SUSLA chancellor stepping down at end of 2021

Rodney Ellis
Rodney Ellis(SUSLA)
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 4:02 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The chancellor of Southern University Shreveport (SUSLA) is stepping down, effective Dec. 31, President Ray L. Belton announced Monday, Nov. 8.

Chancellor Rodney Ellis has been chancellor since 2016. He has requested to take personal leave until his resignation date to focus on family matters, the university says.

“It has been an honor to serve the students and citizens of this great community and to work with the incredibly talented and dedicated team of faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners to advance SUSLA’s mission,” Ellis said.

The school says under Ellis’ leadership, they’ve seen historic levels of philanthropic support from individual, community, and corporate partners.

“Dr. Ellis’ contributions to the university through innovative strategies to secure major partnerships and by leveraging public/private gifts have been transformational throughout the campus. He has left an indelible footprint at SUSLA — one that will impact our students, our workforce and our overall community for years to come. We are grateful for his service,” said Stephanie Rogers, chief advancement officer at SUSLA.

“I would also like to thank Dr. Ellis for a tremendous display of leadership at Southern University Shreveport and in the surrounding community for the past five years,” Belton said. “Under his leadership, the campus has seen a significant expansion of associate degree programs and stackable credentials that are delivered across the system and indeed he leaves the Shreveport campus well-positioned for reaffirmation of accreditation at its decennial review next month. His contributions are felt throughout the university system and I have had the great pleasure of working with him during his notable tenure at SUSLA.”

Belton says he plans to visit the Shreveport campus this week to meet with members of the university community.

Vladimir Alexander Appeaning, who is the current vice president for strategic planning, will serve as interim chancellor, effective immediately.

Appeaning has worked in the public service arena for more than 22 years. He has held both higher education and government positions. In addition to his work at SUSLA, Appeaning also serves as vice chancellor for academic compliance and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation liaison for Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge. He’s also an adjunct professor of public policy and administration in the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences at the Baton Rouge campus.

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