College of Applied Life Sciences
At the turn of the century, when Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute (SLII) was founded, over two-thirds of Louisiana's population lived in self-sufficient, rural communities. Because transportation options were much more limited in the years before the automobile, the food and fiber needs of the state's one and a half million people were largely met by local farmers. At that time, in fact, there were more than 100,000 farms in the state. Individual households were also highly self-reliant; families were capable of providing themselves with most essential goods and services. The newly established Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute reflected these cultural priorities in its earliest course offerings.
The seeds that were to become the College of Applied Life Sciences were planted within two years of SLII's founding. One of the first courses offered by SLII in 1901 was Domestic Science, a food science course. By 1902, a course in clothing construction, called Domestic Art, was added. In 1907, President Edwin L. Stephens initiated the development of a government demonstration farm. By the end of that year, 30 acres were under cultivation on land that is now the heart of the campus, the Cypress Lake area. Students raised farm and animals and vegetables there.
By 1920, emphasis had shifted so dramatically to the offering of college level courses that plans were made to close out the high school department at the end of 1922-23 session. Eight subjects were selected as initial four-year offerings. Among these were workshops in agriculture for boys and home economics for girls. The sapling of the now College of Applied Life Sciences was fully one quarter of the new University. In 1926, the first bachelor of science degrees for Home Economics were conferred to eight graduates.
Without question, the most prominent personality to impact what is now the College of Applied Life Sciences was Joel Fletcher, who came to SLI in 1920. Upon his arrival, Fletcher found only one student registered in agriculture. He then began a number of initiatives that would move agriculture to a place of prominence in the University. After leaving to study for his master's degree, he returned to SLI in September 1927 to promote his discipline with renewed vigor. He first secured permission to create five student aide jobs in the department and later, with the support of the Farm Bureau, persuaded the administration to put student waiters at the dining hall.
In 1934, he began administering student aid provided by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. By the fall of 1934, 107 students were receiving this assistance.
To stimulate community interest in agriculture, in 1927 Fletcher instituted an annual short course for dairymen. The event expanded to include other fields of agriculture and, in 1933, it became a full-fledged exhibition. Thousands began to attend the event, which was later organized as the Annual South Louisiana Mid-Winter Fair and Flower Show.
Word of Fletcher's innovative means of assisting students in paying for their education quickly spread, attracting many young men who could not have otherwise gone to college. One example was Aubrey Henderson, who now owns A & B Henderson and Gator Cove. While living in Baton Rouge, he learned of the possibility of obtaining a college education and hitchhiked his way to Lafayette. Many others have been successful in their professions as a result of Mr. Fletcher's diligence in ensuring access to education.
By 1960, the year that SLI became USL, the College of Agriculture was divided into home economics, agricultural engineering, animal husbandry, general agriculture, plant industry and vocational agricultural education. But the post-war years saw a shift in the number of farms in the nation and state. As American agriculture began to embrace an industrial paradigm, a relatively few farms became bigger, while many producers were eliminated from the market. The impact was felt in most agricultural colleges, including UL Lafayette's. In 1983, all agriculture departments were combined into one department - Agricultural Sciences, Technology and Education.
In 1983, the name of the College of Agriculture was amended to better reflect its actual make-up (more students were enrolled in home economics than agriculture), becoming the College of Agriculture and School of Home Economics. In 1990, the School of Home Economics became what is now known as the School of Human Resources which offered curricula in dietetics, restaurant and hospitality management, child and family studies and fashion merchandising.
In the early 1990's, Dean Lynn Desselle, who was appointed in 1981, followed in the visionary steps of Joel Fletcher by taking action to reverse declining enrollment in agriculture. He recognized that agricultural producers have historically been more concerned with the use of natural resources such as plants, animals and soil than with ecosystems which provide them. Because significant deterioration has occurred in many of the systems which are critical to human quality of life, Desselle began to shift the focus of the Department of Agricultural Sciences, Technology and Education toward sustainability - meeting the needs of the present without compromising the prospects for future generations.
Renamed in 1992, the Department of Renewable Resources offers two innovative curricula designed to forge a more sustainable relationship with the planet and its life-support systems. The curriculum in sustainable agriculture is focused on balancing the long-term viability of food and fiber production systems with the needs of a growing human population.
