Shared from the 4/23/2017 American Press eEdition


Burckel voted to be president of McNeese

Starting July 1, Daryl Burckel will become McNeese State University’s new president, and it will rely on his leadership to move the university forward in the right direction.

The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Thursday in favor of Burckel. He beat out two finalists — Neil Aspinwall, chancellor of Sowela Technical Community College; and Jeanne Daboval, McNeese’s provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

While Aspinwall and Daboval are certainly worthy candidates to lead McNeese, the extensive process to interview and consider each candidate led the board to select Burckel.

With his experience and background, it’s easy to see why.

Burckel is a two-time graduate of McNeese and earned his doctorate in business administration from Mississippi State University. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1983-1990 and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

He has more than three decades of experience in higher education and works as an accounting professor. He also holds the Arthur Hollins Endowed Professorship in Accounting at McNeese.

Clearly his experience with accounting will come into play as McNeese continues to manage what has become a continuing theme for Louisiana’s colleges and universities — fewer state dollars set aside for higher education.

Burckel also serves as president for the Port of Lake Charles board of commissioners. He serves on the Jeff Davis Bank Board of Directors and the Louisiana Land Trust Board.

Experience like this can only benefit McNeese, as Burckel remains on the forefront of the growing economic development projects in Southwest Louisiana.

Burckel touched on some of these issues during his interviews with the UL System board of supervisors. He mentioned finding different ways to provide funding for McNeese, including business partnerships. Hopefully, his existing connections and working relationships can make those options a reality.

President-elect Burckel will replace current McNeese President Philip Williams, who is retiring June 30. Williams has served as the university’s president for seven years and has been an effective leader and ambassador for McNeese.

While Williams’ departure is certainly a loss for Mc-Neese, we are hopeful and confident Burckel can keep the university prospering. Williams said Burckel “understands the importance of McNeese to Lake Charles and the Southwest Louisiana region.”

We congratulate Daryl Burckel on being chosen to lead McNeese. Hopefully, he can use his professional experience to make sure the university is financially solid and can continue to provide a quality education for its students.


This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Crystal Stevenson, John Guidroz, Emily Fontenot, retired editor Jim Beam and retired staff writer Mike Jones.

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