Laurie Morrow has been named executive director for Economic Development, Innovation, and Outreach at Northwestern State University effective March 7. Her hiring is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
Morrow will supervise and lead the departments of Student Technology, Electronic and Continuing Education, Sponsored Programs and Northwestern State campuses in Leesville, Alexandria, Barksdale Air Force Base and Marksville.
She will serve as principal leader for economic development and provide the vision for developing and implementing strategies and initiatives that will support the development and continuance of business and industrial partnerships for the university and in the region.
Northwestern President Dr. Marcus Jones said the establishment of the new position “reflects the university’s expanded focus and emphasis on economic development across the Northwest and Central Louisiana region served by NSU.”
He said, “Laurie Morrow has extensive experience and expertise in working with business, industry and other entities in developing and maintaining partnerships that will be beneficial to the university and enhance this area’s economic growth and stability.”
The position of Executive Director for Economic Development, Innovation, and Outreach “was created as part of the restructuring of an area of the university that has been directed for a number of years by Dr. Darlene Williams, who is transitioning toward retirement later this year.”
Williams is Vice President for Technology, Innovation, and Economic Development at NSU. Williams will work with Morrow over the next several months to help make the transition easier.
Williams said, “It is gratifying that Dr. Jones has selected someone with Laurie Morrow’s capabilities and experience for this position that will be so important for the university and the region it serves in these rapidly changing times in higher education in Louisiana and nationwide.”
In her position, Morrow will collaborate with university leadership in expanding relationships and initiatives to enhance enrollment growth. She will be asked to develop strategic public, private and governmental partnerships to capitalize on new and emerging opportunities and markets trends. Morrow will serve as a key member in advancing the university’s strategic vision and work closely with the Leadership Team, faculty and staff, students, and other external constituencies to further align operations with strategic goals.
“I am deeply honored to join Dr. Jones and his team at NSU,” said Morrow. “In this role, I will be working closely with university leadership and community partners to advance the vision of Northwestern State University. I am eager to make a positive contribution to the university and our region.”
Morrow has more than 20 years of experience in the state’s Community and Technical College System. She has led the Natchitoches campus of the Central Louisiana Technical Community College since 2017 and headed the campus when it was under the Northwest Louisiana Technical College from 2008 to 2017.
In her roles as campus dean, facilities manager and chief academic officer, Morrow supervised all aspects of operations including recruiting, retaining and educating students, maintaining campus facilities and seeing that academic programs were keeping up with a changing educational environment. She also supported mutually beneficial partnerships between the college, business and industry and other educational institutions.
Morrow was director of Admissions, assistant campus dean and an accounting instructor for Northwest Louisiana Technical College from 1997 to 2004 and director of Admissions for Louisiana Technical College, Region 3 from 2005 to 2008.
Morrow attended Northwestern State and earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance from Louisiana Tech University.