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August 4, 2006

ULM welcomes Delta's chancellor

The University of Louisiana at Monroe rolled out the red carpet Thursday to welcome Louisiana Delta Community College's new leader.

Chancellor Luke Robins moved into his new Delta office exactly one month ago. Since then, he's been caught in a whirlwind of activities ranging from getting acclimated to visiting with Gov. Kathleen Blanco on Wednesday.

So Thursday's event was a chance for him to relax and socialize. "It's great," Robins said between conversations. "This is a wonderful reception and it's great the hospitality that (ULM President James Cofer) has shown.

"It's been a very busy couple of weeks."

The reception also offered the first public introduction of Robins' wife, Mary Jane.

"It's just been such a warm and welcoming community," she said. "I can't tell you how impressed I am."

With the state set to construct Delta a new home next year at Interstate 20 and U.S. 165 in Monroe, Luke Robins said the negotiations could be finished in September — just in time for more detailed design work to begin.

But while Delta still coexists on ULM's campus and will continue

to in the near future, Cofer said ULM will continue to work with Robins to strengthen the bonds between the two institutions.

Such collaboration between ULM and Delta has steadily increased since Barry Delcambre became interim chancellor and is continuing under Robins.

"We tried to do it before and were rebuffed," Cofer said, pointing out that Delcambre and Robins have been welcoming to partnerships. "That's what we're about. If we work together it can only help Monroe, Ouachita Parish and the region."

Being "in the same business," Cofer said it is only natural to formally welcome Robins to the area.

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