Leadership & Governance

F. King Alexander Is Named Sole Finalist for Top Job at Louisiana State U.

Michael Yee

F. King Alexander, now president of California State U. at Long Beach, was nominated for a new leadership post at Louisiana State U. that merges the previous positions of president of the system and chancellor of the flagship campus, in Baton Rouge.
March 18, 2013

F. King Alexander, president of California State University at Long Beach, is the sole finalist for the job of chancellor and president at Louisiana State University, the university's search committee announced on Monday.

The university system's Board of Supervisors is scheduled to review the nomination of Mr. Alexander, who has been president of Cal State-Long Beach since 2006, at a special meeting on March 27.

The top job at LSU is a new position that combines two previously distinct leadership roles: president of the multicampus university system and chancellor of its flagship campus, in Baton Rouge.

The merging of the positions, which was part of a broader reorganization effort, was a move supported by Louisiana's governor, Bobby Jindal, a Republican. The governor and his staff have been accused by critics as having unusual influence in university affairs and playing an outsize role in the system's day-to-day management.

The choice of Mr. Alexander would appear to diminish concerns about the politicization of the new LSU position, given his background as a longtime college administrator, researcher, and faculty member who is a scholar of academic leadership. He holds a Ph.D. in higher-education administration from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

William L. Jenkins is now serving as LSU's interim leader. He became the system's interim president in April after the controversial firing of John V. Lombardi from that job. Mr. Jenkins then took on the added duties of interim chancellor for the flagship at Baton Rouge after Michael V. Martin announced in May that he was leaving to become chancellor of the Colorado State University system.