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LSU Hires CSULB's King Alexander As Its New President; UPDATE: LSU Says Terms of King's Salary "Being Negotiated And Submitted" To Governing Board For Approval At Subsequent Meeting

Position will include duties of LSU system president and chancellor of LSU A&M


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(Mar. 27, 2013, updated 10:50 a.m.) -- The governing authority of Louisiana State University (its "Board of Supervisors") today unanimously chose current CSULB President F. King Alexander as President of the LSU System and Chancellor of LSU A&M [release text] "with the understanding that these two positions will be combined under the title of President of LSU upon compliance with accreditation standards."

UPDATE:

The March 18 selection of Alexander by the LSU Presidential Search Committee as its "consensus" choice sparked a vote of "no condidence" in the school's Board of Supervisors by LSU's Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate's resolution, transmitted to and directed at the Board, not explicitly Dr. Alexander, said that CSULB's four year graduation rate of 12% compares unfavorably with LSU's 29% four year graduation rate.

Following today's (Mar. 27) Board vote appointing him to head the LSU system, Alexander is quoted in an LSU release as saying, "This is indeed a wonderful honor, and Iíd like to thank our board members; Iíd like to thank the faculty and staff of this great university and the people of the state of Louisiana because ultimately the true beneficiaries of a great LSU will be the people and citizens of the state of Louisiana. I am pleased and humbled by your faith in me and your confidence in me, and I look forward to working with you closely to build these bonds, to build these bridges and to build LSU to its best capability possible but also to benefit every single citizens thatís in this state, every person that lives within the state of Louisiana."

Alexander continues in the LSU release:

My tenure as president of Cal State Long Beach has prepared me to assume the role as the head of the Louisiana State University system...The challenges facing LSU are similar to those in California and elsewhere. Universities throughout the nation are struggling to serve more students while managing declining state revenues. At the same time, leaders in the field of higher education know the burden is on us to demonstrate that the publicís money is well spent.

We also know...it's time to begin the process of modernizing our institutions so we may accommodate the next generation of tech savvy students who are in the elementary and secondary pipeline and soon will be seeking college degrees.

The LSU release didn't disclose King's new salary [UPDATE] but in a response to LBREPORT.com's inquiry on the matter, LSU media relations rep Ernie Ballary says, "According to the official Board of Supervisors resolution, the terms of his appointment are being negotiated and submitted to the Board for approval at a subsequent meeting." [END UPDATE}

LSU Media relations rep Ballard previously told LBREPORT.com that LSU's current president (serving as both president & chancellor, as King effectively will) receives roughly $600,00 anually, and the chair of LSU's Presidential Search Committee has publicly indicated that LSU's new President will be offered a salary similar to that paid to previous LSU President John Lombardi: approximately a $550,000 base salary plus a housing allowance ($36,000 annually), $15,000 automobile expense and relocation expenses plus other university benefits.

Shortly before the Nov. 2012 elections, CSULB President Alexander held a press event on the CSULB campus describing what he (and other LBCC and LBUSD administrators alongside him) said would be the consequences if CA voters didn't approve Proposition 30 (raising the state's sales tax on everyone and raising the tax rate on high income earners). Following the passage of Prop 30, California's top state income tax rate is now 12.3% (plus 1% more on taxable income of over $1 million) while Louisiana's state income tax rate is 6%.

In May 2012, CSULB President Alexander said in a televised interview that Californians should be "ashamed" of not spending more on higher education, citing impacts of reduced Sacramento funding on students [but not mention salaries for high level CSU administrators, including himself]. Interviewed on StraightTalkTV.com, he told host/executive producer Art Levine that state legislators "seem to be more interested in Medicaid and Medicare and more interested in prisons and less interested in the next generation of children in our public schools and students in our higher education institutions." Alexander continued: "There is a significant difference in investing in our children and students and just spending money on an aging population...We're spending less on higher education today, based on the tax wealth of this state, we're spending less than we did in every year except you have to go back to 1965."

Alexander added, "Even states like Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas...based on the wealth of their capacity, are spending more on their students than we are in California, and people ought to be concerned and even ashamed of that."

Shortly after the LSU Board of Supervisors vote, Alexander sent a CSULB mass emailing in which he told recipients that it is "with mixed emotions" that he has accepted the LSU position "because for the last seven and one-half years we have made a great deal of progress together in moving CSULB forward despite the unpredictability of our state budgets and many other challenges we have faced."


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