The sustainable paradigm initiated in the Renewable Resources Department has now become the unifying vision of the entire college, that was recently renamed the College of Applied Life Sciences. The entire college is now focused on building relationships between people and with the natural world which can nurture healthy individuals, families and communities, now and for the future.
College of the Arts
An art program was formed during the late 1930s that included courses in painting, sculpture and graphics. Soon after, the Art Department was formed.
In 1941, Joel L. Fletcher became President of Southwestern Louisiana Institute. Shortly after the United States entered World War II, the Art Department was replaced with the Fine Arts Department, which included art, music, speech and dance. Dr. Charles Wonder, a mathematics professor, was appointed department head. In 1947, the president established separate departments for art, music and speech. Dr. Warren Robison was appointed head of the Art Department.
In 1938, the Department of Music was established. In 1952, the Department of Music was accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. In 1967, the Department of Music became the School of Music. The first Master of Music degree was offered in 1970. In the 1980s the Bachelor of Jazz Studies and Piano Pedagogy was offered and accredited by NASM.
In September 1949,with Fletcher's approval and support, the Department of Art offered a two-year pre-architecture curriculum, which represented the first two years of a typical five-year curriculum leading to the bachelor of architecture degree. Since Tulane University was the only Louisiana school at the time that granted this degree, UL Lafayette's program was structured to fit Tulane's. An agreement was reached with Buford L. Peikins, dean of the Tulane School of Architecture, to accept students with two years of credit into the Tulane program. In 1955, the full bachelor of architecture degree was offered. In 1972, the National Architectural Accrediting Board gave the architecture program full accreditation.
In 1957, the name of the Department of Art was changed to the Department of Art and Architecture. William L. Moreland was appointed as chair of fine arts and arts education, and Mac D. Vaughan was appointed to chair the advertising design program. Muriel Moreland joined the staff in 1957 to coordinate and teach the dance courses.
The Department of Art and Architecture was changed to the School of Art and Architecture in 1964.Dr. Warren Robison was named director of the school. Three sections were also formed: architecture, applied arts and fine arts. In 1974, the sections were changed to departments.
In 1975, a competition was proposed to design a new building for the School of Art and Architecture. All architects who graduated from UL Lafayette's program were invited to submit a building design. Although entries were submitted from architects located in all parts of the country, a local architecture firm, Barras, Breaux and Champeaux, won the competition. The new building was completed in 1977. Architecture, visual arts and interior design classes and studios were held in the new building, called Fletcher Hall in honor of Joel L. Fletcher, UL Lafayette's third president.
Warren Robison retired as director of the School of Art and Architecture in 1977. Michel Pilet was named director shortly after. Pilet remained the director for six years and then resigned. Robert Everding was director from 1983 to1984. H. Gordon Brooks became director in 1990. In 1994, Gary Marotta, Vice President for Academic Affairs, called for discussions among the School of Music faculty to consider the possibility of forming a new college. In 1995, the College of the Arts was formed and included the School of Architecture, the School of Music, the Performing Arts Department and the Visual Arts Department.
Today, the School of Music has 25 faculty; the School of Architecture, 17; the Performing Arts Department, seven; and the Visual Arts Department, 19.
College of Business Administration
In 1902, the first Department of Business began at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, then Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute. The department began in the College of Liberal Arts and stayed in the College of Liberal Arts for almost 50 years.
Beginning in 1926, while a department in the College of Arts and Humanities, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration was awarded. At that time three faculty members, Ralph Holden Agate, professor of Accounting and Auditing; Russell Howard Bolyard, Head of the Department of Commerce and Business Administration; and Eleanor Lee Crigler, Instructor in Stenography, were in the Department of Business. By 1946, the department had 12 faculty members, including the head of the department, Herbert H. Hamilton.
The College of Commerce evolved from the Department of Economics and Business Administration in the College of Liberal Arts and was formally established in 1952. The College of Commerce began with 18 faculty members and 440 students who represented 17 percent of the university's undergraduate enrollment.
By 1968, the College was the third largest college in undergraduate enrollment and represented almost 25 percent of the student body. From 1952 until 1968, the College grew by about 10 percent annually and in 1968 had a student enrollment of 2,194.
