John Nicklow, University of New Orleans President
John Nicklow is the University of New Orleans President. He has more than two decades of experience in higher education with a strong record of fostering research, enrollment management, student success initiatives, fundraising, campus-wide collaborations and academic program innovation.
He has authored or co-authored 4 books and over 75 technical publications in water resources engineering. His technical interests include the optimal control of water resources and environmental systems, hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, and the analysis of sediment transport in rivers and streams.
Early Life and Education
Nicklow grew up in Berlin, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from Arizona State University. He later joined the faculty of Southern Illinois University Carbondale as an assistant professor.
He was the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at UNO from July 2013 to June 2014. Nicklow has also held a number of other high-level academic leadership positions including Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management, Associate Dean of Engineering and Professor of Civil Engineering. He has an impressive track record in research, student success initiatives, fundraising, campus-wide collaborations and academic program innovation. It is no wonder he was chosen to lead the university in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing recovery.
Nicklow was a civil engineer with the U.S. Public Health Service until 1998 when he joined the College of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC).
He has been widely recognized at the university level, by the American Society of Civil Engineers and by industry for his teaching and research on optimal control of water resources systems, hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, and sediment transport in rivers and streams. He holds a doctorate in civil engineering from Arizona State University and has received professional certification as a diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.
In addition to his work as president, he also serves on the College of Engineering Dean’s Council and is a member of SIUC’s Strategic Planning Committee. As a result of his leadership, the college has been able to accomplish important outcomes in enrollment growth, strengthening faculty excellence and increasing external partnerships.
Achievements and Honors
In his tenure at UNO, President Nicklow has helped lead three years of enrollment growth, improving student retention rates and graduation rates. He has also led campus-wide collaborations and academic program innovation.
He is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He has published numerous articles on STEM education and has served as an expert witness in engineering and environmental litigation.
Mollie was a member of the Kingwood Odd Fellows Grove and was honored as the “honored member of the day” during her Nicklow reunion in June 1968. She outlived her husband Evanell by 46 years and was buried in Old Bethel Cemetery.
Nicklow is a civil engineer by training who has spent his career working with the federal government and developing water supply and wastewater disposal facilities in American Indian communities. He has served as a faculty member at Southern Illinois University Carbondale since 1998, where he has held several leadership positions in the College of Engineering.
In March, he was named president of the University of New Orleans. He comes to the university with experience in research, enrollment management, student success initiatives, fundraising and campus-wide collaborations.
He is a former provost and vice president of academic affairs at UNO, and was one of two finalists for the job. His selection was a controversial one, especially given the state’s budget crisis and the fact that UNO is facing a variety of challenges. But as WWNO’s Eve Troeh explains, Nicklow isn’t afraid of a challenge and will try to bolster the reputation of UNO as a top research institution and boost enrollment.