10 headlines for 2010 was an appealing idea, but there were important items that could not be omitted for the year.  So in approximate order of importance, here are the top headlines involving UL for the past year.

1. Budget Cuts
State government has announced that UL could face 37% funding cuts for the near future, with more cuts coming next Fall.  This led to a scramble among schools to prove their superiority through graduation rates, which led the UL System to point out that the current method of measuring graduation rates is highly flawedultoday.com weighed in with a couple of essays, one on the importance of education, the other on Governor Jindal's campaign pledge to support education, and how his own education has paved the way for his political success.

2. Academic Progress
As it was announced that UL had reached the Top 100 Public Research Universities in the country, the University also transitioned from Tier IV to Tier II on the USN&WR list.

3. University Expansion
This Fall UL's freshman class grew by double digits. Undaunted by the budget cuts, President Savoie is also aggressively growing the campus by beginning $100M in residence and parking projects, on top of the $140M+ building projects recently completed and underway.

4. UL Contributes to the Oil Spill Response
UL faculty from a number of different departments were assisting with the response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf.  A UL physicist was involved in innovative acoustic monitoring of the spill, a sociologist published a hard-hitting book on the disaster, and a biologist was featured on British TV for her work.  Alum Wilma Subra received international coverage for her environmental activism in investigating the chemical aspects, and alum Congressmen Boustany and Melancon represented responses from both sides of the aisle.  There is also some talk of the settlement money from BP going to support higher education in Louisiana, the impact from which may be felt for years.

5. College of Engineering Continues Rapid Growth
The year ended with Engineering building on its trump suit of alternative fuels and bioprocessing by opening an innovative syngas research facility with CLECO.  Meanwhile, Dr. Chris Carroll continued to grow his rock-star status with a two-part series on the Science Channel, which followed on his earlier coverage on the History Channel.  UL students began work on their second satellite, and the student Petroleum Engineering chapter was named the best in North America.

6. UL Hires New VP for Research
In a move that sent a few seismic waves across Louisiana academia, Dr. Robert Twilley left LSU to return to UL as the new Vice President for Research.

7. UL Hires New Men's Basketball Coach
Much-liked basketball coach Robert Lee just couldn't win on the court, and Bob Marlin was hired as his replacement.  Right after his hire at UL, Marlin was named Prosser Man of the Year, immediately boosting the credibility of Cajuns basketball, even before any (basketball) shot was fired.

8. Picard Center Underway
At the beginning of the year, construction began on the Cecil J. Picard Child Development and Lifelong Learning at the University of Louisiana's Research Park.  During the year, the Picard Center won the Friend of Children Award by the State Board of the Louisiana Early Childhood Association, and garnered international headlines by publishing research linking fitness and learning.  Unfortunately, the year closed with the death of the initiating donor for the Center, Loyd J. Rockhold.

9. Landry Leaves with a Bang
After announcing his retirement, Provost Steve Landry was named Alumnus of the Year, and in the recent graduation was also named Provost Emeritus.

10. Softball
Sure, the Cajuns advanced to yet another Super Regional and finished #20 in the US... but for the powerhouse Louisiana program, that was actually an average year.  What was more important was that once again, UL defeated LSU in their own Baton Rouge NCAA Regional, not only settling once and for all who is the Louisiana leader in softball, but also making UL the first state school to surpass the Tigers in any sport LSU has taken seriously.  But the ladies excelled off the diamond as well, placing eight Academic All-Americans.  On top of that, construction on the new Lamson Park began, and AD Scott Farmer was named chairman of the NCAA Division I Softball Committee, so maybe some of the insultingly low seeds the Cajuns have received in previous NCAA tournaments will become a thing of the past.

11. Gaines Center Opens
After years of planning and work, the Ernest J. Gaines Center finally opened in Dupré Library, honoring UL's internationally acclaimed Writer-In-Residence Emeritus.

12. UL Hires New Football Coach
Widely regarded as having gotten Cajuns football back on track, injuries and other bad luck nevertheless doomed Coach Rickey Bustle.  Soon after the end of the season, UL announced that Mark Hudspeth would be leaving Mississippi State to become the Cajuns' 13th head coach.

13. Golf
Under alumnus Theo Sliman, the Cajuns look to be UL's next powerhouse program. Andrew Noto finished #2 in the Louisiana amateur tournament. Not to be outdone, Philipp Fendt won the Austrian National Open, and then went on to finish among the Top 20 amateurs in the world.  To put the icing on the cake, Sliman went out and recruited the JuCo National Champion to play for the Cajuns next year.

14. Alum Nominated for Nobel Prize
In a headline that received almost no local coverage, UL alumnus and Maryknoll Priest Father Roy Bourgeois was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to dismantle the training of foreign military in allegedly brutal tactics at Fort Benning GA. He was nominated by the Quakers, former Nobel Laureates themselves.

15. Faculty Win National Art Award
UL faculty won a National ADDY award in 2010 for their work on an innovative video.


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