Skip to main content

From the President's Desk - Blog

From the President's Desk - Blog

McNeese Strategic Plan Update - Part 1

(August 19, 2014)

The 2014-2015 academic year at McNeese has arrived and it is also the second half of our 75th Anniversary celebration year.  We have had a great time looking back on some of the memories and milestones of McNeese over the past 75 years.  Now it is time to look to the future. 

You may remember that back in the fall of 2012 we released a 5-year strategic plan for McNeese.  We are now beginning our third year of that plan.  It addresses four main goals, each goal focusing on igniting innovation for McNeese and all of Southwest Louisiana:  first, to cultivate innovative teaching and learning; second, to cultivate innovative collaboration with an expanding list of regional partners; third, to cultivate a McNeese "brand" that embraces a culture of innovation; and fourth, to cultivate a physical environment that promotes a spirit of innovation.

In this blog over the next few weeks I'll expand a bit more about how we are achieving these goals at McNeese. Today I'll share some examples of how we are implementing Goal #1 - the cultivation of innovative teaching and learning methods.

Our students have always had the advantage of smaller class sizes allowing for more individual interaction

Graduation rates and their effects

(May 13, 2014)

In just a few days, we are expecting to confer degrees to 818 students, making the Spring Class of 2014 the largest in McNeese's history.  This is a great achievement and one that we can all be proud of whether we are students, alumni, committed faculty, staff members, or valued community supporters. But suppose I told you that half of these graduates may not be counted toward McNeese's graduation rate, which can affect monetary resources that we receive from the state.  Allow me to explain.

Graduation rates are routinely used as a yardstick to measure performance and to allocate financial resources. In Louisiana, universities gain increased autonomy and flexibility by meeting statewide performance goals, including annual increases in graduation rates, as outlined in the LA GRAD (Granting Resources and Autonomy for Diplomas) Act.

The graduation rate statistic is a decent measure of success for private, elite liberal arts colleges where students tend to be traditional, residential students who are not commuting to campus.  However, with regional comprehensive universities like McNeese where we have large numbers of commuters, transfer students, and non-traditional students, the graduation rate statistic can be

KBYS means exciting things for McNeese

Radio station logo(March 31, 2014)

President's Day: A Celebration of Leadership at McNeese

February 24, 2014

As part of our 75th Anniversary Year, we recently took a few moments to celebrate the leadership that carried McNeese through the decades to bring us to where we are today.  On February 17 - President's Day, we held a program and reception at our new SEED center recognizing the five presidents that preceded me.  Each man brought unique leadership qualities and lasting contributions to our university. Allow me to share with you a few highlights about each of them:

President Frazar  - In 1949, Lether Edward Frazar presided over the transition of McNeese from a junior college to a four-year institution and was named its first President on August 15, 1950. He retired from McNeese in 1955 in order to run successfully as Lieutenant Governor on the Earl Long ticket. On November 11,1961, McNeese dedicated Frazar Memorial Library in his honor.

President Cusic - Dr. Wayne Cusic was a basketball coach and the second president of McNeese from 1955 to 1969. He came to McNeese in 1940 as an instructor in Health and Physical Education and an athletic coach.  He later served as counselor to men, Director of the Department of Education, Director of Athletics, and Dean of Men. He was also the

Rankings, Value and Student Success

October 7, 2013

McNeese has received a lot of national attention lately for its academic excellence, student success and fiscal responsibility and I cannot think of a better way to launch our 2014 yearlong 75th anniversary celebration!

For the second consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked McNeese in the top tier of regional universities in its 2014 Best Colleges publication.

Adam Johnson, a 1996 graduate of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction with his novel, "The Orphan Master's Son," set in North Korea. Adam studied under former McNeese MFA professor Robert Olen Butler who won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for fiction while teaching at McNeese.

Poets and Writers magazine moved the McNeese MFA program up to #22 in the nation. It has been nationally ranked among 25 programs in the nation for two consecutive years.

McNeese is recognized as one of the top public institutions for offering affordable tuition and high average salary earnings for its graduates.

The 15th McNeese faculty member has received a Fulbright Award to teach or conduct research at a university on another continent.

A visual arts major won the University's first national st