ULS Chairman: “We Couldn’t Have a Better Chief Executive.”

ULS Chairman: “We Couldn’t Have a Better Chief Executive.” – Aug 30, 2002

Dr. Sally Clausen Gets High Marks in Annual Evaluation

“Dynamic, proactive, consummate professional, incredible skill and integrity.” Those were just some of the words officials used to describe Dr. Sally Clausen in light of her first evaluation as President of the University of Louisiana System.

“Sally Clausen has been the most effective spokesperson that I have seen in any organization that I have served. She has done everything we asked and even those things that we couldn’t foresee. We couldn’t have a better chief executive,” ULS Chairman Gordon Pugh said in his presentation to fellow Board members in Baton Rouge last week.

The ULS Personnel Committee, which met entirely in open session in Baton Rouge, responded with applause and unanimous approval of Pugh’s report. Later, the full Board unanimously accepted the committee’s report.

The UL System rules require that the System President be evaluated informally every year, based on goals developed with the Board Chairman and presented to the full Board each fiscal year. A formal evaluation is performed every four years, according to the rules. Dr. Clausen assumed the ULS presidency July 1, 2001.

Andre Coudrain, a Hammond attorney and former ULS Board Chairman, worked almost daily with Dr. Clausen for six years while she was president of Southeastern Louisiana University. “Based on her tremendous contributions and leadership at Southeastern, I knew Sally would be a great ULS President. Indeed, her performance in just one year has been exceptional and has exceeded even my highest expectations,” Coudrain said.

Carroll Suggs of New Orleans is the longest-serving Board member and has worked with three System presidents. “As far as I’m concerned, Sally has no peers. She has a remarkable understanding of education at all levels and cares personally about the success of all children. She has a rare quality of bringing out the best in people, and her theme ‘College Begins in Preschool’ speaks volumes about who she is as an educator and leader.”

Dr. Joe Savoie, Commissioner of Higher Education, congratulated Dr. Clausen on her outstanding evaluation noting, “Dr. Clausen has a very honest and uncompromising approach to her work. She focuses on what’s best for the students. Sally is a key advocate for teacher education reform, is well respected in the higher education community on both state and national levels and brings incredible skill and integrity to the job.”

Pugh noted that Dr. Clausen’s work extended “far beyond” the goals they developed. “In addition to accomplishing these goals, she has executed and enforced all of our decisions and policies without flaw and without fail.”

Pugh cited several examples of her accomplishments. For example, she
•Commissioned a comprehensive institutional review that included more than 50 recommendations to improve the University of Louisiana at Monroe
•Helped ULM achieve a qualified audit for 2001
•Established a partnership with the community and technical college system
•Fostered collaborations among K-12 schools and universities
•Worked with the Governor, Legislature and Board of Regents to obtain needed funding for higher education

In addition, Pugh praised Dr. Clausen’s work last fall as chair of the ULM Presidential Search Committee. He said she was “most effective” at working with faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community in the search process. “She set the model for how all presidential searches should be conducted.” After four public hearings and several other public meetings, the Board hired Dr. James Cofer in January. He was among 47 applicants from 26 states.

Dr. Ray Authement, who has served as president of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for 28 years, said, “Dr. Clausen is one of the most dynamic and effective administrators I have ever known. Her knowledge of higher education and teacher preparation are unsurpassed, and she is moving the UL System into a position of prominence in this state and nation.”

“She’s very proactive and works non-stop to make things happen. But, even when issues or challenges arise unexpectedly, she rolls up her sleeves, gets to work immediately and remains totally involved until the job is done,” he continued.

Dr. Neari Warner, Acting President of Grambling State University, said, “Dr. Clausen is one of Grambling’s most ardent supporters – we couldn’t ask for more. I would describe her as a consummate professional with a special, humanitarian touch. She has demonstrated her commitment to help Grambling countless times and in extraordinary ways. She cares deeply about the future of Grambling, and she is always accessible to us, regardless of the length of travel or time of day.”

Pugh said his report was intended as an evaluation only and Dr. Clausen’s compensation was not addressed. He noted that Dr. Clausen has three tasks remaining of the 13 they developed several months ago, but he said she is “on track to complete those.” They are 1) helping Grambling State University achieve an unqualified audit and subsequent reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 2) helping the University of Louisiana at Monroe achieve an unqualified audit and reaffirmation of accreditation by SACS, and 3) conducting a second Board retreat to keep members current about issues facing higher education.

SACS is requiring Grambling and ULM to have audits submitted in September and November, respectively, so the universities’ continued accreditation can be considered by SACS at its December meeting in San Antonio.


For More Information Contact:
Catherine Heitman