William Tate IV Named New President of LSU, Becoming First Black President of University in Southeastern Conference

William Tate IV was named as the next president of LSU on Thursday, LSU said. When he begins his term in July, he will becomes the first Black president of a university in the Southeastern Conference.

Now the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at University of South Carolina, Tate also holds the USC Education Foundation Distinguished Professorship.

Tate earned his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a past president of the American Educational Research Association and was elected to the National Academy of Education.

Tate will take the helm of the university as it deals with a public reckoning over the mishandling of sexual assault and violence allegations on campus.

LSU law professor Tom Galligan has served as the university’s president on an interim basis since January 2020. The last person to serve in the permanent role was F. King Alexander, who was president from 2013 to 2019.

Alexander left LSU for a job as president at Oregon State University. He recently resigned from that job, however, amid critical backlash over his time in charge at LSU.

King’s leadership was repeatedly called into question in a study the LSU Board of Supervisors launched in November to determine how sexual assault and violence allegations were handled on campus and whether the university complied with federal civil rights law.

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