The College of Business fluctuated in size over the years. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, it had almost 4,000 undergraduates and over 200 MBA students. This caused a rather unusual problem - the College did not have the teaching staff to keep up with the demand.
The College was reorganized in 1973 to include the Departments of Accounting, Economics, General Business, Management, Marketing and Office Administration to which the Department of Business Communication was merged. In 1975, the College added the Master of Business Administration. Rex Hauser began as the first director until he became dean in 1977. Today, Bill Roe is the associate dean and MBA director.
In 1980, the name of the College was changed to the College of Business Administration. In 1977, Hauser attempted to change the name to the College of Business Administration to join the mainstream. As Dean Hauser was introduced to the Board of Regents, one board member said, "Oh, you're from the school in Lafayette - the only school that knows what to call itself, the College of Commerce." Dean Hauser abandoned his name change quest and the College of Commerce name remained until that particular member resigned from the Board.
Secretarial science was one of the first offerings in business at UL Lafayette. Early in the history of the university, the secretarial program was the largest department in the college. Through the years, secretarial majors were one-year, two-year and four-year programs. By 1990, the demise of the secretarial program was under way - a victim of its own success. Personal computers arrived, word processing took over and, as a result, many people began doing their own clerical work. By 1994, the secretarial program was no longer offered in the College.
Today, the College of Business Administration has a student body of about 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students with a faculty of 70. Perhaps, the greatest accomplishment occurred in 1997 when the college achieved accreditation of its bachelor's and master's degree program. ASCSB accreditation of both undergraduate and graduate programs is held by less than 300 of the 1,200 business programs nationwide. The college had worked for over 15 years to achieve this milestone. Under the direction of Dean Jan Duggar, the college received a 10-year accreditation.
College of Education & Human Development
In 1904, SLII President Edwin L. Stephens began seeking a teacher training program for UL Lafayette. At that time, the only teacher training program in the state was located in Natchitoches at the State Normal College. There were arguments that another Normal College was not necessary and would take students away from Natchitoches, but Stephens argued that a Normal School in Lafayette would not harm Natchitoches, but would aid Southwest Louisiana without the cost for buildings, grounds, equipment and the like.
Stephens' efforts paid off and the first summer Normal School was held from May 31 through July 31, 1906, under the direction of Professor Irving J. Foote. A certificate from this nine-week summer school entitled the holder to a credit of 15 percent in advance on any teacher certification exam in the present year and credit towards a diploma from Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute or any other state institution without an exam.
In 1909, a model school was opened to provide practical education for those enrolled in the teacher training program. In the first session of the model school, there were 36 pupils enrolled, twelve in the first grade and six in each of the grades second through fifth. The cost of tuition for the pupils was $2 per pupil for the nine-week term. During this session, 216 students were enrolled in the summer normal program.
The program began to grow quickly and changes took place in the curriculum. In 1911, teachers were added to the faculty and the model school was expanded to include nine grades. In 1912, the teacher education program was completely organized and consisted of two courses that granted recognized college credits - the Teachers' Course in Home Economics and the Teachers' Course in Agriculture and Farm Mechanics. These were combined in 1913 to form the Industrial Training Course for Teachers. In 1915, however, the program was again divided into the Teachers' Course in Home Economics and the Teachers' Course in Agriculture and Farm Mechanics and, due to increased interest in the program, two new courses, Teacher-Training course in Commerce and Teacher-Training course in Elementary Grades, were added.
Four sessions of the Summer Normal School equaled two years of training in regular session. The Normal School offered both a nine-week session and a six-week session. The six-week session was offered to allow teachers to earn credits to extend terms of teacher certificates, to assist in passing exams for higher certificates and for refreshing on subject matter. Also in 1915, the Louisiana State Board of Education approved the professional course of teacher training and allowed the exclusion of the exam for first grade teacher certification after completion of the course. Due to the rapid growth of the program, Fuller M. Hamilton joined Foote in heading the program. By 1920, summer enrollment had increased to 635 and by 1921, 2,085 teacher certificates had been issued.
