By Christopher Galvan
On Wednesday, the California State University announced the naming of Loren J. Blanchard as executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for all 23 campuses in the system. His selection was the product of a rigorous nation-wide search for qualified candidates.
Blanchardwill be responsible for the design and execution of educational policies for all CSU campuses. In addition to overseeing a team of more than 120 employees, he will serve as ChancellorTimothyP. White’s designee at the CSU’s Academic Senate and advise the Board of Trustees. In addition, Blanchard will lead the CSU’s Graduation Initiative, designed to increase student success rates throughout the system.
“I am both enthusiastic and honored to accept this new role and join Chancellor White’s leadership team,”Blanchard said.”I look forward to working with the CSU campuses to help them in achieving their academic, research and student success goals.”
Blanchard was previously the associate vice chancellor for Academic and Multicultural Affairs at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, as well as a professor at its School of Allied Health. He also served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Louisiana in Baton Rouge. There, he worked to improve coordination between eight regional universities and pursue community, academic and research goals. He was the provost and senior vice president for accreditation, leadership and accountability for the University of Louisiana, as well as the accreditation specialist with the Louisiana Department of Education. Blanchardthen went on toserveas provost and senior vice president of academic affairsat Xavier University of Louisiana.
During hisprofessorial tenure at Xavier,he initially served as chair and associate professor for Xavier’s education division, and as the university’s coordinator for national accreditation with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. He was thentasked with implementing academic policy and coordinating academic programs. He and his programs have been credited with enhancing the economic, social and cultural impacts of the university.
In a statement, Xavier University President Norman C. Francis said that Blanchard’s new position is an honor for the university.
“This is a bittersweet moment for me personally and professionally,” said Francis. “It is truly an honor that one of Xavier’s own has been selected to a top position at the largest four-year comprehensive public higher education system in the United States.”
Under his leadership at Xavier, the university became the country’s leader in awarding bachelor of science degrees to African Americans, and increasing the number of students who go on to graduate from medical school. He is also credited with bolstering academic support programs at Xavier, further increasing graduation and student retention rates, implementing a faculty award program and securing competitive grants for financial and academic student support.
“I am very pleased to have a leader of Dr. Blanchard’s caliber as our chief academic officer,”said White.”Without question, Dr. Blanchard has the vision and talent to propel us forward as we fulfill our obligation to meet the educational needs of our highly diverse student population thereby sustaining the vitality of California’s society and economy.”
The previous executive vice chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, Ephraim Smith, retired in July 2014. Blanchard will resign at Xavier and begin working with the CSU in July.
Blanchard received a bachelor’s of science in speech pathology from Xavier, a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from McNeese State University and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Georgia.
Photo courtesy of Xavier University
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