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Speakers from LSUE at Wednesday’s Eunice Rotary Club meeting were, from left, Nancee Sorenson, chancellor; Jeff Willis, athletic director and baseball coach; Dr. John Hamlin, vice chancellor for academic affairs; and Travis Webb, public affairs director. (Photo by Myra Miller)

LSUE enrollment up 5%

LSUE’s fall enrollment is up 5% over last year even as the campus adjusts to life during a pandemic.
LSU Eunice Chancellor Nancee Sorenson spoke to the Eunice Rotary Club on Wednesday along with Dr. John Hamlin, vice chancellor of academic affairs, Travis Webb, public affairs director, and Jeff Willis, athletic director and baseball coach.
When the university shutdown in March due to the coronavirus, Sorenson said, “Running the university is nothing without people. It is nothing without our students and staff. It really is a lonely, empty place without the vibrancy and the energy...”
Despite the social distancing and other restrictions of a pandemic, Sorenson said LSUE is on an upward trajectory.
The university opened 53 years ago, she said.
“There was a 40th anniversary video that was done where you actually hear Dr. (Anthony) Mumphrey talking. I go back and look at that often because there is a lot of inspiration in his words.”
Mumphrey spoke about the untapped potential of having LSUE in the area and that is still the case, she said.
As a two-year campus of the LSU system, LSUE offers workforce education as well as transfer to the main campus, she said.
One change this year is that online enrollment is up 28% over last year, she said.
Webb said LSUE has launched its biggest ever marketing and communication reaching to Jefferson Davis and Lafayette parishes.
The campaign is using social media and partnering with The Advocate, he said.
Hamlin said, “We have the most resilent faculty and student population around. Many of those live in your community.”
Given Hurricane Laura, Hamlin said LSUE is reaching out to students needing to the start late.
Another challenge is to meet the needs of high school students with dual enrollment, he said. Many of the high schools started late, he said.
Willis said the pandemic situation has put a new meaning on relationships.
The student athletes are not happy about what’s been taken away for them this year. The seasons won’t start until 2021.
“I’m talking me filtering around to all the different sports right now and walking in on those practices and just seeing the level of focus. It is just straight line focus right now that is going on. That’s tremendous to see in our young people,” he said.
Willis said a protocol is in place surrounding the virus that includes daily screening that is intended to stop the spread as quickly as possible.

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