We face immense challenges in Louisiana, but we also are blessed with extraordinary opportunities. As our state leaders continue to grapple with difficult fiscal circumstances, we will collaborate with our governor, the legislature, and others in the search for meaningful solutions. We will also advocate tirelessly for a reinvestment in our work. Our students deserve nothing less.
More than ever before, quality of life and economic empowerment are dependent upon educational attainment. The abilities to think critically, solve problems, and communicate effectively are essential. We develop those core competencies in more than 90,000 students every year. These students are our future, our promise.
Our more than 16,000 annual graduates become engaged citizens in our communities and give our employers a competitive advantage. They create businesses. They educate our young. They care for our infirm. They discover new technologies. They enrich our environments with their artistry.
By focusing on the needs of our students and partnering more closely than ever with our business and community leaders, we can help our stakeholders understand higher education is not a cost, but an investment. The return on that investment is invaluable. I look forward with great optimism to delivering a message that will advance our mission.
My door is always open for you to reach out with your ideas or concerns for our system of higher education in Louisiana. If you would like to receive periodic messages from me directly, please sign up here. I invite you to follow me on Twitter for more frequent, albeit less formal communication.
Kindest Regards, Jim Henderson
Dr. James Henderson became the University of Louisiana System president Jan. 1, 2017.
Since his appointment, he has led the Universities of Louisiana in the creation of a strategic framework that charges its universities to produce the most educated generation in Louisiana’s history, drive growth through public/private partnerships and research, and recruit, retain, and develop world class faculty who educate students, empower employers, and enrich communities. There are various systemic functions that ensure success, one of the newest is Compete LA, a program designed to assist the 653,000 Louisianians with some college credit but no degree.
Previously, Henderson served as president of his alma mater, Northwestern State University, where he reinvigorated student life and campus culture leading to the highest enrollment in the school’s 135-year history. Before taking the helm of NSU, Henderson served as chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College. During his tenure, the institution ranked among the five fastest growing colleges in the nation for five consecutive years.
In 2012, Henderson was named a Northwest Louisiana Business Hall of Fame Laureate and in 2017 he was inducted into Northwestern State University’s hall of honor, the Long Purple Line. His proudest accomplishment to date though is the tiny blue check next to his Twitter handle. On any given day, you can find an insider’s take on higher education in Louisiana sprinkled with candor, wit, and his two golden retrievers.
Henderson holds a master of science in administration from University of West Florida and a doctor of management from University of Maryland—University College. In 2010, he completed the Institute of Educational Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The smartest decision Henderson has made is marrying his college sweetheart, Tonia, a proud Cajun from Gueydan. The Hendersons have three children, Reagan, Nicholas, and Alexander; and three grandchildren, Zachary, Miguel, and Maria.
Sign up to receive email updates from President Henderson.