LAFAYETTE — After a national search, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette announced Friday that Patricia Frilot Cottonham will be its new vice president for student affairs.
Cottonham has held the position of interim vice president for student affairs since 2012 and interim dean of students since 2009. Her appointment awaits approval by the university’s management board and the University of Louisiana System board of supervisors.
Cottonham began her employment with the university in 1984 as a financial aid counselor and she’s held numerous administrative positions, including financial aid director, associate dean of students and director of Greek life.
Cottonham was the ideal choice to continue to lead the programs that complement students’ academic life on campus, UL-Lafayette President Joseph Savoie said in a news release.
“Her professional experience is broad and she has earned a reputation for her concern for students,” Savoie said. “Commitment to students’ academic success and providing a meaningful college experience are hallmarks of our university, thanks to leaders like her.”
Cottonham has supervised the departments of Housing, Counseling and Testing, Recreational Sports and Student Health Services, as well as University Police, the Child Development Center, Student Union, Career Services, Career Counseling, Disability Services, Student Life and Conduct, Student Engagement and Leadership, Student Publications and the Office of International Affairs. She also took leadership roles in the university’s major expansion of campus housing and its ongoing renovation of the Student Union.
“I feel fortunate to have a career that centers around students who come to us with their abilities and their dreams,” Cottonham said in her letter of application.
Cottonham holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling education and expects to earn a doctorate in higher education leadership in December 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree from the university in speech pathology and audiology.
The university plans to conduct a national search to fill its vacant dean of students position.