Loren J. Blanchard is executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at the California State University (CSU), the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the United States. In this role for the past five and a half years, he develops and oversees educational and student affairs policies for the 23-campus system; guides and supports campus administrators on curricula, program design and student services matters; and serves as the chancellor’s designee to the CSU’s Academic Senate. Blanchard leads the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, an ambitious effort to increase graduation rates for all students while eliminating equity gaps and preparing more students to meet California’s projected workforce needs by 2030. Four years into the student success effort, the CSU has begun to experience the desired results from this wide-ranging and consequential initiative.
Prior to joining the CSU, he was provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs at Xavier University in Louisiana for seven years directly following Hurricane Katrina. As the chief academic officer for this only historically Black and Catholic university in the United States, Blanchard led the campus in achieving a number of strategic milestones including: successful accreditation re-affirmations by SACS-COC, the Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education; Board approval to implement two new academic baccalaureate programs in Public Health Sciences and Communication Studies as well as two new graduate degree programs in Clinical Psychology and Educational Leadership; a $6 million infusion of private and federal grants to strengthen high school pipeline programs and student retention programs; the implementation of a new annual faculty excellence awards program in teaching, service and scholarship; the formation of new international partnerships to engage students and faculty including the establishment of a Confucius Institute; the receipt of a $7 million federal grant to strengthen the research infrastructure for faculty conducting critical work in cancer, diabetes, heart disease and asthma; and the receipt of $1.5 million in both federal and private funding to increase the University's capacity to prepare undergraduate minority students to complete medical school programs.
Blanchard also served as associate vice chancellor for Academic and Multicultural Affairs at the LSU Health Sciences Center – New Orleans as well as the provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs and vice president for Accreditation, Leadership and Accountability within the University of Louisiana System.
Blanchard’s professional background has fueled his commitment to university administration and emboldened his passion to ensure that campus climates are highly supportive of student success, faculty excellence and innovative academic/research programs and practices. Further, he believes in fostering synergy between universities and the larger communities they serve in order to strengthen the economic, cultural, intellectual and social capital of the respective region and state.
As a first-generation college graduate, Blanchard fully embraces the life-changing value of higher education in reaching beyond race and social class to provide a path to success. He is a student-centric leader believing students should be at the core of all that we do. He promotes excellence through daily work whether working internally or externally or within a teaching-focused or research-focused environment. Blanchard seeks to know and understand an individual’s life story – as it informs what is needed to help an individual reach his/her full potential. This applies whether working with faculty and students to promote success in and out of the classroom, or when working with alumni or community members to help them visualize and achieve their philanthropic goals.
Blanchard holds a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University, a master’s degree in education from McNeese State University, and a Ph.D. in education psychology from the University of Georgia.
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