UL System President Sandra Woodley Takes on Two National Leadership Roles

BATON ROUGE, La. – University of Louisiana System President has been appointed to represent Louisiana on the Council of State Representatives for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of System Heads (NASH). 

“It is an honor to represent Louisiana on these two national boards.  I am excited about the opportunity to promote Louisiana’s leadership in higher education policy and also to learn from others,” said Woodley.


Founded in 1961, AASCU is a higher education association of 420 public colleges, universities, and systems that supports the public purpose of higher education; advocates and provides leadership for effective public policy; and provides professional development for senior leaders of member institutions.

As a member of the AASCU Council of State Representatives, Woodley will be responsible for helping to formulate and recommend the Public Policy Agenda to the Association; may be called on to provide responses on federal, state, or commonwealth legislative matters of immediate concern; and advise AASCU staff on topical issues of public policy that affect public colleges and universities. Woodley’s two-year appointment will run through 2015 and her first meeting with the Council will be held March 5-7 in Washington, D.C.

NASH is the association of the chief executives of the 52 colleges and university systems of public higher education in the United States and Puerto Rico.  Formed in 1979 for the purpose of seeking improvement in the organization and governance of public higher education systems, NASH serves as a forum for the exchange of views and information among its members and with other higher education organizations, with special attention to the perspectives, problems, and opportunities of heads of systems as a unique category of higher education executives.

Elected by fellow chief executives across the country, Woodley will serve a two-year term on the 10-member NASH Board of Directors.  Her colleagues on the board represent the California State University System, the Colorado State University System, the South Dakota Board of Regents, the State University System of New York, the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Massachusetts, the University of North Texas System, and the University System of Maryland.  NASH Executive Director Rebecca Martin serves as an ex-officio member.

“President Woodley brings deep experience across several public university systems to the NASH Board.  Her leadership role in myriad areas, especially data-driven decision making, will be of great value to her colleagues as we confront the many challenges in higher education systems,” said NASH Executive Director Rebecca Martin.


Prior to coming to Louisiana, Woodley served as a chief financial officer and strategic planner in university systems in Texas, Arizona, Kentucky, and Alabama. 

During her first year as UL System President, she led the Nicholls State University Presidential search; launched the system’s first comprehensive strategic framework; led a statewide analytics project that utilized statistical peers for performance comparisons; developed and implemented the system’s first interactive dashboard system; partnered with MyEdu using technology and social media to connect students and employers through a system marketplace; and forged partnerships with key state agencies including Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Woodley began her education as a non-traditional student, starting out in a community college before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Auburn University and a doctorate in Business Administration and Management from Nova Southeastern University.


ABOUT THE UL SYSTEM: The largest higher education system in Louisiana, the UL system enrolls 90,000 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.  For more information about the UL System visit www.ulsystem.edu.