CSULB President Alexander Going to LSU
From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 6
By Terri M. Carbaugh
California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander today was unanimously appointed by the Louisiana State University (LSU) Board of Supervisors to become the system president of LSU and chancellor of Louisiana State University A&M.
F. King Alexander
He will remain president of CSULB through June.
“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.”
As president, Alexander helped strengthen ties between the Long Beach Unified School District and Long Beach City College through the College Promise, increasing the college-going rates of area students and reducing their need to remediate before taking college-level math and English. He also persevered in securing capital funding to construct three significant building projects. They include a $110 million state-of-the art Hall of Science, a $70 million Student Recreation Wellness Center and a new School of Nursing building. Both research and external funding increased significantly at CSULB during his tenure.
“President Alexander has been an exceptional leader during one of the most challenging times for public higher education our state has ever faced,” said California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy P. White. “As president, he has earned the respect of faculty, staff and students at his campus, from his peers across the California State University, and from leaders of higher education throughout the nation.
“King’s work with the federal government, along with his advocacy efforts to preserve access for students in California, is particularly commendable,” he continued. “I am grateful for President Alexander’s service and wish him the best in his next endeavor.”
An interim president will be appointed upon Alexander’s departure, and the Chancellor and CSU Board of Trustees will begin a national search for a permanent replacement.
“LSU is getting an outstanding leader in F. King Alexander. Under his direction, California State University, Long Beach has increased its programmatic offerings, facilities and awareness on a national scale that resulted in a learning environment that drew over 80,000 applications this year – the most of any CSU campus,” noted Bob Linscheid, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “President Alexander has always worked to further the CSU mission of an affordable and accessible, high-quality education and his efforts were critical in offsetting the effects of years of devastating budget cuts to ensure that CSULB is one of the best educational values in the country.”
Alexander will participate in the 2013 CSULB graduation ceremonies.
“I look forward to continuing my work at Cal State Long Beach over the next few months,” he said. “I am especially excited to be a part of this year’s upcoming commencement ceremonies where I will have one more opportunity to shake the hand of every 2013 CSULB graduate and wish them success.”
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Reaction to President Alexander’s LSU Appointment
Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, who chaired the CSULB presidential selection committee that brought Alexander to the university:
“During his tenure, President Alexander elevated CSULB to one of the top public universities in the nation despite a period of tremendous financial challenges in this state. King’s energy and passion for the mission of the public university system is infectious and his talents will be missed here in Long Beach. I am sorry to see him go but wish him nothing but success at LSU.”
Former Long Beach Mayor and CSULB Alumna Beverly O’Neill:
“I really believe we were lucky to have him at Cal State Long Beach for the past seven years. He has made a difference at the university, which has advanced in so many ways,” said former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill, who is also a graduate of CSULB. “In particular, he worked closely with the Long Beach Unified School District and Long Beach City College to form a strong partnership for students of Long Beach to help them flow from kindergarten through graduate school. President Alexander has been a great source of pride for the greater Long Beach community, and I know that he is going to do extremely well in his new position at Louisiana State University.”
Long Beach City College President Eloy Ortiz Oakley:
“I greet the news of President F. King Alexander’s appointment at President-Chancellor at Louisiana State University with sadness and great pride. His commitment to our community and students as exemplified by the Long Beach College Promise will be deeply missed in Long Beach. These same traits set him apart as a higher education leader who understands the connection of public education institutions to the communities they serve. He has been a true partner of Long Beach City College and his leadership has helped secure the success of the Long Beach College Promise for generations to come. I am sure he will produce similar results at LSU.”
Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser:
“Louisiana State University is very fortunate to get King Alexander as its president-chancellor. He has done wonderful things to elevate the stature of Cal State Long Beach, and he has remained a true friend of our K-12 school system during some difficult times for California’s public schools. “We are saddened to see King leave, but we know that wherever he goes, he will have a tremendous, positive impact upon the lives of students. I’m personally grateful for all that he has done to help ensure equity and access to a college education for all students in our community, and I wish him all the best.”