University Of New Orleans President To Step Down; 'No Institution Has Faced More Challenges'

Aug 31, 2015

This story has been updated.

  Peter Fos, the President of the University of New Orleans, has announced he will retire at the end of January 2016.

Fos took the helm of the troubled public university in 2012, and had struggled to reduce the expenses of the New Orleans outpost of the University of Louisiana System during an era of declining enrollments and drastic reductions in state funding.

“Serving as the president of my alma mater has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream,” Fos was quoted as saying in a University press release. “The University of New Orleans is incredibly special to me, and I have worked tirelessly to make it a better place for our students, faculty and staff.”

Fos is the sixth head of the University of New Orleans. Campus presidents were referred to as chancellors during the university’s association with the Louisiana State University system.

“I believe that I have contributed all that I can, and it is because I care so much for the institution that I can say it is time for a new president to bring it to new heights,” Fos said.

Before his stint at UNO, Fos was the program director of health policy and systems management at the LSU Health Sciences Center, the provost and executive vice president at the University of Texas at Tyler, a dean at the University of Southern Mississippi, and held faculty and staff positions at several other institutions, including 17 years at Tulane University.

“The Board and I express our gratitude to President Fos for his work over the past four years during a very difficult time for higher education,” Sandra K. Woodley, president of the University of Louisiana System, was quoted as saying. “No institution has faced more challenges than the University of New Orleans.”

Fos received his undergraduate degree from UNO.

"I was the first in my family to graduate college," Fos said at a Monday press conference officially announcing his departure. "My mother and father didn't graduate high school. I have two doctorates. That all started at the University of New Orleans."