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Chancellor Llorens tells faculty that student retention is major focus in 2014

1/08/2014

Southern University Chancellor Dr. James L. Llorens welcomed faculty members back to the Baton Rouge campus on Wednesday morning, telling them that student recruitment and retention are major goals for this semester.

In his opening remarks at the Spring 2014 Faculty Convocation, Llorens said the university is continuing its battle for stability after years of state budget cuts and dwindling enrollment.

While the university enjoyed a huge 40 percent increase in its 2013 freshman class and a 2 percent rise in overall enrollment, the key now is to retain those students, he said. More emphasis should be made on tracking the progress of students throughout the semester and getting those that need assistance quicker, he said.

Speaking to about 250 faculty members in the ballroom of the Smith-Brown Memorial Union, Llorens said that it "will take a commitment from everyone" to continue building the school's enrollment.

He also talked about the university's celebration of its 100 years on the Baton Rouge campus during 2014. The major drive for the SUBR Centennial, he said, will be to raise funds to help students who need money to enroll and or to remain at Southern.

Llorens also praised the football team on its 2013 SWAC championship and the SU men's and women's basketball teams on their recent road trip wins against Prairie View University and Texas Southern University.

He also congratulated the SU Marching Band on its recent citation from the NCAA as the second best college marching band in the nation.

The exposure gained by success in athletics and the band selection helps in the university in the area of student recruitment, he said.

The convocation also included presentations by Dr. Verjanis Peoples, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, Dr. Monique Guillory-Winfield, the SU system's associate vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, and others.