Commissioner’s Search Finalists & Higher Education Systems Respond to Sexual Assault Report



September 18, 2014

The Louisiana Board of Regents announced today the names of three finalists for the position of Commissioner of Higher Education.
The finalists are:

  • Robin Capehart of West Virginia. Capehart is currently the President of West Liberty University. He received a Masters of Law in Taxation from Georgetown University, Doctor of Jurisprudence from West Virginia University, and BA from West Virginia University.
  • Ray DiPasquale of Rhode Island. DiPasquale is currently President of the Community College of Rhode Island. He received a MS from Northeastern University in Boston and a BS from Arkansas Tech University.
  • Joseph Rallo of Texas. Rallo is currently the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Texas Tech University System. He received both a Ph.D. and MA from Syracuse University, a JD from Western New England University, and BA in Russian History from Lafayette College.

Regents Chairman W. Clinton Rasberry, Jr. announced that one additional person, who the search committee found suitable, needs additional time before confirming their interest in applying for the position. This individual will inform the Board of Regents of their decision before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. Should the person confirm their interest, they will be added to the list of finalists.
An update on the Commissioner’s Search will be given at the next Board of Regents meeting scheduled for September 25, 2014. Stakeholder interviews with the finalists will be held on October 7-8, 2014. The Louisiana Board of Regents plans to name the next Commissioner of Higher Education on October 9, 2014 during a special meeting.

“I am very pleased with the work of this committee in selecting finalists for the Commissioner’s position,” said Regents Chair, W. Clinton Rasberry, Jr. “There have been extensive reviews of each interested individual, many of whom were well qualified; however, we believe that these finalists possess the level of experience, leadership skills, and demonstrated success that are essential to lead higher education in this state.”

Additional information about the search is available at:


Higher Education Systems Respond to Sexual Assault Report


September 15, 2014

Baton Rouge, LA- Growing concerns over sexual assault on university campuses have spurred legislative and fact-finding efforts at both state and national levels. On July 11, 2014, Senator J.P. Morrell made a request to the Board of Regents, in conjunction with the four system management boards, to prepare a comprehensive report detailing information pertaining to sexual assaults in our state. The Board of Regents gave immediate and serious consideration to Sen. Morrell’s request for this information, and promptly sent official communication to each system president that afternoon. Most responses were received by our office by September 5, 2014. At that time, we reviewed and compiled the data as stipulated in Senator Morrell’s request.   Further dialogue among campus leaders and other stakeholders is needed to identify best practices and key areas to be addressed.

Sexual assault on campuses is within the purview of management boards. The Board of Regents has no legal authority to adopt any statewide policy on this administrative matter.   Management boards must ensure that appropriate policies are adopted and enforced to protect the students at their member institutions. Specifically, the Association of Governing of Universities and Colleges (AGB) state that governing boards have the “fiduciary duty and overall responsibility to collaborate with institutional leadership to address issues related to sexual misconduct.” AGB has issued an advisory statement to provide specific guidance to governing boards, which the Board of Regents shared with the four system presidents of Louisiana’s public institutions.

The Louisiana Board of Regents will assist with statewide efforts to prevent sexual assault. In fact, this past summer, the student leaders participated in a statewide planning conference call on sexual assault with the National Campus Leadership Council (NCLC) and the White House. The discussion was coordinated by the Board of Regents, and students were introduced to helpful resources provided through national enforcement efforts. They will continue to work collaboratively with the NCLC and the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault. Further, the Board of Regents is partnering with the public and private institutions in the state to host a day-long workshop on Title IX matters in fall of 2014.

The Board of Regents remains committed to assist Senator Morrell, the systems, campuses, and students on this important issue to make certain that the prevention of sexual assault is a priority.

To access a copy of the full report use the following link:





Need Louisiana higher education facts? Access university data or the Fact Book here.

Through the development and promotion of the Louisiana Transfer degree, a robust articulation and transfer system is now in place.

Graduation Rates are increasing overall.

Louisiana higher education fall enrollment has increased by 16,167 students since 2008.


Feature of the Week