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LSU System President Leaving for Oregon State

Dec 16, 2019 10:33AM ● By Staff Writer
By David Jacobs | The Center Square

LSU system President F. King Alexander on Friday was selected as the next president of Oregon State University.

Alexander’s last day as president of LSU will be Dec. 31, though he will “work closely with the Board of Supervisors and the administration on an orderly transition until March 31,” LSU says.

“This was a very difficult decision for me given my fondness for LSU and the tremendous progress we’re making here,” Alexander said. “It’s been a privilege to be part of such an important and iconic university system. I’m proud of what we’ve collectively accomplished, including setting records for enrollment in size, diversity and academic achievement.”

Thomas Galligan, dean of LSU’s law school and former president of Colby-Sawyer College, has been appointed interim president while the LSU Board of Supervisors conducts a national search for Alexander’s replacement.

“On behalf of the LSU Board of Supervisors, I’d like to thank King for his outstanding leadership at LSU and his untiring advocacy for public higher education,” said Mary Werner, chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors. “He has accomplished a great amount during his time as president, but I fully understand his desire to seek new challenges and am elated he can carry on his mission at another internationally recognized land-grant institution.”

Alexander left the top job at California State University-Long Beach to take the LSU job in 2013. He also served as president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001 to 2005.

Though Alexander received a positive review from the Board of Supervisors in October, he has been unpopular with some members of the university community. Richard Lipsey, a prominent LSU booster and former member of the Board of Regents that oversees state higher education policy, has called for LSU to move on from Alexander.

When asked about Lipsey’s position earlier this year during his monthly radio show, Gov. John Bel Edwards was noncommittal.

“I’m not prepared to echo what he is saying with respect to the current leadership at LSU, and I’ll just leave it at that," Edwards said.

AP File Photo/ Melinda Deslatte: 
Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Rallo, left, talks with LSU President F. King Alexander.