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From the President's Desk - Blog

From the President's Desk - Blog

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

Building for the Future

September 24, 2012

More than $50 million in construction and renovation projects are underway on campus. Add that to the recently completed $17.8 million Shearman Fine Arts Building Annex, the $10.5 million expansion and renovation to the Jack V. Doland Field House, a $1.3 million project to revitalize and update the Quad and the acquisition of the old Charles Cinema property on Sale Road, and you have quite a campus makeover!
A question that I am frequently asked is "How can McNeese afford to have so many construction projects underway?" The simple answer is that each of these projects has been fully funded almost entirely outside our operating budget. 
For example, the new parking garage resulted from a vote of the students, who agreed to tax themselves to the tune of $75 per semester in order to enhance pedestrian safety and reduce parking problems.  This three-story facility will hold 880 vehicles and will be equipped with the latest technology including LED lighting, a top-of-the-line security system and digital counters on each level to tell students how many parking spots are still available.
The new SEED Center, which is scheduled for completion in March, was funded with grants from the parish and fro