Higher Ed Without Borders speak with President Jim Henderson of the University of Louisiana System

On this podcast episode of Higher Ed Without Borders co-hosted by Edu Alliance Founders Dr. Senthil Nathan and Dean Hoke speak with Dr. Jim Henderson, President of the University of Louisiana System.

Dr. James Henderson, President of the University of Louisiana System, a multi-university campus system with an enrollment of approximately 90,000 students. Prior to being appointed as President of the System, Dr. Henderson served as President of Northwestern State University.  He is a native of Shreveport Louisiana. He received his Master’s in Administration from the University of West Florida, and his Doctor of Management degree from the University of Maryland – University College.

In an October 2021 newspaper article in the Acadiana Advocate, Dr. Henderson’s wife Tonia discussed her husband and love of learning. “Jim has “gone through a lot of schooling” during their marriage and he is a constant reader. He earned his master’s and doctorate while they were married. He also has routinely taken coursework where available — he oftentimes takes Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs — most recently one in Irish literature. “He’s always trying to learn new things,” she said.

His penchant for lifelong learning made an impact on their three children; only the youngest lives at home now. She says she gets inspired by watching him use his time so well. He allots time for work, family, and his own study.”

Senthil and Dean discussed with Dr. Henderson about the university system and his views on education and leadership.

Comments and Suggestions:

Higher Ed Without Borders would love to hear your ideas for future topics and guests. Connect with Dr. Senthil Nathan or Dean Hoke on LinkedIn. You can also visit the Edu Alliance website. To hear the entire series please subscribe to Higher Ed Without Borders on your preferred podcast platforms such as Apple, Spotify, or Google. The podcast is sponsored by Edu Alliance, an education consulting firm located in Bloomington Indiana, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

We assist higher education institutions worldwide on a variety of mission-critical projects. Production support was provided by White Rabbit Printing and Design.

If your organization wants to know more about how Edu Alliance can best serve you, please contact either Dean Hoke or Dr. Senthil Nathan.

To Open or Not to Open – That is the Question!

Snow College Campus

By Bradley J. Cook, President Snow College July 20, 2020.  Higher education institutions across the country are facing difficult decisions about how best to re-open (or close) their campuses for the fall semester. As president of Snow College, and like many of my colleagues in Utah, we have not been immune to that question.

As higher education administrators continue to navigate COVID-19, I urge them to adopt a student-first approach and develop policies that put student health, needs, and safety above everything else. Whether classes are fully online, in-person, or some combination of the two – students are going to be entering this academic semester with more personal and emotional challenges to learning than ever before. For Utah’s students of color or low socioeconomic status, they’re likely going to have an even more difficult time focusing on their studies, given the national dialogue on race that is occurring right now.

As most Utahns know, Snow is based in the small farming town of Ephraim. We’re home to more than 5,000 college students, but the remaining community skews far older. Most of our students are not from Ephraim or neighboring communities, but hail from the Wasatch Front. Because of that, navigating COVID-19 this past semester was a challenge for not only the college but our larger community. However, alongside our community and fellow Snow College leaders, we were able to navigate this challenge and finish the spring semester by transitioning to remote learning and online courses. In doing so, we ended the semester with no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the student population, and less than a dozen cases in Ephraim.

As Snow plans to re-open in-person classes for the upcoming semester, via a hybrid model of both  online and in-person courses and services, I’m hoping to continue the success of our spring semester by practicing these student-first initiatives:

Bring safety to the forefront of student’s minds: Because Snow’s infection rate was so low, COVID-19 was often seen as “someone else’s disease.” Many students didn’t personally know or hear of anyone close to them getting the coronavirus, and so it was easy for them to view it as a problem for other people in Salt Lake City or outside of the state. Along with other leaders in Ephraim, Snow administrators made it a priority to communicate the need for enhanced safety and wellness practices regularly with students and local residents to remind them of the pervasive nature of the virus and the needed protocols for staying safe. In doing so, we saw the overwhelming majority of students and faculty wear masks and practice proper social distancing. I strongly believe that Snow’s unique community and support for one another motivated behavioral change, even as “pandemic fatigue” increased.

Snow Town Hall meetingWork together as a larger community: As safety guidelines change almost daily, we found the most effective way to keep students and residents informed was partnering with local leaders. In March, I helped form an emergency operations committee of key stakeholders, including Snow College administrators, the local police force, student representatives, faculty, housing administrators, city managers, and other government officials, to meet on a weekly (or more) basis. At that same time, we began hosting regular virtual town hall meetings that were open for anyone to join. These town hall discussions proved invaluable because they provided a forum for our community members to ask questions and helped us reduce misinformation. Students and community members felt heard, and we were able to adapt policies as needed. As a new semester approaches, Ephraim and Snow’s leaders will continue to prioritize communication and information-sharing as we support the well being and safety of our community.

Unfortunately, Ephraim is no longer free of COVID-19 cases, and we’re seeing numbers surge across Utah. Like the rest of the nation, we’re looking for a guiding principle to ensure we keep our students and our community safe. I encourage educators and school administrators at all levels (K-12 and higher education) to listen, work with local leaders, and put students first.


Brad CookBradley J. Cook is the President of Snow College and Professor of History. He is an alum of Snow and a native of central Utah.

Prior to his current position he served for 10 years as Provost and Executive Vice President at Southern Utah University (SUU). While at SUU he worked to elevate SUU’s academic reputation as a premier public regional university and advanced an ambitious agenda of internationalizing the university.

With 25 years of executive administrative experience in higher education, he has also served as President of the Abu Dhabi Women’s College in the United Arab Emirates, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Utah Valley State College (UVSC), and Vice President for College Relations also at UVSC (now Utah Valley University).

As a student, Dr. Cook completed with honors a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Stanford University, where he also started as a cornerback for Stanford’s football team. As a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow, he received a doctoral degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Oxford in Great Britain.

He is also the author of the book, Classical Foundations of Islamic Educational Thought, published by Brigham Young University Press. He has special research interests in Islamic educational theory, comparative religion and international and comparative education. Dr. Cook is active in his academic field, maintaining a consistent research and publication agenda. His publications can be found in a wide variety of academic journals.


cropped-edu-alliance-logo-square1.jpgEdu Alliance Group, Inc. (EAG) is an education consulting firm located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Bloomington, Indiana USA. We assist higher education institutions worldwide on a variety of mission critical projects. Our consultants are accomplished university / college leaders who share the benefit of their experience to diagnose and solve challenges.

EAG has provided consulting and successful solutions for higher education institutions in Australia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda,  United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Edu Alliance offers higher education institutions consulting services worldwide. Our US office specializes in assisting universities on international projects and partnerships. If you like to know more how Edu Alliance can best serve you, please contact Dean Hoke at dean.hoke@edualliancegroup.com 

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