Tom Layzell to Serve as Interim President of the University of Louisiana System

BATON ROUGE – Longtime educator Tom Layzell will serve as Interim President of the University of Louisiana System while the Board of Supervisors conducts a search for the permanent position.

“Dr. Layzell’s considerable experience and familiarity with Louisiana higher education made him the perfect choice to lead the system while we conduct a thorough national search,” said UL System Board Chair Wayne Parker.

Serving in a variety of consulting positions since he retired as President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education in 2007, Layzell has over 40 years of experience in higher education including leading three different state systems.  He was Executive Director and Chancellor of the Illinois Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities from 1984 to 1995 and the Commissioner of Higher Education in Mississippi from 1995 to 2003 before moving to Kentucky.

His national experience includes serving as past chairman of the executive committee of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), president of the National Association of System Heads (NASH), member of the National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education, member of the Council of Presidents of the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), and member of the Illinois Study Commission on Higher Education Finance.

Layzell served as an advisor to the Louisiana Board of Regents in 2010 and 2011.  He also conducted professional development for the state’s higher education boards at the Regents’ Trusteeship Conference in February.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and both a Juris Doctorate in law and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

“The University of Louisiana System is a valuable part of Louisiana’s higher education system, and Randy Moffett has been an excellent leader.  I am honored to be invited to serve as the interim president, and I look forward to working with the university presidents and board as they search for a permanent president,” said Layzell.

The Board of Supervisors launched a national search in July to replace retiring UL System President Randy Moffett.  Early advertisements yielded nine candidates.  In September the Board initiated another round of advertisements and engaged the services of search consultants R.H. Perry and Associates with a goal to have a new president in place by early spring.

Vice President for Business and Finance Robbie Robinson will serve as Interim Chief of Staff for the UL System until Layzell’s official start date on Oct. 17.

“While Dr. Layzell plans to keep in touch with the office as he completes pre-existing commitments, we are fortunate to have competent and dedicated staff to get us through this transition,” said Parker.

For more information about the search, visit


The largest higher education system in Louisiana, the UL system enrolls about 94,000 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.