GRAMBLING, Louisiana (The Sun) – In a surprise turn of events, the University of Louisiana System (UL System) board has witnessed a significant leadership shakeup with far-reaching implications for higher education in the state. Dr. Jim Henderson, who has been at the helm of the UL System for nearly seven years, is set to take over as the new president of Louisiana Tech University. Simultaneously, the UL System board has unanimously appointed Richard J. “Rick” Gallot, Jr. as the new president of the UL System, marking a transition that holds profound significance for Grambling State University, where Gallot has been serving as the president.
While these changes come without competitive searches due to a suspension of the board’s rules, the decisions have been met with enthusiasm and anticipation from the academic community and the respective institutions.
Jim Henderson, who is no stranger to leadership roles in Louisiana’s higher education, is taking over as president at Louisiana Tech. Speaking about this transition, Henderson expressed his excitement, saying, “Louisiana Tech is an exceptional institution with global impact. It is an honor to succeed President Guice and lead Tech into its next era of excellence.”
Henderson’s move to Louisiana Tech is particularly significant as he is an alumnus, and his family’s connection to the university spans over 80 years. His appointment is expected to bring continuity and growth to Louisiana Tech, which has thrived under the leadership of the outgoing president, Les Guice.
Rick Gallot, who has been serving as the president of Grambling State University, will now lead the UL System. During his tenure at Grambling, Gallot has overseen significant growth, breaking enrollment records and significantly improving the university’s fiscal health score.
Gallot’s journey to leadership includes a background in politics, where he served as a member of the Grambling City Council, the Louisiana State Senate, and the Louisiana House of Representatives. His commitment to improving the redistricting and elections in Louisiana, fostering a better business environment, and serving on key committees has been remarkable.
Grambling State University, an HBCU, has experienced historic growth under Gallot’s leadership, with numerous opportunities to collaborate with major brands like Beyoncé, Adidas, and Coca-Cola.
Expressing his gratitude and enthusiasm for the new role, Gallot said, “I’m grateful for the opportunity and look forward to serving more than 80,000 students across nine universities.”
Both Henderson and Gallot are taking on new roles that hold great significance for their respective institutions. Henderson’s deep roots at Louisiana Tech, along with his leadership experience, are expected to guide the university towards continued success. For Gallot, his transition to leading the UL System will likely bring new perspectives and strategies to the nine diverse higher education institutions within the system.
As the dust settles on this unexpected leadership reshuffle, it is clear that both Louisiana Tech and the UL System are poised for significant developments under the guidance of their new leaders. This transition will undoubtedly impact the trajectory of higher education in Louisiana.