03/27/2013 11:11 AM
BATON ROUGE – The LSU Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the appointment of
F. King Alexander as President of the LSU System and Chancellor of LSU A&M, with the
understanding that these two positions will be combined under the title of President
of LSU upon compliance with accreditation standards. Alexander, currently president
of California State University Long Beach, had been recommended by the LSU Presidential
Search Committee as the committee’s consensus candidate during the March 18 Board
“This is indeed a wonderful honor, and I’d like to thank our board members; I’d like
to thank the faculty and staff of this great university and the people of the state
of Louisiana because ultimately the true beneficiaries of a great LSU will be the
people and citizens of the state of Louisiana,” Alexander said. “I am pleased and
humbled by your faith in me and your confidence in me, and I look forward to working
with you closely to build these bonds, to build these bridges and to build LSU to
its best capability possible but also to benefit every single citizens that’s in this
state, every person that lives within the state of Louisiana.”
Alexander has served as president of Cal State Long Beach since late 2005.
“My tenure as president of Cal State Long Beach has prepared me to assume the role
as the head of the Louisiana State University system,” Alexander said. “The challenges
facing LSU are similar to those in California and elsewhere. Universities throughout
the nation are struggling to serve more students while managing declining state revenues.
At the same time, leaders in the field of higher education know the burden is on
us to demonstrate that the public’s money is well spent.
“We also know,” he added, “it’s time to begin the process of modernizing our institutions
so we may accommodate the next generation of tech savvy students who are in the elementary
and secondary pipeline and soon will be seeking college degrees.”
Alexander visited LSU on March 21 and 22 to interact with students, faculty and staff
and to meet with key groups. During the visit, Alexander held three public forums
with LSU faculty, staff and students. For more on the forums, see http://www.lsu.edu/departments/gold/2013/03/alexander_forums.shtml.
“The feedback that we have received from those meetings has been very, very positive,
and there’s much excitement about our candidate,” said Blake Chatelain, chair of the
Presidential Search Committee. “The committee feels that Dr. Alexander has a deep
understanding of higher education. He appreciates its history but he also has a firm
grasp of the future, and we believe that he stands ready to lead LSU into that future.”
Alexander plans to begin at LSU in July. He is replacing William Jenkins, who came
out of retirement to serve as interim LSU System President and interim LSU Chancellor.
“I am very pleased with the selection; I think he’s going to be a wonderful president
for LSU,” Jenkins said. “Alexander’s a rising star in higher education in the U.S.,
and we’re very fortunate to get him now.”
Alexander said that he sees the LSU President position as a long-term opportunity
and plans to be at LSU as long as the Board of Supervisors would like for him to be.
Prior to becoming president at CSU Long Beach in 2006, Alexander was the president
of Murray State University from 2001 to 2006. He received his Ph.D. in educational
leadership and policy analysis in 1996 from the University of Wisconsin, his Master
of Science in educational studies/comparative educational policy in 1991 from the
University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts in 1987 in political science from St.
Under his leadership, CSU Long Beach improved graduation rates to their highest levels
in school history; enhanced the number of graduates to their highest levels, totaling
approximately 9,000 degrees per year; and obtained capital funding and constructed
a new $110 million Hall of Science, a $70 million Student Recreation and Wellness
Center and a new School of Nursing facility during an economic recession.
Alexander significantly increased CSU Long Beach’s research and external funding capacity
and support. He oversaw a reorganization of CSU Long Beach’s institutional advancement
and public relations office, and the university’s private philanthropic giving has
set institutional records and currently is in the midst of a first “Capital Campaign,”
where more than $200 million has already been raised, resulting in a doubling of the
During this same time, he maintained and modified budgeting processes to accommodate
an $85 million reduction in state appropriation during the economic recession. Alexander
was twice voted “President of the Year” by the California State University Student
Association, representing 23 student governments and 435,000 students throughout California.
In addition to serving as president at CSU Long Beach and Murray State, Alexander has held positions at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; University of Wisconsin, Madison; and University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2013