BATON ROUGE – After leading LSU for the past 6 six years President F. King Alexander is moving to the West Coast.
On Friday Alexander was named the next president of Oregon State University.
Alexander’s appointment is effective July 1, 2020, at which time he will replace Ed Ray who is stepping down after 17 years as president.
“This was a very difficult decision for me given my fondness for LSU and the tremendous progress we’re making here,” said Alexander. “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. Shenette and I, along with our family, thank LSU and Baton Rouge for making our many years here so memorable.”
Thomas Galligan, dean of LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center 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.
Alexander’s last day as president will be Dec. 31. He will return to a faculty role to conduct research and write, as well as work closely with the Board of Supervisors and the administration on an orderly transition until March 31, 2020.
“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, chair 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.”
Under Alexander’s leadership, LSU has reached milestones in enrollment, academic research funding, philanthropic support and new facilities. According to a recent study from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, LSU ranks among the nation’s top public institutions in students’ earnings-to-debt-return.
Prior to joining LSU in 2013, Alexander served for seven years as president of California State University – Long Beach. During that time, the university grew to 36,000 students and achieved its highest graduation rate and largest graduation classes. He also served as president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001 to 2005.