In 1921, the education course consisted of a two-year diploma in Elementary Teaching and Home Economics and a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Education or a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics. The two-year program ceased to give a diploma in 1925. Rather, those completing the program received a Louisiana Class III Professional Elementary Certificate which was valid for life.
In 1939, Hamilton Lab School, an elementary training school to provide teacher training for students in the College of Education, now the College of Education and Human Development, was built. Funding was also provided for 16 teachers for the new training school.
In 1954, UL Lafayette was the first teacher education program in the state of Louisiana to be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Also in 1954, UL Lafayette was the first all-white, state-supported public college in the South to integrate; and in 1956, Christiana Gordon Smith, the first black graduate, graduated in Education. By 1959, over 5,000 bachelor degrees had been conferred.
In 1956, a bill authorizing a Master of Education degree and a Master of Arts in Education degree at UL Lafayette was made into law. They were the first graduate degrees to be offered by the university and were Master of Education and Master of Arts degrees in Administration and Supervision, Elementary Education and Secondary Education.
During the late 60s and early 70s, the undergraduate program underwent many changes, including moving the Departments of Music, Geography and Geology and Psychology to other colleges. The Audiovisual, Special Education and Administration and Techniques of Teaching were joined under the Department of Education and the two Health and Physical Education Departments were combined so that the college only had two departments, Education and Health and Physical Education. The Education Department was then divided in 1982 to the present two departments, Curriculum of Instruction and Educational Foundations and Leadership.
College of Engineering
In 1901, Ashby Woodson was the first teacher of manual training at Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute. Manual training was to eventually become known as the College of Engineering.
Under a 1920 legislative act, Dr. Edwin L. Stephens, president of the university, organized departments that would eventually develop into colleges. The new engineering department was part of the College of Liberal Arts. The engineering degree was a bachelor of science degree in liberal arts. In 1921, George Griffin Hughes, was added to the department as teacher of engineering.
Woodson died in 1929 and two instructors were added so that a total of three teachers were in the department: George Hughes as department head, William Starr and Hiram Mason. The years between 1930 and 1940 saw the addition of sufficient faculty members and course offerings to form four branches of engineering: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Each had a separate department head and faculty.
In 1939, the College of Engineering was officially designated, and, in 1956, these four branches were accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. A curriculum of petroleum engineering was drawn up in 1953 and was accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in 1963. The Department of Geology became a part of the College of Engineering in 1954. In 1957, the college moved to H. Flood Madison Hall. In 1958, master's degree programs were implemented in the College of Engineering. The first master's degree awarded was in chemical engineering in May 1960.
In 1987, the department of industrial technology moved into the College of Engineering. Rougeou Hall was constructed in 1988-89. This building was occupied by the departments of mechanical engineering and industrial technology in 1989. In the Fall of 1993, the geology department moved to the College of Sciences. All departments of engineering are currently fully accredited by ABET. The industrial technology department is accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology.
Since its formation in 1939, the College of Engineering has had five deans:
1939-52 George G. Hughes
1952-63 Fred W. ZurBurg
1963-71 Wayne P. Wallace
1971-90 James W. Reeves
1991-05 Anthony B. Ponter
2005-Present Mark E. Zappi
UL Lafayette students can tailor their degrees, thanks to a decision made by the Board of Trustees in the summer of 1980.
The approval to offer a Bachelor of General Studies degree at UL Lafayette was an outgrowth of the associate degree and was initiated to accomplish some of the same purposes.
In the fall of 1982, general studies programs in Louisiana were reviewed by what was then the South-Central Review Committee of the Board of Regents. In its report, the committee cited the Baccalaureate General Studies program at UL Lafayette as "the most effective general studies program of the three being offered in the state at the time. In its general comments and suggestions, the committee stated that in the general studies program at UL Lafayette there was superb leadership and self-awareness, the advising component was first rate, concern for quality was good, faculty and administrative support was good and the academic quality of the general studies curriculum was satisfactory.
The Department of Special Services, included in University College, administers four programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide services to economically disadvantaged, first-generation college students: Students Support Services, Regular Upward Bound, Veteran's Upward Bound and Talent Search. Later, the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program was added.
