Joseph Savoie


University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Geo Area
Region 4


Dr. E. Joseph Savoie is the president of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from UL Lafayette and earned a doctor of education in educational leadership and administration from Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City.

He previously served as the Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Louisiana where he was involved in several major postsecondary education reforms in Louisiana, including:

  • the restructuring of higher education governance;
  • creation of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System;
  • teacher education and school reform initiatives; and
  • the state’s Master Plan for Public Postsecondary Education; and

Under his leadership, financial support for public postsecondary education nearly tripled and Louisiana’s colleges and universities have become more engaged in addressing Louisiana’s economic and social challenges.

Savoie has held numerous state, regional, and national positions. Governors M. J. “Mike” Foster, Edwin Edwards and Kathleen Blanco all tapped him for higher education committees and commissions in their administrations. Savoie was a cabinet member in three governors’ administrations – Foster’s, Blanco’s and Bobby Jindal’s.

His regional and national board affiliations include the Southern Regional Education Board, the national State Higher Education Executive Officers, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the American Association of School Administrators, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the NCAA.

His numerous awards and honors include the 2007 CASE District IV Chief Executive Leadership Award, which was renamed the “Dr. E. Joseph Savoie Chief Executive Leadership Award,” the 2004 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Outstanding Alumnus Award, the 2000 Henry Mason Award, which is presented by the Louisiana Chapter of the American Association of University Professors and the 2013 Governor’s Technology Award..

Savoie returned to his alma mater as president in July 2008. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner of Higher Education, Savoie served in many roles on the UL Lafayette campus, including Vice President for University Advancement, Executive Director of the Alumni Association, Program Director for the Union Program Council and Student Government Advisor, as well as an adjunct assistant professor.

Savoie and his wife, Gail, have a daughter, Jennifer Blaire Saulnier, a son, Adam Savoie and a granddaughter, Addison Marie.