Dec. 17, 2002
In a "Dear Colleagues" letter to the faculty this afternoon, Dr. James Cofer, President of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, announced the naming of Dr. Stephen P. Richters as the Provost and Academic Vice President of ULM. Richters has been serving as the Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs at ULM since April 2002.
Cofer said the decision to name Richters was not an easy one, "After very careful deliberation, discussion, and prayer, I believe that Steve is the right person for this job at this point in our history. I am extensively swayed by results. We are much better off now than we were a year ago, and Steve has been a major player in the metamorphosis of the campus. He is unanimously trusted and supported in Baton Rouge, and the executive team has an unusually good chemistry which allows us to get things done."
Cofer goes on to say in his letter to the faculty, "After
interviewing all the candidates, hearing the opinions of many
of our senior faculty, and knowing the situation that faces us
today and over the next few years, it is my opinion that we cannot
afford a nine to eighteen month learning curve that would be
required of the other well-qualified candidates. Steve knows
the campus, its problems and its strengths. He knows the high
schools, our legislative delegation, and the staff of the Boards
of Supervisors and Regents. We will be able to continue without
hesitation our work to reinvent ULM. We do not need a Provost
that will be with us for three years and then move to another
position; you and I need a Provost that will be with us for seven
to ten years. We need long-term continuity in that position and
in my opinion Steve is the candidate that assures us of continued
loyalty to ULM."
"As Provost I will place major emphasis on increased involvement by the faculty in decisions relating to academic and fiscal matters. I believe everyone is a leader and involvement is key. I along with President Cofer will make this a goal of my tenure as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs," said Richters.
Before becoming Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs at ULM, Richters was Associate Professor and Head of Mathematics and Physics at ULM.
Dr. Luke Thomas, Chairman of the Provost and Vice President Search Committee and Professor and Head of the Department of Health and Human Performance at ULM said, "We had a lot of really strong applicants and we felt the process went well. The president had a difficult decision to make and now that he has made it I'm looking forward to working with the president and with Dr. Richters to continue the progress we have made over the last nine months."
Richters' appointment is pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.