ULS Board Grants Permission for Tsunami-related Tuition Waivers

ULS Board Grants Permission for Tsunami-related Tuition Waivers – Jan 7, 2005

New Members Join Panel; Board Member Wright Submits Resignation
For Immediate Release: January 7, 2005
Contact: Catherine Heitman, 225-342-6950 or 225-219-0265

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System granted authority today for its eight universities to offer tuition relief to students directly affected by the recent tsunami.

Some 780 students from Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand – the areas hardest hit by the tsunami — are enrolled at UL System universities.

The Board’s authority will allow its universities – Grambling, Louisiana Tech, McNeese, Nicholls, Northwestern, Southeastern, UL Lafayette and UL Monroe – to assess the impact of the disaster on its students and to offer appropriate tuition relief. Universities will handle the aid on a case-by-case basis.

“This is the best way we know to assist our students who have been affected by this tragedy,” Board Chair Mike Woods said.

UL System student board member Katie Ortego said she knows a number of fellow students at UL Lafayette who have been directly affected. “It’s good to know that there’s something we can do to show our compassion. We want to do everything we can to help these students continue to pursue their education,” she said.
In other matters, the board swore in two new members and one existing member and accepted the resignation of six-year board member David Wright.

Earlier this week, Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Robert Hale of Lake Charles and Jeff Jenkins of Baton Rouge to fill positions on the board. The governor also reappointed 12-year board member Elsie Burkhalter of Slidell.

Hale has served as president and general manager of Lee Dee Wholesale Distributing and Hale Wholesale Distributing since 1986. He has taught special education in East Baton Rouge and Calcasieu parishes. Hale is president of the Louisiana Wholesalers Association and serves on several volunteer boards. He received his bachelor’s degrees in elementary and special education from McNeese and attended graduate school at McNeese and Louisiana State University.

Jenkins is vice president of special projects at The Shaw Group, where he is responsible for the identification and development of special projects, particularly mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and business development. Jenkins received his bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees from LSU.

Hale and Jenkins were appointed to replace board members Bob Davidge of Baton Rouge and Carl Shetler of Lake Charles. Davidge had served since 1999, and Shetler had been on the board since 1993.

The board also learned of the resignation of board member David Wright, who served a full six-year term. In a letter to Governor Blanco, Wright cited health concerns: “My family and physicians have urged me to once again consider retiring from public office. As much as I love my colleagues and respect Dr. (Sally) Clausen for her leadership, I know that my family and doctors are right.”

A Grambling alumnus, Wright chaired the board’s personnel committee and played a major role in the search for a new president of Grambling.

In a letter to Wright, UL System President Clausen and Woods said, “A Gramblinite through and through, you have helped steer this century-old university through difficult times and seen it emerge stronger. You will always have a special place in the halls of the campus and the lives of its students.”