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First Year Message

To: The University Community
From: Stephen T. Hulbert, President

Today marks my first anniversary as the President of Nicholls State University. A year ago my wife, Becky, and I arrived with “Bill” the tropical storm. That stormy weekend led to 12 months of almost constant activity, as we met with the University family and visited with the broader community throughout the University’s 10 parish service area.

This past year has been both exciting and rewarding. I want to thank the faculty, staff and student body for their individual and collective support as I became better acquainted with this wonderful University. Additionally, I would like to extend a special “thank you” to emeriti faculty and staff, and to the broader community including, alumni, foundation members and university supporters across the tri-parish area and beyond.

The genuine warmth with which Becky and I have been greeted has made our first year at Nicholls and in the Bayou Region most enjoyable.
As a presidential candidate, I knew a good deal about Nicholls State University and its academic programs. My experiences over the past year have only strengthened those initial perceptions. The faculty is professionally strong, actively engaged in strengthening the academic program, established in research and with a fine record of service and grantsmanship. Additionally, faculty members consistently devote considerable time to working with students in a mentoring role.

At all levels, the Nicholls staff is committed to the University and to the service role each of us shares outside the classroom. I am particularly appreciative of the responsiveness of staff in addressing service enhancements to better respond to the needs of students and faculty alike.
Last year the University community faced a presidential transition with some uncertainty. I believe that we have progressively come to work well together and are building a bond based on trust and mutual respect. The leadership transition continues in the 2004-2005 year, with the arrival of Carroll Falcon as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. That transition also continues with Sue Westbrook assuming the deanship in the restructured College of Nursing and Allied Health; B.R. Asrabadi assuming the Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Al Davis assuming the interim deanship in the newly created University College.

At this time, I particularly want to recognize Larry Howell and Al Davis who served Nicholls and this new president so very well in their respective roles as interim vice president and interim assistant vice president. I also would like to acknowledge the contributions of Alice Pecoraro, Grace Gueydan, Tom Mortillaro and Peter Strawitz who each left the service of Nicholls over the course of the past academic year. Their individual and collective record of service is well appreciated.

Many challenges and opportunities continue to face the Nicholls family in the year ahead. Together we will prepare for the final implementation of more selective admissions standards in the fall of 2005 and for the SACS accreditation review in 2006.

I believe that the collaborative manner in which we have all worked together this past year and, specifically, that involving the mission based organization review, puts us in a strong position as we begin the 2004-2005 year ahead.

Again, my thanks and sincere appreciation for everyone’s hard work and support over the past year. I genuinely look forward to the year ahead and to the opportunities we face together.

My best to each of you over the summer months ahead and throughout the 2004-2005 year ahead.

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