Leslie Turk

T-Joe on the job

by Leslie Turk

Only the sixth president in UL Lafayette's more than 100-year history, T-Joe Savoie assumed the reins today from Ray Authement. He is meeting informally with faculty and staff, Student Government Association officers and deans of the university's colleges. He will have lunch with members of University Council, which is composed of the university's vice presidents and other key administrators. Students, faculty and staff will also have a chance to meet the new president during an ice cream social to be held in the Student Union.

Authement has retired after serving for 34 years.

The former commissioner of higher education, Savoie has strong ties to UL. Prior to his appointment to that post in 1996, he served in many roles on UL's campus, including vice president for university advancement, executive director of the Alumni Association, program director for the Union Program Council and student government adviser, as well as an adjunct assistant professor.

He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education from UL Lafayette and earned a doctor of education in educational leadership and administration from Columbia University's Teachers College in New York.

Savoie was involved in several recent major postsecondary education reforms in Louisiana, including:

• the restructuring of higher education governance;

• creation of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System;

• teacher education and school reform initiatives;and

• the state's master plan for public postsecondary education.

Under his leadership, financial support for public postsecondary education more than doubled and Louisiana's colleges and universities have become more engaged in addressing Louisiana's economic and social challenges.

Govs. Mike Foster, Edwin Edwards and Kathleen Blanco all tapped him for higher education committees and commissions in their administrations. Additionally, he was a cabinet member in Foster, Blanco and Jindal's administrations.

(Photo by Terri Fensel)