With a news release Tuesday, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette confirmed that Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D., president of Georgia Southern University for two years, is going home to be provost at UL Lafayette beginning July 1.
When Hebert and the University System of Georgia announced two weeks ago that he would step down as Georgia Southern president effective June 30, his destination was not yet disclosed. But UL Lafayette and the University of Houston-Clear Lake, in Texas, had revealed in April that Hebert was a candidate for nearly identical senior administrative posts at both institutions. As at many universities, the role of provost at Lafayette is combined with that of vice president for academic affairs.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Hebert home,” UL Lafayette President Joseph Savoie, Ed.D., said in Tuesday’s release. “In addition to his solid higher education credentials, he already is familiar with UL Lafayette’s mission and values. He shares our Ragin’ Cajun spirit.”
An Abbeville, Louisiana, native, Hebert holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s and a doctorate, all in statistics, from UL Lafayette. He received these degrees in 1986, 1988 and 1990, respectively.
“I’m thrilled to return to my alma mater, bringing with me 28 years of experience,” Hebert said in the release. “The university gave me my start and to come back to work at UL Lafayette is rewarding for me personally and professionally.
“UL Lafayette is an extraordinary institution,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with the faculty and academic administrators to continue the great progress that the university has seen over the last few decades.”
With 19,291 students as of fall 2017, UL Lafayette’s enrollment was similar in size to Georgia Southern’s prior to consolidation, then about 20,600 students with just the Statesboro campus.
President of Georgia Southern since July 1, 2016, Hebert arrived six months before the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted to consolidate Armstrong State University, based in Savannah, into Georgia Southern.
Throughout 2017 Hebert, along with Armstrong’s president, led an implementation committee that coordinated campus working groups and delivered the detailed plan for the “new Georgia Southern University.”
With final approval from the Board of Regents in December, the consolidation took effect Jan. 1, creating a 27,000-student university with campuses in Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville.
Before his appointment as Georgia Southern president, Hebert was provost and vice president of academic affairs at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, from 2011 to 2016.
Also at Sam Houston State, Hebert was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2005 to 2011 and chair and professor of statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics from 1999 to 2005. He was an assistant and associate professor of statistics there from 1995 to 1999.
He was an assistant professor of mathematical science at Appalachian State University from 1990 to 1995.
Hebert’s appointment as UL Lafayette’s provost and vice president for academic affairs is pending approval by the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, according to Savoie’s announcement.
Nickel coming here
When Hebert’s departure was announced May 16, University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley named Shelley Clark Nickel to be Georgia Southern’s interim president. Nickel currently serves as USG executive vice chancellor for strategy and fiscal affairs and treasurer for the Board of Regents. Her 17-year career with the university system also includes past service as interim president at Gordon State College in Barnesville.