by Clancy DuBos
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges has given final approval for the University of New Orleans to join the University of Louisiana System. That approval came today (Tuesday, Dec. 6) after five months of transition that began when state lawmakers approved the move this past summer. Approval also comes just days before the UL System board is set to pick a new chancellor for the lakefront campus.
Two finalists have emerged in the chancellor search. They are Peter J. Fos, professor and program director of health policy and systems management at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans; and Michael A. Wartell, chancellor and professor of chemistry at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Both men will be interviewed this Friday before the UL System board meeting; board members will then confer and choose a new UNO chancellor.
UL System President Randy Moffett, who also chaired the chancellor search committee, said the following in a prepared statement:
“Before we started this transition, I was told UNO’s greatest strength was its people. Over the past several months, I have grown to appreciate all of you — the talented, hard-working and dedicated faculty, staff and students at New Orleans’ urban research university — and it is with great warmth that I welcome you into the UL System family. The addition of UNO complements our eight regional, comprehensive, research universities, truly making the UL System nine universities strong.
“Historically the largest system in Louisiana in terms of student enrollment, the addition of UNO brings total enrollment to about 94,000 at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the University of New Orleans.
“The UL System collaborates in a variety of ways and it is in that vein that the Board of Supervisors and each of the system’s universities extend warm wishes to UNO.”