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Office of the President

Past Presidents


Clyde C. Colvert

ULM's 1st President - Dr. Clyde C. Colvert: 1931-1944

Dr. C.C. Colvert served as the first president of Ouachita Parish Junior College.

Born in Clarksville, Texas, he grew up in Eagle Mills, Arkansas, and received his master’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. from George Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee.

He worked as an educator for 13 years before T.O. Brown, superintendent of the Ouachita Parish School System, hired him to help establish the new junior college in Monroe in 1931.

Following a severe economic downturn in 1934, Colvert helped orchestrate an arrangement whereby the college would be operated by LSU as the Northeast Center of Louisiana State University.

In 1939, the name of the institution was changed to Northeast Junior College of Louisiana State University.

He stepped down as president in 1944 to assume a teaching position at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Colvert died in 1991.

William Cline

ULM's 2nd President - Dr. William Rodney Cline: 1944-1950

Dr. William Rodney Cline is a graduate of Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (now Louisiana Tech University) and earned a masters degree from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. from George Peabody College for Teachers.

He taught at various schools in south Louisiana and at the demonstration school at Louisiana Tech where he also taught education.

He later served as academic dean at Louisiana Tech before becoming dean of John McNeese Junior College (now McNeese State University) in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

He is the author of numerous scholarly publications in the field of education.

William Cline

ULM's 3rd President - Lewis Cecil Slater: 1950-1958

Lewis C. Slater was born in Severy, Kansas, in 1893.

He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Colorado in 1914 and the master’s degree in chemistry and engineering from Louisiana State University in 1915.

Slater joined the Northeast Center of LSU staff in 1938 as head of the Department of Biology and Natural Sciences

Between teaching assignments, he was the chief chemist for Bogalusa Pulp and Paper Company and the Bastrop Pulp and Paper Company.

Slater was named president of the newly-designated Northeast Louisiana State College, a four-year institution, in 1950.

He retired from the institution in 1958.

George T. WalkerULM's 4th President - Dr. George T. Walker: 1958-1976

Dr. George T. Walker was born in Jonesboro, Louisiana, in 1913.

He earned a bachelors degree from Northwestern State University in 1935, a masters degree in accounting and business administration from LSU in 1936, and a Ph.D. in business administration from LSU in 1948.

From 1935 to 1940, Walker taught commerce at several universities in Louisiana, including the Northeast Center of LSU in Monroe. From 1945 to 1948, Walker served as assistant to the dean of the Junior Division, Louisiana State University.

In 1948, he was named dean of applied arts and sciences at Northwestern State College and was later named dean of administration.

He assumed the presidency of Northeast Louisiana State College in 1958 and began an era of tremendous growth in academics, enrollment, buildings and infrastructure.

In 1970, he oversaw the renaming of the institution to Northeast Louisiana University, its fifth name change since the institution's inception 1931.

Dr. Walker died June 19, 2011.

Dwight D. VinesULM's 5th President - Dr. Dwight D. Vines: 1976-1991

Dr. Dwight D. Vines was born in Jackson Parish in 1931.

He earned his bachelors degree from Northwestern State University, his M.B.A. from LSU and his Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Colorado.

He joined the faculty at Northeast Louisiana University in 1958 as an instructor of management, and advanced through the academic ranks to professor.

In addition, he served as dean of the College of Business Administration for nine years before being named president of NLU.

Dr. Vines died October 25, 2019.




Lawson L. Swearingen, Jr

ULM's 6th President - Lawson L. Swearingen: 1991-2001

Lawson L. Swearingen, Jr., was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1944 and raised in Ruston, Louisiana.

He received his B.A. in government from Northeast Louisiana University (NLU) in 1966 and earned his J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1969.

Swearingen practiced law in Monroe for 22 years, which included 11 years of service as a state senator in the Louisiana legislature.

In 1991, he was tapped to serve as president of NLU.

During his tenure as President of University of Louisiana Monroe, the institution:

  • Added three doctoral degrees and two master degrees
  • Changed the name from Northeast Louisiana University to University of Louisiana Monroe
  • Obtained capital outlay funds consisting of public appropriations and private contributions of more than $45,000,000, which were utilized to build and/or renovate multiple buildings on campus, including the University’s 7-story signature building housing the Library, Administrative Offices, and Conference Center.
  • Achieved 98.2% academic program eligibility for accreditation – highest among all public universities and colleges in Louisiana at that time
  • The total assets of the ULM Foundation doubled from $16,900,000 in 1991 to $34,200,000 in 2001
  • Major gift program for ULM: added six (6) $1,000,000 Endowed Chairs and thirty-four (34) $100,000 Endowed Professorships.
  • Elevated the intercollegiate athletic football program from the Football Championship Series (FCS) to the Football Bowl Series (FBS). 

Swearingen currently lives in Fairhope, Alabama.


James E. Cofer, Sr.

ULM's 7th President - Dr. James E. Cofer: 2002-2010

Dr. James E. Cofer was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1949.

He received his bachelor degree in business administration and his M.B.A. from Mississippi State University. He earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1998.

Cofer served as the Vice President for Finance and Administration with the University of Missouri System and the University of Arkansas System. In 1995 as an Eisenhower Exchange Fellow, Cofer worked in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Culture in Budapest, Hungary.

He has also served as the chief fiscal officer for the State of Mississippi and the University System of Georgia.

His tenure at ULM was marked by a renewed collegiality and campus renaissance with emphasis on student-centered learning, 56 academic accreditations, a remarkable physical transformation of ULM's campus, and "anytime, anywhere, anyplace instruction," resulting in additional online courses and degree programs.

Cofer is retired and lives with his wife Deborah in Colleyville, Texas.


ULM's 8th President - Dr. Nick J. Bruno: 2010-2020

Dr. Nick J. Bruno

Dr. Nick J. Bruno was born in Tangipahoa Parish in 1951. 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from Southeastern Louisiana University. He earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Mississippi. He served as an adjunct member of Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Business faculty where he taught Strategic Management.

Bruno served as the Vice President for Business Affairs at the University of Louisiana System and at ULM. 

During his tenure at ULM, Dr. Bruno led the institution through one of the most significant financial crises that higher education in Louisiana ever faced, recruited the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine to open its Louisiana location on the campus of ULM, numerous facilities were added or renovated, added academic programs, and retention and graduation rates reached record highs. 

Bruno is retired, and he and his wife Linda live near Amite, Louisiana.