Jim Purcell to be named Louisiana's higher education chief
February 24, 2011
Jim Purcell's nomination to be the state's seventh commissioner of higher education is expected to be approved by the full Board of Regents at its meeting today. The job also requires confirmation by the state Senate.
Purcell would replace Sally Clausen, who resigned in June amid criticism from legislators and others over her secret one-day retirement in 2009 that netted her a $90,000 payout for accrued vacation and sick leave and entitled her to a six-figure annual pension.
The commissioner reports to the 16-member Board of Regents and serves as the state's top higher education official, responsible for coordinating policies between the four college governing boards and the formula that distributes public dollars among the various campuses.
Regent Maurice Durbin said Purcell was chosen from a field of eight potential candidates who received lengthy interviews from the search committee. None of the other seven finalists submitted formal applications for the job, and Durbin refused to disclose their identities.