UL System Releases Nicholls Institutional Review

UL System Releases Nicholls Institutional Review – Mar 21, 2003

BATON ROUGE, LA. – The University of Louisiana System released an institutional review of Nicholls State University today. The report, which is available on the UL System website (www.ulsystem.net), makes recommendations covering all aspects of the university’s operations.

The Board of Supervisors for the UL System requested the review to help provide a blueprint for the next Nicholls president. Nicholls President Donald Ayo announced his retirement in October and the System engaged in a national search to replace him. A new president could be named as early as next week.

A team of education specialists, led by national education consultant James Fisher, conducted the review.

"This review identifies many positive aspects of the university, such as the personal attention its faculty offers students and its $3.8 million increase in endowments over the past four years. However, it also points out some challenges that the next Nicholls president must address if the university is to reach its full potential – both as a university and as an economic engine in the region," UL System President Sally Clausen said.

Fisher’s review makes 70 recommendations to the university. However, Fisher cautioned, the number of recommendations in itself does not indicate a negative situation at the university.

While the review points out a number of areas that need examination, "in general, it applauds the institution," he said.

Ayo said he was pleased that Fisher’s review of Nicholls includes recommendations that reinforce many of the initiatives currently underway at the university.

"The report validates our progress toward identified challenges in many areas. It also provides a structure for the new president to continue this progress while also identifying new challenges that he will encounter," Ayo said. "We are also pleased that Dr. Fisher’s team recognizes Nicholls as an ‘undiscovered treasure’ that has been well managed and ‘has lived up to the promise that inspired its beginnings.’"

The institutional review of Nicholls is in keeping with a recent trend in the UL System to conduct full reviews of its universities when leadership change is anticipated.

A similar review was conducted earlier this year at Grambling State University. The Board is scheduled to begin a search for the next Grambling president in the fall. Last year, the University of Louisiana at Monroe was subject to a review in advance of its leadership change. New UL Monroe President James Cofer has already implemented about 75 percent of the recommendations and credits the review with enabling him to "move forward without debating the necessity of the suggested changes."

The three finalists for the Nicholls presidency – Clifford Brock, David Eisler and Stephen Hulbert – will interview in open session in Baton Rouge next week. The Board of Supervisors for the UL System could announce its decision at its regular meeting on Friday, March 28.

The full report, along with Fisher’s bio and those of his team, can be found at www.ulsystem.net.


Related Files:

Nicholls Institutional Review (.PDF) (185.7 KB) >>
Nicholls Institutional Review (.PDF) (185.7 KB) >>
Nicholls Institutional Review (.PDF) (185.7 KB) >>
Nicholls Institutional Review (.PDF) (185.7 KB) >>