The Rotary Club of Alexandria hosted LSUA Chancellor Dr. Paul Coreil and the members of LSUA’s Senior Leadership Team, who delivered a state of the campus report to the community.
Dr. Coreil, always honored by the opportunity to share with Rotary, began the presentation by describing the challenges LSUA and central Louisiana have faced in the last three years: hurricanes, tornadoes, a once-in-a-generation ice storm, and a global pandemic. Despite the hardships, LSUA has seen record enrollment six semesters in a row and is one of only three campuses in Louisiana to see growth in the covid era. It is apparent to all that Coreil is committed to the goals of focusing on LSUA’s students and the role the institution plays in the local community.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. John Rowan provided an update on the innovative work LSUA is doing to address the changing needs of employers and students. Rowan explained, “Our job is to educate students who are prepared to enter your businesses and places of work.” He touted the innovations in academic programming and LSUA’s commitment to educating the whole student. This drive is evidenced by the hiring of Dr. Beth Palmer as the new Assistant Vice Chancellor for Holistic Education and Student Development. Additionally, Rowan noted LSUA’s quest for funding to create a newly envisioned Technovation Center, a robust offering of courses, programs, and continuing education focused on the ever-changing field of technological innovation.
Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement Dr. Abbey Bain challenged Rotarians to recall their fondest memories from their college experiences. Bain remarked, “We want our students to be connected to each other and the community and have fun. When students are fully engaged in their collegiate experience, studies suggest they are more likely to be successful and graduate.” LSUA has poured extensive planning and resources into investing in student retention strategies, including intramural sports, athletics, healthy living options, and campus events that are open to the community. Additionally, Bain explained the concept of “purposeful programming,” whereby students can hear from experts and practitioners about anxiety, sexual violence, and addiction as well as opportunities for personal growth like a host of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
Lastly, Deron Thaxton, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, reported on the health of LSUA, central Louisiana’s greatest public educational asset. Thaxton said, “It is an exciting time to be part of LSUA experiencing unprecedented growth, innovation, and community partnerships.” He noted that despite a decade of cuts in public education funding, LSUA has made significant strides in achieving sound financial health. As a result of growth and strong investment partnerships, LSUA is excited to be wrapping up a major drainage and infrastructure project that will result in two new entrances from Hwy 71 South, all newly paved roads, and a completely renovated drainage system. The biggest announcement of the day to a room of LSUA allies was the news that the innovative Student Success Center has been fully funded through private giving and state investment. LSUA expects to break ground on the transformative new space for students in the fall.
LSUA’s Senior Leadership Team is a dynamic group supporting the work and vision of Chancellor Paul Coreil. Each is grateful for the opportunity to report on the many great things happening daily at LSUA.
Written by Adam Lord
Photo credit - Nathan Parish and Cameron Mosely