Initially, the college also included Junior Division to meet the needs of entering, transferring and reentering students until formal acceptance into a degree-granting college and to provide services necessary for successful transition into the university. University College was also under the auspices of the College of General Studies. Today, Junior Division and University College are no longer administered through the college.
College of Liberal Arts
The College of Liberal Arts was created in 1921 as the first step in the reorganization of the academic structure of Southwestern Louisiana Institute.
The newly formed college encompassed all areas of instruction that were not specifically related to teacher training. As the college grew and as the need developed, various academic departments were formed. The following colleges were formed from divisions originally housed in the College of Liberal Arts: the College of Agriculture (1938), the College of Engineering (1940), the College of Nursing (1952) and the College of Commerce (1952). Until July, 1974, the College of Liberal Arts included the departments of aerospace studies, biology, chemistry, English, foreign languages, history, philosophy, mathematics, microbiology, physics, social studies, speech and the schools of art and architecture and music.
In July, 1974, the College of Liberal Arts was divided into the College of Arts, Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The School of Art and Architecture left the college in 1983 along with the School of Music.
The college now consists of 15 programs in communication, communicative disorders, criminal justice, English, history and geography, modern languages, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology and anthropology.
Bachelor's degrees are offered in these areas. The criminal justice department offers an associate of science degree. The departments of English, history, modern languages, communicative disorders and psychology offer master's degrees. The English department also awards doctoral degrees and the college bestows one of only three doctorates in Francophone Studies in the world.
Eight deans have served the College of Liberal Arts:
1921-51 Harry Lewis Griffin
1951-56 Joseph Anthony Riehl
1956-64 Vernon Lane Wharton
1965-71 Lewis Texada Graham
1971-74 Sammie Wayne Cosper
1974-83 Mary Ethel Dichmann
1983-94 Richard Charles Cusimano
1994-2012 Allen David Barry
2013-Present Jordan Kellman
College of Nursing & Health Sciences
The president of the United States was Harry Truman. The average three-bedroom home sold for $9,000. Stores closed early and the nation stayed home on Monday nights to watch "I Love Lucy." And 20 students enrolled in the first class of SLI's College of Nursing in the Fall of 1951.
The history of the college actually begins in December 1944, however, when negotiations to arrange for practice in clinical settings were first initiated. In the beginning, it was a discouraging task. Hospitals connected with educational institutions with medical programs already had three-year schools of nursing. There was apprehension that conflicts might arise if students in college programs were admitted to share clinical teaching and practice facilities.
Determination and gentle persuasion by SLI President Joel Fletcher and his staff overcame objections, and agreements were signed with Touro Infirmary and the United States Public Health Hospital in New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville. Credit for establishing the college must go to Fletcher, who spared neither resources nor personal energy to meet the need for nursing education in this area of the state.
Since its inception in 1951, the College of Nursing curriculum has emphasized a strong general academic background, preparation in the physical and behavioral sciences, and education in all areas of clinical practice. To maintain the highest quality of nursing education, the curriculum has undergone constant evaluation and change.
The first curriculum required theory and practice in Communicable Disease Nursing. The focus was on nursing care of patients with childhood communicable diseases, poliomyletis and tuberculosis. The prevalence of tuberculosis in the 1950s and early 60s caused many hospitals to specialize in tuberculosis care only.
Nursing students took their practice in Childhood Communicable Diseases at Touro Hospital and Tuberculosis Nursing Practice at the United States Public Health Hospital both in New Orleans. By the late 60s, however, with emphasis on early immunization and the advent of polio and measles vaccines and the discovery of new drugs to treat tuberculosis, a rapid decline occurred in those health problems. As a result, the focus of the curriculum changed to meet the health care needs at the time.
Community Health Nursing in the early curriculum was integrated into each nursing course. The nursing practice at the time was limited to follow-up visits in patients' homes. Recent emphasis on home health care, outpatient care and early discharge of hospitalized patients, and the growth of the older population created a need for curriculum changes.
The scope and depth of knowledge and practice for Community Health Nursing changed. The current curriculum focus for Community Health Nursing Theory and Practice includes the critique of social, political, economic and environmental factors within a community. In addition, it teaches health promotion and disease prevention for individuals and families.
