Commissioner of Higher Education

Position Details

The Louisiana Board of Regents has opened the search for the new Commissioner of Higher Education. This position reports directly to the Board and provides coordinating, collaborative leadership with the presidents of Louisiana’s four systems of public postsecondary education: Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Louisiana State University System, Southern University System, and the University of Louisiana System.

The Board of Regents is the policy-making and coordinating body working with the management boards for the colleges and universities to enhance Louisiana’s social and economic environment through accessible, affordable, and excellent postsecondary education. The Board plays a leading role in driving statewide initiatives, among them the approval of academic programs, final review of capital projects, and distribution of state general fund monies to the system entities. The Board and its Commissioner are supported by a full-time staff of 209 employees among the Board’s programs, the Louisiana Office of Financial Assistance, and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. The Board’s initiatives include the Louisiana Optical Network Infrastructure and LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network.

The Regents seek an individual possessing exceptional qualities of leadership, statesmanship, and unquestionable commitment to the state’s public higher education mission. The Commissioner should have an appreciation for the culture of Louisiana and a vision for shaping the future of the state through the higher education opportunities afforded its traditional, non-traditional, and online learners. The Commissioner must engage in creative, hands-on problem solving while carrying out the goals and policies of the Board of Regents in a responsive manner. Building upon past accomplishments, the candidate will be a strong thought-leader and sensitive change-agent.

The successful candidate will demonstrate and exhibit the following:

  • Champion of a student-centered environment at all levels of academic programming, services, and the general well-being of the student;
  • Capacity and ability to engage in a transparent, shared leadership and governance process;
  • Demonstrable record of understanding and supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives;
  • Proven success in fiscal oversight, budgeting, and resource generation;
  • Strategic, entrepreneurial, and resourceful management style with a vision for the long-term success of the systems;
  • Politically astute with the ability to coordinate and balance the Board’s oversight of interconnected missions in P-20 education, liberal arts, workforce, research, and public service;
  • Knowledge of the technology framework necessary for the systems’ online, classroom, and blended learning growth opportunities;
  • Strong advocate of entities and the Board of Regents’ and Commissioner’s roles on behalf of the systems;
  • Capacity to be flexible, responsive, and forthcoming in a complex political milieu, developing and sustaining positive relationships with state officials, policymakers, and the public;
  • Understanding of national higher education issues and their impact on Louisiana;
  • Contributor to a systemwide environment, inspiring trust that both attracts and retains talent;
  • Excellent listening, communication, and leadership skills;
  • Senior-level administrative/academic experience, preferably in a higher education setting;
  • and Earned advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

Nominations and Inquiries

Letters of interest and nominations for the Commissioner of Higher Education should be received by February 13, 2018. Responses must include a letter of interest addressing the qualifications described (not more than 3 pages); a current résumé; and the names of five professional references with each person’s position, office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers. The Commissioner of Higher Education will assume office on or about July 1, 2018.

The search is being assisted by James H. McCormick, Tom Layzell, and Janice Fitzgerald, Executive Search Consultants. Contact may be made at, 651-238-5188;, 217-691-0462; or, 717-580-0663. Responses should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to For more information about the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Commissioner search, go to

No person shall, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, veteran status, or any other non-merit based factor, be discriminated against in any employment practice. The agency is committed to this policy because it is our belief that it is morally right, it is good human resource management, and it is legally required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.