BATON ROUGE, La. – Gary Solomon, Jr. of New Orleans was sworn in as Chair of the Board of Regents today, sharing with the members his continued support for driving engagement with business and industry to better align higher education with the state’s workforce and economic development needs.
Solomon is the Co-Founder and CEO of Solomon Group, an experiential production agency headquartered in New Orleans. He was named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30: World’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” list, and has been featured in The Atlantic, SUCCESS Magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, and USA Today. Chair Solomon was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2019.
“I am proud to serve in this role and honored to advocate for expanded education, training, and research opportunities for the residents across our state,” said Chair Solomon. “We know the work ahead calls on us to strengthen the education-to-employment pipeline, as we strive to meet our Master Plan goal of 60 percent of Louisiana’s working-age adults holding a credential of value by 2030. I look forward to engaging with our board, this administration, and all stakeholders to advance our postsecondary priorities and accelerate our work.”
Joining Chair Solomon in leadership roles for 2024 are:
- T. Jay Seale III of Hammond, Vice Chair
- Darren G. Mire of New Orleans, Secretary
- Blake R. David of Lafayette, Executive Committee Member
- Phillip R. May, Jr. of Jefferson, Executive Committee Member
- Terrie P. Sterling of Zachary, Executive Committee Member
- Collis B. Temple III of Baton Rouge, Executive Committee Member
The Board of Regents, a state agency created by the 1974 Louisiana Constitution, is a policy and advocacy board coordinating the activities of the state’s public higher education institutions. The new Board leadership will serve during the 2024 calendar year.
During its regular January meeting, Regents also received its annual report on implementing the Uniform Policy on Power-Based Violence as required by Act 472 of the 2021 Regular Legislative Session.
Key highlights of the report include:
Mandatory Training: In 2023, 31,110 employees (88.7%) across all four public postsecondary systems completed annual training on power-based violence. Additionally, 203 employees across all four systems have been designated as confidential advisors and have completed annual training (99.5%) to serve students who report Title IX or power-based violence incidents.
Reported Incidents: At the end of fall 2023, 44 formal complaints had been filed across all four systems. The status of each complaint is included in the report.
Funding Allocation: In 2023, the Louisiana Legislature allocated $5 million in recurring funding to strengthen Title IX offices across the state as they provide campus training, programming, and expanded staff to support campus safety.
Website Dashboard: Regents has launched a website to serve as a Power-Based Violence and Title IX Resource Hub. The informational website offers statewide and national resources, a search feature for students to identify their campus Title IX Coordinator and a repository of training videos and materials for campus Title IX Coordinators and confidential advisors.
The legislative report was submitted on behalf of the Board to the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House, as well as the Senate Select Committee on Women and Children.
“The Board of Regents is committed to working hand-in-hand with our higher education community to ensure that we keep our students and campuses safe,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter Reed. “It is up to all of us to create a culture that cares, and to provide an education system where our students can prosper.”
In addition to reviewing the legislative report, Regents received an update on campus safety assessments, which are being conducted at institutions across the state to identify and address areas of need. Last year, the legislature provided $11 million in campus safety funding, including $10M to support expanded lighting, security cameras and other physical plant needs and an additional $1M for safety assessments.