BATON ROUGE – Today the Board of Supervisors unanimously named Sandra Woodley the eighth President of the University of Louisiana System. She will assume leadership of Louisiana’s largest public higher education system on Jan. 1, 2013.
“I am honored at your vote of confidence and excited about Louisiana and the University of Louisiana System. I won’t let you down,” said Woodley.
Several members of the Board were impressed with Woodley’s experience at four different university systems in four different states, particularly in the areas of finance, strategic planning and analysis.
“We look forward to working with Dr. Woodley as she brings her unique skill sets to our system. Her enthusiasm and passion for education coupled with her multi-faceted expertise promise great things for the University of Louisiana System,” said UL System Board Chair Wayne Parker.
Woodley currently serves as Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Texas System, a system of 16 academic and health institutions. Prior to that position, she was Strategic Planner and Chief Financial Officer for the Arizona Board of Regents that governs three public research universities.
She served as Vice President of Finance, Planning and Performance at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, the coordinating board for all public universities and community colleges.
Woodley also spent time in Alabama serving as Associate Executive Director for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and a fiscal analyst in the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office. She began her career at Auburn University’s Center for Government and Public Affairs as Coordinator of the Economic Forecasting Group.
During her interview Woodley said the UL System’s focus on non-traditional students hit close to home. “It is a strength that you do have a heart and focus for non-traditional students. I am the quintessential non-traditional student. No one in my family went to college. I married at 18 and had two babies in my early 20s. It took me 10 years to earn a degree. This is a system that has a heart for students like me,” she said.
Woodley received both her undergraduate degree and her master’s degree in business administration from Auburn University. She earned a Doctor of Business Administration-Management from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
She plans to spend her first months on the job travelling to the nine universities and visiting with campus presidents, board members, and various constituencies. “It is very important to understand what work is already underway. I’ll spend a great deal of time listening.”
The Weaver, Alabama native is married to Stan Woodley. She has three children, Leah, Jonathan, and Rebecca, and a six-month-old grandson named Caleb.
The largest higher education System in Louisiana, the UL system enrolls over 92,000 students at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the University of New Orleans.