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December 13, 2007

ULM survey results show strong campus support

The results are in, and it’s clear that University of Louisiana at Monroe students, faculty, staff, and alumni have overwhelmingly positive perceptions of their university, according to recent survey results.

The survey, conducted as part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ reaffirmation of accreditation process, was designed to measure campus perceptions. What it found is that 97 percent polled agree ULM is moving forward, 96 percent believe ULM students receive a high quality education, 94 percent believe the University fosters an atmosphere of collegiality, and 96 percent were proud of their association with the University.

Associate Provost Eric Pani said, “These results clearly point to the positive effects of the 2002-2007 Strategic Plan. The SACS reviewers will be very pleased that input came from so many people and all sectors of the university community, as they always want to be sure that data are representative.”

Jeffrey Cass, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, praised the positive implications of the survey. “The results clearly show the advances that the Administration has made in the mind of the campus community with regard to leadership, strategic and fiscal planning, facilities management, and academic vision. These are not hollow numbers, but indicators of how closely students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members have worked to secure a reputation for ULM that stands for excellence, even as the University opens its doors wide to welcome students of all ages and all walks of life.”

The results yield positive perceptions about diversity at the institution. Ninety-seven percent believe ULM embraces students, faculty, and staff from different races, cultures, and beliefs while 91 percent agree diversity in the classroom is an important part of a college education.

Dr. Paul Karlowitz, business manager for the College of Arts and Sciences was not surprised at the positive results. “Just look at all the progress, from new facilities and updated infrastructure, to modernized state-of-the-art classrooms, and more improvements yet to come. I think our progress has been amazing, and I look forward to our very bright future.”

ULM President James Cofer expressed his respect and appreciation for the faculty and staff’s unceasing hard work. “We have much to be proud of. Consistently, the focus is on providing the best overall college experience—I am humbled to work with such dedicated individuals, who clearly continue to put our students first.

“The pride everyone has in ULM, the quality of the education received, our faculty’s commitment to student learning, the recognition of how important diversity is in the classroom, our embracement of that diversity, and the commitment of our alumni in giving back to the university—this is the environment we support.”

Results also showed high levels of satisfaction with the university’s leadership with 88 percent confidence in the administration, 91 percent confidence in the President, and 93 percent confidence in the staff. Furthermore, 91 percent believe the leadership of the university has the courage to make difficult decisions and 95 percent of staff agrees ULM is a good place to work.

Dr. Ron Berry, dean of the College of Business Administration said, “The results of the survey are truly outstanding and indicative of what the ULM family already knew—this is a great place to work and to learn. The results also validate the outstanding work of President Cofer and his cabinet, and our faculty, staff and students.”

Dr. Gordon Harvey, head of the history department, agreed. “The results from this survey confirm what most of us who teach at ULM already know: that over the past five years, ULM has become a better place to work, teach, and learn, than perhaps at any time in its existence."

Local business owner Don Weems, who has served ULM at various times as director of alumni affairs, president of the Athletic Association, and president of the Alumni Association, was happy to see the support for the university. “The survey results didn’t surprise me—it just reinforces that everyone else has the same feeling that I have had for the last five years.”

Weems is currently on several university committees. “I see the way they conduct themselves at meetings, the can-do attitude. They discuss possibilities and how to make them happen, not if they can. So much talent and creative thought is good for all of us. It’s been a transparent, open process, right down to the selection of the new mascot. That‘s what happens when things are going well—you feel it in every event. It’s fun to be a part of it.”

“These are positive results on all levels,” said University of Louisiana System President Sally Clausen. “I applaud President Cofer for initiating this type of feedback from his campus constituents. It is no secret that great things are happening at the University of Louisiana at Monroe – from the remarkable physical transformation of the campus, to student and faculty successes, to the pride felt throughout the community. Congratulations to the entire ULM campus on their great work.”

The survey was conducted from Oct. 9 through Nov. 21 to gauge perceptions of the university as part of the institution’s SACS reaffirmation process. The survey was posted on ULM’s Web site and yielded over 2,000 participants (733 alumni, 240 faculty, 315 staff, and 758 students).

Complete survey results can be found at:

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