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Lone candidate for UTPB President announced by UT System

Dr. Sandra K. Woodley is the finalist to assume the role of UTPB  president Sept. 1 2017 (following a trial period of 21 days in order to meet the community).

Photo Courtesy of UT System

Dr. Sandra K. Woodley is the finalist to assume the role of UTPB president Sept. 1 2017 (following a trial period of 21 days in order to meet the community).

Kelsie Clifton, Features Writer and Columnist

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Expecting a webcast from UT System on the announcement of candidates for UTPB president, UT System presented a pre-recorded webcast instead (lasting less than two minutes). On hand for the webcast was Mesa Journal reporter Kelsie Clifton. No comments or questions were entertained from reporters. This story is gleaned from a UT System news release only.

Last year after President David Watts, Ph.D., announced in August his plans to step down as president on Aug. 31, 2017, the search for a new leader began.

Today, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the University of Texas System Board of Regents conducted a special called meeting at 8 a.m. on the ninth floor of Ashbel Smith Hall, 201 W. 7th St. in Austin. The Board met in open session and immediately recessed into executive session to interview candidates for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin presidency and considered recommendations from a presidential search advisory committee that reviewed nominations and applications for the position.

The Board reconvened in open session at approximately 12:57 p.m. to consider action on executive session items as well as approval of consent agenda where the University of Texas System Board of Regents named Sandra K. Woodley, Ph.D., former president of the University of Louisiana System, as the sole finalist for the presidency of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

Woodley earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus in finance and economics, from Auburn University. She also holds a Doctor of Business Administration-Management degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Woodley served as the System’s vice chancellor for strategic initiatives, from 2010 to 2013, where she led long-term strategic planning, accountability efforts and policy research.

As stated in the UT System’s news release, Woodley worked directly with senior-level academic and professional teams and faculty to develop policies, initiatives, and analytics related to the long-term vision of the System, especially those related to improving graduation rates, degree production, affordability and student debt.

From 2013 to 2016 Woodley served as the chief executive officer for the University of Louisiana System. While there she worked with the state’s governor and legislature, the system’s Board of Regents, as well as campus presidents and members of the public concerning matters of higher education policy. She also led the state’s largest higher education system, which served about nine universities and 90,000 students.

UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven staated that Woodley is exactly the right leader at the right time for UT Permian Basin and says he is enthusiastic to partner with her to chart the university’s course into the future.

“These are exciting times at UT Permian Basin, with the addition of new academic programs and facilities, new opportunities for student life and a new football team—UTPB is a university on a good trajectory,” McRaven said, pointing out that enrollment at the university has tripled in the past 15 years. “Dr. Woodley brings innovative, inspiring leadership that can propel UT Permian Basin to even greater heights. Her extensive experience working with faculty, students, boards, elected officials and the philanthropic and business communities make her the ideal candidate.”

Currently, Woodley is engaged in multiple higher education consulting projects which include providing strategic planning during a time of transition with Kentucky State University; serving as senior strategy advisor for the National Association of System Heads; and serving as a senior fellow for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities per the release.

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Lone candidate for UTPB President announced by UT System