Six Semifinalists Selected for Nicholls State University Presidential Search

Interviews on campus to being Aug. 26th

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Nicholls State University Presidential Search Committee today selected six semifinalists to interview for the university’s top position.  The committee narrowed the field from 17 candidates out of the 46 applications processed by search firm R.H. Perry and Associates.

“This is a great day for Nicholls.  We had a very strong pool of candidates, and I was impressed with the number of applicants who want this job and want to take this university forward.  I walk out of here extremely excited about the future,” said search committee and board member Jimmie “Beau” Martin.

The six semifinalists are listed below in alphabetical order with the highest degree earned and most recent position noted:

1.    Allayne L. Barrilleaux (Ph.D. – Louisiana State University), Vice President for Academic Affairs, Nicholls State University

2.    Karla V. Hughes (Ph.D. – University of Tennessee-Knoxville), Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor, Morehead State University

3.    James M. Limbaugh (Ph.D. – University of Maryland), Chancellor, Montana State University-Northern

4.    Mirta M. Martin (Ph.D. – Virginia Commonwealth University), Dean and Professor of Management, Virginia State University

5.    Bruce T. Murphy (Ed.D. – Vanderbilt University), Vice President for Academic Affairs, Air University

6.    Carlisle Baxter Rathburn III (Ph.D. – University of Florida), Special Assist to the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, The Texas A&M University System (former President and CEO, Texas A&M University-Texarkana)

The semi-finalist interview schedules are still being finalized, but plans are for each candidate to spend an entire day on the Thibodaux campus interacting with the search committee and university groups such as faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members.  After semifinalists interviews, the committee will deliberate on campus and recommend sending finalists (usually two or more) to the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, who will make the final selection at a special meeting either on September 9 or September 10 in Baton Rouge.  The date has not yet been finalized.

“The consultants did a good job of giving us many highly qualified candidates that made our job hard.  We want to expose the campus to several candidates before we can determine who is best for Nicholls today,” said search committee and board member Andre Coudrain.

Voting members of the committee include System Board Members Andre Coudrain of Hammond, David Guidry of Harvey, Board Vice Chair E. Gerald “T-Boy” Hebert of Kenner, Student Board Member Davante Lewis of Lake Charles, Jimmie “Beau” Martin, Jr. of Cut Off, Board Chair Wayne Parker of Choudrant, Robert Shreve of Baton Rouge, Gary Solomon of New Orleans and Winfred Sibille of Sunset.  Also serving as a voting member is Nicholls Faculty Senate President Stephen Michot.

Advisory, non-voting members are community member Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger, Nicholls SGA President Melissa Cloutet, former Nicholls SGA President Matthew Jewel, Fletcher Technical Community College Chancellor F. Travis Lavigne, Jr., and Nicholls Director Emeritus of Alumni Affairs Deborah “Raz” Raziano.  UL System President Sandra Woodley serves as the non-voting committee chair.

To aid in its work, the search committee contracted with R.H. Perry and Associates to collect applications, actively seek candidates to be well suited for the approximately 7,000-student Thibodaux university, and to make recommendations to the committee. 

For more information about the search, including a link to the live webcast of Monday’s meeting, visit  To provide feedback to members of the search committee, email

Founded in 1948, Nicholls State University is classified by Carnegie as a Master’s Medium University and by the Southern Regional Education Board as a 4-Year IV institution.


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.