An Alabama native with a doctorate in higher education administration, Dr. Jim Purcell served for a time in the mid to late '90s as the director of planning and assessment at Our Lady of Lake College in Baton Rouge.
[Editor's Note: This story has been modified from its original to reflect that Dr. Jim Purcell is the only finalist for the job and is the only candidate being interviewed by the Board of Regents. According to board spokeswoman Meg Casper, if Purcell is not selected as commissioner, the search process will begin anew.]
Louisiana's higher education authority will interview the sole candidate for the post of commissioner on Wednesday in Baton Rouge. Appearing before the Board of Regents is Dr. Jim Purcell, currently the director of higher education for the state of Arkansas. An Alabama native with a doctorate in higher education administration, Purcell served for a time in the mid to late '90s as the director of planning and assessment at Our Lady of Lake College in Baton Rouge.
Purcell is the finalist for the post recommended by Greenwood/Asher and Associates, the firm hired by the board to conduct the search for a new commissioner. Other applicants who were not selected but who applied were Dr. David Dzielak, associate vice chancellor for strategic research alliances at the University of Mississippi Medical Center; Donald Edwards, an attorney and former vice chancellor of operations and planning for the Alabama Community College System; Dr. Judith James, who most recently served as a post-secondary education consultant for the U.S. Department of Education; and Dr. Robert Jennings, an administrator for Gems, Inc., a state-licensed, private primary/secondary academy in Georgia.
Purcell's public interview begins at 11 a.m. in the Louisiana Purchase Room of the Claiborne Building. The interview can viewed live on streaming video here.