LONG BEACH, Calif. -- California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander today was unanimously appointed by the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors to become the system president of LSU and chancellor of Louisiana State University A&M (LSU).
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.”