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August 8, 2008

ULM initiative results in enhanced, progressive institutes

Dynamic progress transpires at ULM yet again, this time with the formation of the Graduate School and the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.

The development occurred on the recommendation of both the Graduate Council and the Research Council, so as to allow the university more effective focus on each of these critical areas. Formerly, both were housed in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

The Graduate School will utilize the administrative structure of a dean rather than a director. The new school’s mission will be to increase graduate enrollment by enhancing recruiting efforts for existing graduate programs as well as increasing the breadth of current offerings.

Dr. Lisa Colvin has taken the reins as associate dean of the ULM Graduate School. She began work at ULM in 2003 as a professor in the kinesiology department. She has served as the program coordinator for Exercise Science Pre-Physical Therapy, as the Graduate Exercise Science Program director, and the director of the Human Performance Laboratory.

Colvin expressed her pleasure at her new assignment. “I am very honored and excited to accept the position of associate dean of the Graduate School. Having the ability to further its mission as the preeminent school in the South is exciting and energizing. ULM's Graduate School is and will continue to be the go-to institution for graduate education in North Louisiana – and that’s just the beginning.”

The ULM Office of Sponsored Programs and Research will bolster the research, instructional, creative, and community service goals already strongly supported at ULM. The office’s many resources, including financial and technical, will support faculty and staff in writing and budgeting grants and contracts, creating public and private partnerships, and aiding technology development and transfer. The office will coordinate all sponsored program activities associated with the preparation and submission of grant proposals, and will act as a liaison with outside funding agencies.

Rene Hearns, most recently at Cleveland State University, began leading ULM’s Office of Sponsored Programs and Research July 28. Prior to her current position, she was the college fiscal officer and budget manager for Urban College. The duties of that position required the fiscal management and proposal development of a $10 million research portfolio. Other research administration positions held over the past 17 years have been in central, center and departmental units of public and private universities as well as at a county hospital.

As Hearns described it, “The director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research is the administrative liaison for all proposed or funded projects. This means that OSPR is now the ‘one stop shop’ for all your research needs. We will assist ULM’s faculty and staff in locating opportunities, completing applications, negotiating the award process, monitoring the project and resolving the closeout process.

“I find this to be a great opportunity to assist faculty and staff in their efforts to expand their field’s knowledge through funded research. It is very rewarding to be able to help people achieve their goals. I look forward to creating a research enterprise for which the principal investigators find that the administration is almost as second nature as they find the rules of their disciplines.”

Currently, she is working on her dissertation. “I enjoy many things, especially teaching and learning. Over the years, my passions led me through a few degrees and certifications to the current point of ABD in urban studies and public affairs. My dissertation’s research focuses on the impact of engaged learning on direct and indirect citizen participation.”

For more information about this development, contact Academic Affairs at (318) 342-1025.

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