An LSU release (full text below) quotes King as saying he "would be honored to be part of [LSU's] cohesive team as it moves into the future." LSU governing board "received the recommendation" and is expecting to consider Alexander at a March 27 special meeting.
It's currently unclear when or if Alexander applied for the position...but he comes with the recommendation of controversial former CSU Chancellor Charles Reed (quoted in the LSU release below). To our knowledge, Alexander didn't publicly criticize Reed (and praised Reed's record on his retirement) despite Reed's support for salary increases for newly hired/promoted CSU Presidents (senior campus administrators) while CSU Trustees simultaneously imposed tuitition increases on students. (Governor Brown and then-state Senator, now Congressman, Alan Lowenthal called the Trustees "tone deaf" for their actions.) Shortly before the November 2012 election, King held a press event on the CSULB campus, reciting consequences he said would come to pass if voters failed to enact the Proposition 30 tax hikes.
The LSU Presidential Search Committee has recommended F. King Alexander, president of California State University Long Beach, as the committee's consensus candidate for the position of President of LSU. The recommendation was presented to the Board of Supervisors during its March 18 meeting.
"This is an exciting period at a difficult time for higher education," Alexander said. "LSU is positioned better than many public universities in the United States to lead the Land Grant mission into the next 50 years. LSU has developed a great reputation due to the work of its faculty and staff and the quality of its students, and I would be honored to be part of that cohesive team as it moves into the future."
The Board received the recommendation but did not take action, and is expecting to consider the candidate at a special meeting on March 27.
"Our goal was to find a candidate that understands the traditions and practices of higher learning, but also embraces the changing market place and is willing to lead our great university through those changes," said R. Blake Chatelain, chairman of the Presidential Search Committee. "We are looking for a proven professional who is a collaborative leader, a great listener and an optimist about the future of LSU. We think we have found that individual."
Alexander is expected to visit LSU later this week, where the community from all campuses will have a chance to hear from him and can learn more about him.
"King Alexander has the skills and experience to lead LSU at this time in our history," said Hank Danos, chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors. "He is committed to upholding our great traditions and equally committed to continuing our transition to excellence for the present and the future."
Prior to becoming president at CSU Long Beach in 2006, Alexander was the president of Murray State University from 2001 to 2006. He received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis in 1996 from the University of Wisconsin, his Master of Science in educational studies/comparative educational policy in 1991 from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts in 1987 in political science from St. Lawrence University.
Alexander, who was born in Louisville, Ky., and raised in Gainesville, Fla., comes highly recommended by peers in higher education.
"Dr. King Alexander is a young and dynamic leader with valuable experience," said Charles Reed, chancellor emeritus with California State University. "He is a winner for LSU and the people of Louisiana."
Constantine W. "Danos" Curris, former president of Clemson and president emeritus of American Association of State Colleges and Universities said, "King Alexander is one of the brightest, most capable young university presidents in the country."
Under his leadership, CSU Long Beach improved graduation rates to their highest levels in school history; enhanced the number of graduates to their highest levels, totaling approximately 9,000 degrees per year; and obtained capital funding and constructed a new $110 million Hall of Science, a $70 million Student Recreation and Wellness Center and a new School of Nursing facility during an economic recession.
Alexander significantly increased CSU Long Beach’s research and external funding capacity and support. He oversaw a reorganization of CSU Long Beach’s institutional advancement and public relations office, and the university’s private philanthropic giving has set institutional records and currently is in the midst of a first "Capital Campaign," where more than $200 million has already been raised, resulting in a doubling of the university’s endowment.
During this same time, he maintained and modified budgeting processes to accommodate an $85 million reduction in state appropriation during the economic recession.
Alexander was twice voted "President of the Year" by the California State University Student Association, representing 23 student governments and 435,000 students throughout California.
In addition to serving as president at CSU Long Beach and Murray State, Alexander has held positions at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; University of Wisconsin, Madison; and University of North Carolina at Greensboro.