Archived News | Return to News Center

March 28, 2010

ULM’s Cofer receives executive leadership award

Dr. James E. Cofer Sr., president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, is this year’s recipient of the E. Joseph Savoie Chief Executive Leadership Award.

Cofer received the award March 28 in Austin, Texas, marking his eighth anniversary at ULM.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education established the prestigious award in 1999 to recognize the chief executive of a District IV CASE member institution for outstanding leadership and service in support of education. It is an opportunity for CASE to recognize the creative and difficult work of top educational executives whose contributions to their campuses and communities deserve exceptional notice and praise. District IV encompasses Arkansas, Mexico, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

"When we looked at the presidents who were nominated, Dr. Cofer stood out not only for his qualifications, but because he brought a fresh face, a new hope, and a renewed enthusiasm to ULM,” said Chair-elect of CASE District IV Liz Landry.

Cofer became ULM president on March 28, 2002, during a time of declining enrollment, financial deficits, and deteriorating infrastructure. He and First Lady Deborah Cofer immediately set about to address these issues by first displaying a high degree of visibility and personal interest for all university functions. They then launched the "Reclaiming Our Campus" campaign, which involved over 2,000 students, faculty, staff, community leaders, and area citizens who cleaned, planted flowers and repainted the campus.

Under Dr. Cofer’s leadership, transformational changes to the physical and intellectual infrastructure of the university have resulted in significant progress and renewed pride for both the community and region. New facilities for the university’s flagship pharmacy program ensures its continued accreditation and position as the only state-supported College of Pharmacy.

To engage alumni and supporters, Cofer led the university in pursuing relationships with business and industry, artists, musicians, community leaders, and educators. City and community support is now at an all-time high and the ULM name and logo are displayed throughout northeast Louisiana, reflecting a revived sense of pride.

“He has established a unique living and learning environment that supports the whole student by providing opportunities to supplement classroom learning with civic involvement,” wrote one nominator. “Today, ULM is a vibrant college community looked upon as the region’s premier educational, cultural and economic center.”

To qualify nominees demonstrate the ability to:

In 2007 the award was renamed in honor of Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, then Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Louisiana, for his extraordinary leadership in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Prior E. Joseph Savoie Chief Executive Leadership Award Recipients

1999 - Hans Brisch, Chancellor, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

2000 - R. Gerald Turner, President, Southern Methodist University

2001 - Robert Furgason, President, Texas A & M University - Corpus Christi

2002 - John Mendelsohn, President, University of Texas - M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

2003 - Rick Niece, President, University of the Ozarks, Arkansas

2004 - Norman C. Francis, Xavier University

2005 - John D. Stobo, University of Texas Medical Branch

2006 - Oscar C. Page, Austin College

2007 - E. Joseph Savoie, Commissioner for Higher Education, State of Louisiana

2008 - Jake B. Schrum, President, Southwestern University

2009 - James Simmons, President, Lamar University

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.