Rapid advances in medical science and technology in the last decade demanded parallel advances in nursing knowledge and skills. This challenge was met by change in the curriculum which would broaden the scope and depth of knowledge in the biophysical sciences and serve as a scientific foundation on which to base nursing practice. New courses were developed in Health Assessment and Pharmacology. Other courses were revised and included nursing care of patients on mechanical devices, such as monitors and respirators.
The increased volume of research and research findings applicable to the nursing practice dictated a need to design a research course to develop the students' knowledge and the ability to analyze studies in relation to their application to the nursing practice.
Whereas the college once had difficulty in gaining hospital support for clinical practice, today UL Lafayette has contractual agreements with 57 health care agencies, which provide a broad clinical practice for students with patients who present a variety of health care problems.
Since 1951, over 2,000 students have graduated in nursing. The College of Nursing is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing and the Louisiana State Board of Nursing.
In 2021, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences received a transformational investment from LHC Group that recognized the vital role the University and the College play in strengthening and expanding the region’s health care landscape.
The investment in the University’s nursing program will help empower the future of health care and meet the ever growing demand for nurses and other health care professionals in Acadiana, throughout Louisiana, and in combination with LHC Group’s footprint across the country.
The University and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences are deeply grateful to LHC Group and the Myers family for entrusting us with this historic support and are proud to honor their generosity through the naming of the LHC Group • Myers School of Nursing.
College of Sciences
The College of Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences was officially formed on July 1, 1974 by transferring selected departments from the College of Liberal Arts; however, it continued to be administered by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts until Dr. David R. Andrew was appointed as first Dean of the college on May 15, 1975. Departments forming the college at its inception were Aerospace Studies (ROTC), Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Microbiology with a sub-unit of Medical Records Science, and Physics. About 86 percent of the faculty held the Ph.D. degree within their fields at that time.
These departments serviced all students in the university who were following a curriculum which required science courses. They also provided professional education and training in specific degree programs offered at the time. The Biology Department offered degrees in aquatic and fisheries biology, botany, wild life management and zoology. The departments of chemistry and physics offered a single degree program in their areas. The Computer Science Department offered two degree programs; one with emphasis on applications of computer technology to the business community and one emphasizing applications to the science and engineering community. The Mathematics and Statistics Department offered a degree in each field. The Microbiology Department offered degree programs in microbiology, medical technology and medical records science. Programs in the departments of biology, chemistry and microbiology were frequently chosen by students who planned to attend medical and dental schools and allied health professional programs at other universities.
As time passed, departments changed degree programs, new departments were formed, departments merged and one department was moved from the College of Engineering to the College of Science. The aerospace program was discontinued by the U.S. Air Force as part of the reduction in armed forces in 1990. Training of future reserve officers for the U.S. Army was introduced in collaboration with the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training program.
The Biology Department began to offer the Ph.D. in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology in 1983. The Board of Regents, after a review of all biology programs within the state by an external consultants committee, awarded the department a commendation for the strength of its program. It was the only Biology Department within the state to receive such recognition. The Microbiology Department was merged into the Bio1ogy Department in 1992 and the Medical Technology degree program was converted to a three year transfer program. Students received their degree from the institution to which they transferred. In 1995, after an extensive review of programs, the biology faculty replaced them with new programs titled biology, resource, and biodiversity, a revised program in microbiology and a pre-medical technology transfer program.
The Chemistry Department is approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society to offer a degree program certified by the Society. Students are certified by the Society after graduation. The curriculum has changed to introduce flexible course work substitutions for students to pursue careers where chemistry is important but not as a chemist. In 1992, the Louisiana Board of Regents ordered the termination of the M.S. program as part of its campaign to reduce duplication of graduate programs at nearby universities. This was an unfortunate decision because two Board of Regents external consultants committee reviews, 1979 & 1989, rated the program as one of the two strongest in the state. Faculty have since formed collaborative groups with faculty in other departments.
