BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - F. King Alexander, the current president of LSU, has been named the new president of Oregon State University, in Corvallis, Ore.
Alexander will replace current Oregon State University President Ed Ray, who will be leaving Oregon State after 17 years in June of 2020.
Thomas Galligan, dean of LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center, will serve as the interim president while the LSU Board of Supervisors conducts a national search for Alexander’s replacement.
Alexander’s last day as president of LSU will be Dec. 31.
“This was a very difficult decision for me given my fondness for LSU and the tremendous progress we’re making here,” Alexander said in a statement issued by LSU.
“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.”
Alexander became the president of LSU in 2013 after serving as the president of California State University, Long Beach for seven years. He also served as president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001 to 2005.
Political analyst, Jim Engster, suggests the Board of Supervisors will likely select a new president in spring of 2020. However, he says the university’s political atmosphere could play a major role on who takes Alexander’s place.
“Ultimately, the Board of Supervisors in conference with the governor of Louisiana will determine who the next chancellor is after a search committee determines who the finalists are,” said Engster.
Engster says Alexander’s departure is abrupt, but not entirely unexpected.
"Friday is when you dump the things that you don’t really want to talk about, and King Alexander was restless and he had some people who didn’t like him and some decisions were made recently, like to hire the athletic director, which he had minimal inputs. The previous chancellor said that LSU is the most political place on the planet, and King Alexander found that out when he ran into political strife of some prominent people in this community, and as a result, I’m sure he was looking,” said Engster.
Engster says while LSU will likely have many applicants for the president’s job, one notable name is already surfacing. Former Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne is a likely candidate. Dardenne is currently the commissioner of administration for Governor John Bel Edwards.