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Contact: Christine Payton March 2, 2007
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Dr. Ray AuthementDr. Ray Authement, president of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, was honored by his higher education peers March 1. Authement and Dr. Norman Francis, Xavier University president, were the honorees at the 69th annual Conference of Louisiana Colleges and Universities.

The organization met at the Houmas House plantation in Darrow. The two distinguished Louisiana educators were recognized during an awards ceremony.

Authement is the longest-serving public university president in the country with more than 32 years of service. Francis is the longest-serving private university president in the country with 39 years of service.

“ Dr. Authement is one of the most respected education leaders in the country,” said University of Louisiana System President Sally Clausen. “Colleagues turn to him for advice on academic issues, fund raising, economic development, money management and politics. We observe how students, faculty, and staff respect him, yet affectionately, call him ‘Doc’ as though he were a doctor of everything. Mastering all he has undertaken, Dr. Authement has set the standard for quality, scholarship and courage of conviction.”

Authement was named president of the university in 1974, after serving a year as its acting president. Under his guidance, the university has become a major economic force in Acadiana, while earning a national reputation in the fields of computer science, nursing, environmental and biological research, and Francophone Studies.

He is responsible for the development of University Research Park, which today houses numerous national research centers, the LITE facility and a hotel. During his administration, UL Lafayette became a selective admission institution and the first Doctoral II university in Louisiana.

He was a major force in successful efforts to change the name of the university from the University of Southwestern Louisiana to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Since Authement became the university's fifth president, Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns have competed in NCAA Division 1, the highest level of collegiate athletic competition. The football team is a member of NCAA Division 1-A.

In addition, the university has seen a construction boom in the past decade that has produced the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, Moody Hall, a new Computer Science building and Legacy Park apartments. Major renovations of the Dupre Library have also been completed and a 400-plus parking garage is being constructed on campus.

The university’s gifted assets surpassed $100 million during the Investing in Our Future Centennial campaign under Authement’s direction. UL Lafayette has 18 Endowed Chairs; each of these is valued at $1,000,000. Also, the university has two endowed chairs funded entirely through private sources. The most recent addition to the university's funded chairs is an endowed super chair in telecommunications, valued at $2,000,000.

The university has more than 140 endowed professorships through the Board of Regents matching program valued at $100,000 each with 29 endowed professorships funded through private sources.

The statewide CLCU conference attracts higher education leaders and practitioners from across the state to exchange ideas on how to better educate the state ’s college students.

Document last revised Friday, March 2, 2007 10:41 AM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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