The Computer Science Department initially offered bachelor's of science, master's of science, and doctoral degree programs. The Center for Advanced Computer Studies, CACS, was formed in 1984 to give greater recognition to one of the first and strongest graduate programs in computer science in the south. Both units were managed by the same person until 1988. CACS received authorization to offer the Ph.D. in computer engineering in 1986. While the administration of CACS remained under the College of Sciences, faculty members in the Electrical Engineering Department became members of the advisory committee and taught graduate courses. In 1988, on the recommendation of the Computer Science Accreditation Board, CSAB, the Computer Science Department became independent of the CACS to place emphasis on education at the undergraduate level. It recruited faculty for that purpose although faculty in CACS taught some courses at the undergraduate level. In 1999 the faculty changed to one degree program with concentrations in cognitive science, human-computer interaction, management information systems and scientific computing. The department has been accredited by CSAB since the formation of the accrediting organization.
The Geology Department was transferred from the College of Engineering to the College of Sciences in 1993 and continues to offer B.S. and M.S. programs. The curricula was modified in 1999 to offer one degree in geology with concentrations in environmental geology and petroleum geology. Faculty work in areas frequently discussed in local, national, and international political conversations related to coastal erosion and climate change.
In 1985 mathematics and statistics became two distinct departments each offering bachelor of science, master of science, and doctoral degrees. In 1996, the undergraduate program in statistics was incorporated into the undergraduate mathematics program because degree requirements were very similar. In 1997 the graduate statistics program was incorporated into the mathematics graduate program and the departments were rejoined as the Mathematics Department. Faculty research is focused in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics.
The medical records science sub-unit of the Microbiology Department became independent in 1992 and the name was changed to health information management to conform to a name change of the profession association. It is periodically reviewed by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs, CAHEA, and has been accredited since the first graduates completed the program in 1965. This is the only program within the college whose graduates must take a national certification examination. The pass rate has consistently been above 96 percent. The national average for all schools is 73 percent.
The Physics Department has adjusted course work to balance the emphasis in classical physics and applied physics. Undergraduate and graduate students now receive a broader education on the applications of physics principles to practical problems in industrial processes with emphasis on medical physics, molecular biology, engineering and computer science. This focus has brought significant grant funding for projects in materials science and geophysics. Several faculty members are in the forefront of research in astrophysics.
The college name was changed from the College of Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences to simply the College of Sciences when the Geology Department was moved from the College of Engineering, when the College of Arts, Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and when that college was renamed College of Liberal Arts. Until 1997 only one Ph.D. program in the University was not within the College of Science. Increased emphasis in recruiting graduate students capable of completing requirements for the Ph.D. and an increased number of graduate assistantships resulted in an increased production of Ph.D. graduates in the late 1980s. In 1989 the university was classified as a Doctoral II institution. Departments with Ph.D. programs have continued to grow in size and the Doctoral II status is now well established. Departments administered by the College of Science have contributed over 75 percent of the Ph.D. graduates.
The foundation of the strength of the college has been a dedicated faculty which expends an enormous amount of energy in promoting the university by being active in their professional organizations, in publishing results of scientific research in regional, national, and international journals, in supporting students efforts to excel within their fields of study, by being available for consultation, and by serving on various committees within the university. Participation of faculty as members of editorial boards of professional refereed journals, some as editors, has greatly increased in the past 20 years. A number of faculty also participate as professional visiting evaluators in accreditation reviews of programs at universities in other states.
Four Deans have served the College of Sciences:
1975-1985 Dr. David Andrew
1985-1992 Dr. Sigred Lanoux
1992-2001 Dr. Duane Blumberg
2001-present Dr. Bradd Clark
Graduate studies at the institution that became UL Lafayette, then Southwestern Louisiana Institute, began in the College of Education, now the College of Education and Human Development in September 1957 under the direction of Robert Elliott May, the first dean of the Graduate School.
May's original mandate of providing SLI with master's degrees in education (both MA and MEd) expanded in 1957 to include master of science degrees in engineering, mathematics and sciences. He worked with an appointed graduate council to formulate regulations, policies and course descriptions. In 1961, May changed hats and became the dean of education at UL Lafayette. His successor was James Russell Oliver.
Oliver created UL Lafayette's computer center in 1961 and remained its head while he served as graduate dean. He was the architect of a vigorous research agenda leading to UL Lafayette's first doctoral programs, approved by the state Board of Education in 1968 and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1969, in microbiology and mathematics.
