On behalf of many others in the business and civic communities in our state, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Sandra Woodley for her service as president of the University of Louisiana system. She has been a tremendous asset to Louisiana in her tenure, and her leadership, intellect and spirit of cooperation will be sorely missed.

Dr. Woodley came to the UL system at a time of tremendous change in higher education in our state. Budgets were being slashed and the leadership of all of our postsecondary systems was in a state of transition. She made her presence felt immediately and in a positive way.

Her energy was undeniable, and her ability to work closely with the leaders of the other postsecondary education systems was refreshing in a way that truly made a difference. Perhaps nowhere was that more evident than in the creation of the WISE fund last year. The intent of this $40 million fund to stir innovation and performance-based competition in postsecondary education has been praised by university leaders, the business community and workforce developers as a model for future funding that can stimulate positive change in higher education.

Though WISE represents only one of the initiatives Dr. Woodley helped lead, it is indicative of her philosophy to champion innovative approaches to yield meaningful and accountable results in higher education.

With her recent resignation, Louisiana loses an impeccable leader who, in just a relatively short period of time, has left a lasting mark on postsecondary education in our state. Thank you for your service, Dr. Woodley, and please know that your accomplishments are appreciated, and your leadership, skills and infectious personality will be missed by many.

Barry Erwin

president, Council for Better Louisiana

Baton Rouge

Michael Olivier

CEO, Committee of 100

Baton Rouge