Letter to the Centenary Community on move from DI to DIII

Dear Centenary Community;

Since its founding in 1825, Centenary College of Louisiana has confronted many challenges and provided solutions that have helped secure the college's long-term health and stability.  Having just celebrated its 100th anniversary in Shreveport-Bossier, Centenary has the opportunity to meet the current economic challenge with the same confident determination that has always been its trademark.

The College has spent almost a year assessing all academic and student life programs in light of financial realities and the college's core mission: to provide a superb education.  Centenary provides a remarkably high placement rate for our graduates in jobs and graduate study, and we will make whatever changes are necessary to sustain that success rate.

Today, the Board of Trustees voted to reclassify Centenary College from Division I athletics to Division III. This is in line with the proposals made by the Board at its last meeting in May.  The College will continue to participate in Division I for the next two years in the Summit League while we pursue a new conference in Division III that is more suited to the needs of the College. Most small liberal-arts colleges like Centenary compete at the Division III level because that affiliation is more in keeping with their focus on academics and the student athlete. During this two-year transition period, no scholarships will be affected as a result of reclassification to Division III.  Centenary will honor its scholarship commitments to athletes during this time, after which those students can apply for non-athletic scholarships.

The move to Division III athletics is just one small part of a much larger plan to reposition Centenary College for future long-term health and stability. Other proposals endorsed by the Board include the establishment of a Vice President of Enrollment Management to concentrate on the overall design and implementation of the College's enrollment and retention strategies, an increased budget for Student Life in each of the next five years to work toward the completion of special projects such as residence hall renovations and the Greek Village, and a restructuring of our academic programs to reduce the number of under-utilized majors and improve our historically strong academic programs.

Centenary will soon welcome a new president and begin a new era of distinctive academic excellence.  To prepare the foundation for this bright new era, The Board of Trustees considers that these strategies will not only position the College to weather the temporary economic storm but also lead the way to long-term academic growth of one of the best colleges in the South.

We believe that making these difficult but necessary decisions now we will preserve the quality of this grand institution and its core values for many years to come. Together, we can ensure another Great Century of Centenary in Shreveport-Bossier!

Ed Crawford

Acting Chairman

Board of Trustees