BATON ROUGE – University of Louisiana System President Sandra Woodley is the newest member of the Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc. (C100). A private non-profit, non-partisan organization created in 1992 to serve as a catalyst for positive change in government, education and the economy, C100’s primary focus is to assist the State in attracting and retaining industry, and ensuring quality jobs for Louisianans.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Woodley to the Committee. We feel confident that her higher education background will add to the level of leadership and decision making abilities of our organization as we strive to assist in the business and economic development activities of our state, as well as the impact on public policy that affects business and economic development in Louisiana,” stated Michael Olivier, C100 Chief Executive Officer.
Membership of C100 is a cross-section of business, industry, higher education, and health care leaders in Louisiana. They work with others in the state such as the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR), the Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL), and Blueprint Louisiana to address critical issues that affect economic growth.
“The human capital and skilled workforce that we produce in higher education are essential to building the kind of economy we want in Louisiana. I believe that active partnerships and meaningful intentionality between higher education and industry are the magic that can make this vision a reality. I am eager to roll up my sleeves and start doing my part in this important work,” said Woodley.
Woodley became the eighth President of the UL System in January 2013. The UL System has nine universities under its governance: 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. As the largest higher education system in the state, the UL System serves over 92,000 students with a total operating budget of over $762 million.
Earlier this month, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed President Woodley to serve as a Louisiana representative on the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). SREB is a non-profit organization that works with leaders and policy makers in 16 member states to improve pre-K through postsecondary education.
Prior to joining the UL System, Woodley served as Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives for the University of Texas System where for two years she was responsible for strategic planning, policy research, and accountability for its 16 academic and health institutions. She also served as Strategic Planner and Chief Financial Officer for the Arizona University System; Vice President for Finance, Planning and Performance for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education; and Associate Executive Director for the Alabama Commission of Higher Education overseeing finance, performance, and institutional research and information systems.
Early in her career she served as the senior financial analyst for the Alabama Legislative Fiscal Office responsible for public community and technical colleges and universities, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, and economic development agencies in Alabama. Woodley also served for four years as the Coordinator of the Economic Forecasting Group in the Center for Government and Public Affairs at Auburn University.
A non-traditional student, Woodley started out in a community college before earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration at Auburn University. Her doctorate in Business Administration and Management was earned at Nova Southeastern University. Her dissertation was A critical analysis of the effect of performance funding and budgeting systems on university performance.
Woodley is a native of Weaver, Alabama, and is married to Stan Woodley. She has three children: Leah, Jonathan, and Rebecca.
ABOUT THE UL SYSTEM: The University of Louisiana System is the largest higher education system in Louisiana enrolling 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.