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LSU picks new leader, naming system's first Black president

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Louisiana State University has chosen its new leader, naming William Tate as the university system’s first Black president.

Posted: May 7, 2021 8:08 AM

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana State University has chosen its new leader, naming William Tate as the university system’s first Black president.

Tate has been provost at the University of South Carolina. He was the unanimous pick of the LSU Board of Supervisors Thursday after public in-person interviews with three finalists and 90 minutes of closed-door debate.

He’ll start the job as LSU president in July. He'll oversee multiple campuses and serve as chancellor of the flagship campus in Baton Rouge. Tate will take charge of a system in the midst of several controversies, including an independent report that found widespread mishandling of sexual misconduct claims at LSU’s main campus in Baton Rouge.

Statement from Gov. John Bel Edwards on the Selection of Dr. William F. Tate as Louisiana State University President

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement congratulating Dr. William F. Tate, who was elected as the first African American president of the Louisiana State University System and the first African American university president in the Southeastern Conference.

Gov. Edwards said:

“Following a national search, Louisiana State University has selected Dr. William F. Tate IV to serve as its new president, and I congratulate and welcome him to this new role and to our state. This is a historic moment for the Louisiana State University system, as Dr. Tate will become the University’s first African American president and also the first African American university president in the Southeastern Conference. He has expressed a desire to ensure that more students have the opportunity for higher education at the schools in LSU’s system, including more minority students, those from rural areas and those who face financial challenges. He will also be charged with attracting first class researchers and research funding to our state as we seek to continue and expand LSU’s role as a national leader in innovation and discovery. I share this goal of making higher education more accessible to students from all walks of life and all areas of our state and beyond and in growing the system’s prominence and I welcome his experience, vision and insight. I congratulate Dr. Tate.

Dr. Tate will lead Louisiana State University during a challenging time in its history. It is no secret that LSU is coming face to face with Title IX issues, including allegations that have been absolutely gut wrenching to hear. All students should be safe on this and every university campus in our state, period. Dr. Tate will have to tackle this very important issue and I am confident that he is the right person to lead LSU.

I also want to thank Interim President Tom Galligan, who I came to know first when he was my law school professor and even more so over the past year as he has served admirably as the University’s interim president during a difficult time, for his continued service to the University and our state.”

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