The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System held a special board meeting and unanimously voted to appoint Jim Henderson as its new System president. Henderson is the sitting president at Northwestern State University and previously served as chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College.
“Jim’s career has uniquely prepared him for this role,” Interim System President Dan Reneau said. “Higher education in Louisiana is facing some of its most challenging times and I think the Board made an excellent selection to best position the System to combat the challenges ahead.”
Henderson has led Northwestern State University to significant enrollment increases since he took the helm in January 2015. NSU experienced the largest enrollment increase in the UL System this year, a seven percent jump. During his tenure at Bossier Parish Community College enrollment soared by 86 percent and degree and certification completion increased by 90 percent.
“Louisiana’s colleges and universities have been dramatically affected by budget cuts and other crises for nearly a decade yet they have persevered, achieving higher rates of success while operating more efficiently. A sea change in policies, direction and strategies will be required to reinstate our institutions to the position of prominence which they deserve,” Henderson said. “The System office will be at the forefront of those efforts in the years ahead, and the opportunities for the universities of Louisiana are limitless.”
Henderson is a Shreveport native and a 1994 graduate of NSU where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English. He earned a master’s degree in administration from the University of West Florida and a doctorate in management from the University of Maryland University College.
“Part of my heart will always be with Northwestern and its people and the System presidency will allow me to maintain a close association with my alma mater and the Natchitoches community while providing opportunities to create a positive impact on higher education and students statewide,” Henderson said.
Henderson’s wife, Tonia, is also an NSU graduate who has spent her career as a successful executive in television advertising and sales. They have three children-Reagan, Nicholas and Alexander.
The Board’s Application Review Committee met last month to receive a report of candidates from the executive search firm. From that pool of candidates, the committee recommended Henderson to be interviewed by the full Board.
Henderson will start his new role at the first of the year. He is succeeding Interim System President Dan Reneau who was named to the position January 2016 following the resignation of Sandra Woodley.
The University of Louisiana System’s nine universities serve more than 90,000 students throughout the state. It is one of the largest Systems in the nation and awards approximately 16,000 degrees annually.
Click here to view Henderson’s complete resume.