Sole finalist for LSU president/chancellor visits campus

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Just a day after LSU's faculty senate gave a no confidence vote to his selection, the man expected to be LSU's next president strode onto campus. Dr. F. King Alexander took a tour of the school Thursday morning after meeting with staff. Despite what concerns the faculty may have, Alexander says he's qualified for the job.

"I'm here to work with the faculty," said Alexander.

Alexander is the sole candidate for the new combined position of LSU System President and Chancellor. But it seems many from LSU's faculty senate have little faith that F. King Alexander is the right man for the job.

The candidate says he was approached for the job by a search firm hired by LSU.

"I was told I was recommended and to look into this possibility and possibly talk to more people about LSU."

Alexander spent the morning on a tour of campus, speaking with staff and students. But LSU's faculty senate still sees a problem.

Alexander is the current president of California State University Long Beach. The faculty senate says published graduation rates there are lower than at Louisiana's flagship university. Alexander disagrees saying California State over performs in graduating students.

"Our six year graduation rate is about 56 percent. Our predicted graduation rate because of the student population we serve is 42 percent."

He says many of the students he serves at California State are working students and many are the first to attend college in their families and take longer to graduate. He stresses, however, graduation is the number one issue with higher education.

He says that's where his focus will be, if he takes over at LSU.

"We've got a long way to go in Louisiana because right now we rate 45th, by last count, by adult college graduates with any type college education."

Alexander is scheduled to meet with the faculty senate Friday. The board is expected to vote on Alexander at their next meeting, Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

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