent of their peers.
“We felt it important to come on this final day of the legislative session to not only thank the Governor, Legislature and Commissioner Savoie for this historic investment in higher education, but also to demonstrate that we will be good stewards by targeting this funding to benefit our citizenry,” said Clausen.
In 2004, the UL System initiated a goal to exceed the national graduation rate by 2012. Clausen reaffirmed that commitment by publicly stating that by 2012, based on current figures ULS will graduate 15,000 students per year (an increase of 2,400 graduates). Universities will also target efforts to increase graduates in critical areas such as education, health care, engineering, and business.
“Furthermore, it is our intent to track our students after graduation to ensure they are workforce ready and committed to serving their communities,” said Clausen.
Clausen also unveiled the System’s plan to graduate students at a faster rate, shortening the average time to graduation from six years to five. This will generate many benefits including less debt for students and a quicker return on Louisiana’s higher education investment through an increased tax base and stronger workforce.
These targets are consistent with and why Louisiana is leading the National Association of System Heads (NASH) initiative to improve access and success through increased graduation rates and closing achievement gaps.
A critical aspect of the UL System’s plan is recruiting and retaining highly qualified faculty. Clausen and the eight presidents pledged to dedicate funding to ensure faculty salaries are at or above their southern peers.
Regents Chair Pat Strong commended the ULS representatives for their presentation. “Sally, you and your presidents always set the bar high.”
“This is the type of reporting we would like to see from all higher education systems,” said Regents Member Roland Toups.
The UL System’s eight institutions are Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Visit www.ulsystem.net for more information about the UL System’s access and success initiative.
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