Oliver stepped down as dean in 1972 to become assistant superintendent for Administrative Services, Research and Finance in the Louisiana Department of Education. Robert Rivers Jones replaced him as interim dean, a position that subsequently became permanent.
In 1974, the Louisiana Legislature placed universities under the administrative control of an independent Board of Regents, which evaluated doctoral programs. As their continuing mandate, the Regents actively discouraged duplication of effort in an attempt to control costs and parcel out degree patents over the large number of state universities. In 1975, a master's in Business Administration was created and, in 1982, a master's in computer engineering, despite slow program development.
Graduate enrollment rose dramatically in the early 1980s. In part, the rise was related to the five-year Professional Improvement Program, enacted in 1980, which tied salary increases for public school teachers to completion of post-baccalaureate courses.
In 1983, Joan Terese Cain, professor of Spanish and department head of Foreign Languages, became interim graduate dean upon Jones' return to the history faculty. Under Cain's leadership, the success of the graduate school's doctoral programs enabled UL Lafayette to become Louisiana's first Carnegie Doctoral II institution, achieved in 1990.
During Cain's tenure, UL Lafayette added the first North American doctoral program in Francophone studies. Additional master's programs came in engineering specialties, including telecommunications, and a health care option graced the MBA; education and home economics were completely reorganized and a MSN in nursing was achieved through a consortium with McNeese State University, Southern University, and Southeastern Louisiana University. These gains came with the loss of master's programs in political science, geography, Spanish, and chemistry.
Lewis Pyenson was named dean of the graduate school in 1995. He served in that position until the summer of 2001. His successor as administrator and leader of graduate education was Charles Edward Palmer. Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser now serves as dean.
The UL Lafayette Continuing Education department originated in 1975 with the development of Petroleum Training Service under the direction of Louis Roth (1975-87).
Petroleum Training Service is one of the oldest university-based petroleum training programs in the United States, serving the oil and gas industry for over 27 years. The first PTS coordinator was Channa Grove (1987-91), followed by Scott Way (1991-92), James Moreau (1992-97) and Elaine Foreman (1997-present).
In 1978, the Business and Industry Training Service was specifically developed and designed to address business' needs. Cynthia Trahan, coordinator (1980-97), initiated the development of a wide variety of business short courses, workshops, seminars and conferences geared toward the business community and general public.
In 1985, the Personal Development Division was created, with Elaine Foreman as coordinator (1985-present), to address the leisure learning needs of the community. The division's name changed to Potpourri in 1993.
Program Services, a public relations and advertising division, was established in 1987 and is responsible for the design, development and production of the numerous brochures, catalogs, press releases, and print and broadcast media advertising needed to promote Continuing Education. Program Services was initially managed by Colleen Tharp (1987-90), and is now managed by Mollie Mullen (1991-present).
Continuing Education became a host institution for the US/Canadian Elderhostel Program in 1987. With the addition of Elderhostel, the Business and Industry Training Service began to offer study and travel opportunities for people 55 years of age and over.
The Louisiana Environmental Training Center was established in October 1990 through the leadership of Channa Grove, director of Continuing Education (1988-91).The University received permission from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to construct and equip a training facility to address environmental needs of municipalities and industries throughout the state. Dirk Kavanagh (1990-91) was the first coordinator of LETC, followed by James Moreau (1992-97), and Elaine Foreman (1997-present).
The department changed direction in 1991 with Jerry Lund, director of the UL Lafayette Marine Survival Training Center, serving as acting director from April though September. Sylvia Ross (1991-97) became director in the fall of that year. Under the direction of Sylvia Ross, the 50+ Study Club was created as an extension of BITS. The 50+ Study Club was specifically designed to meet the interests of people over 50 years of age in the community, providing a wide variety of interesting courses and field trips.
The Advanced Technology Training division was established July 1, 1995, as the business world and community's computer training needs increased. Jim Oliver, ATT coordinator (1995-present) and computer instructor, was instrumental in the area's expansion to provide introductory and multi-level computer training.
The Continuing Education Department enrolls 14,742 participants annually, and continues to grow and be known for its quality programs, its instructors, and its commitment to serving the Acadiana community and Louisiana's educational needs.