Dr. Jay Clune became president of Nicholls State University on Jan. 1, 2018, becoming the first alumni to lead the university. Before he was named President by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, Dr. Clune served as the interim dean of the graduate school at the University of West Florida. He brings to the position more than two decades of experience in higher education as a faculty member and administrator.
A Houma native, Dr. Clune graduated from Nicholls State University with a bachelor of science degree in marketing in 1986. In the fall of 1987, he entered the Peace Corps and spent two years in Guatemala. There he helped develop 4-H clubs, sanitation projects and agricultural cooperatives. Upon returning to the United States he sought to further his education. He received a master’s degree in Latin American studies, with concentrations in history and international business, from the University of Alabama in 1990, and his doctorate in history from LSU in 1997, where he earned a Fulbright scholarship to study in Seville, Spain.
Over the past 13 years, Dr. Clune has moved up through the administrative ranks. He has chaired two academic departments and served as coordinator of the SACSCOC regional accreditation reaffirmation. He also served as associate vice provost for academic programs and interim vice provost.
Along with his extensive leadership experience, Dr. Clune has spent the last two decades in the classroom. He rose through the ranks as an assistant professor of history in 1997 at West Florida to a full professor in 2009. During that time, he has served as the chair of the department of philosophy and religious studies and the chair of the department of history.
In 2007, Dr. Clune launched the University of West Florida’s first commercial startup, the Next Exit History mobile application. The app uses GPS technology to highlight podcasts about historic sites accessible from Florida’s interstates. NEH now includes 60,000 historical markers and has been accessed by more than 10,000 users. He also developed Mistory, a podcast series about unsolved historical crimes.
Among his scholarly accomplishments, Dr. Clune is an award-winning author of two books, has published dozens of articles and received the University of West Florida Teaching Incentive Performance Award in 2004. As an administrator, he received the Marion Viccars Award for outstanding performance.
Dr. Clune is married to Allison and is the father of two daughters, Gabrielle and Caroline.