Former Long Beach State President F. King Alexander is reportedly considering running for chancellor of the California State University system.
Alexander has been the president of Louisiana State University since 2013. Prior to his position at LSU, Alexander was president of CSULB from 2005 to 2013.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Alexander is currently keeping his options “open.” He also added that his wife is “particularly fond of the weather in Long Beach.”
When the Daily Forty-Niner asked about the Alexender’s interest in the chancellor position, he declined to comment.
After Chancellor Timothy P. White announced that he will be stepping down from the position, Alexander was one of the names mentioned as a potential candidate for the CSU.
“I thought he was actually pretty competent as president,” said Martin Fiebert, CSULB psychology professor with a doctorate in psychology. “He was aware of the core issues that faced the CSU, and he was very articulate about that.”
While president at CSULB, Alexander was engaged with students and campus life. Alexander even played basketball with students, according to Fiebert.
CSULB administration did not have comments about the matter.
“The search for a new chancellor rests with the CSU Board of Trustees with input from stakeholders from across the state,” said Chief Communications Officer Jeff Cook. “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on any speculation about who is or is not a candidate for the position.”
Alexander said some challenges in the CSU system include underfunding as well as limited capacity and seat availability in CSU classrooms, according to the LA Times article.
Alexander said that online education could be a potential solution to the issue of limited capacity, though the funding still needs to change to keep California considered “the nation’s beacon of higher education,” according to the LA Times.
Along with the CSU chancellor position opening, the University of California President position is also open. This is a rare instance in which California’s two highest university jobs are open at the same time, prompting big changes for academia state-wide.
The CSU system has 482,000 students across 23 campuses, and the UC system has 280,000 students across 10 campuses. LSU has roughly 45,000 students on various campuses state-wide.
“I think he’d actually be a good candidate for chancellor because he’s familiar with the CSU,” Fiebert said. “I think it would be a positive thing.”
Alexander received some backlash at LSU after changing the admission policy in 2018 to focus less on ACT and SAT scores and instead on personal essays, recommendation letters and extracurriculars.
According to the Monroe News Star, the former Louisiana Board of Regents Chairman Richard Lipsey launched a public campaign to remove Alexander from the position after this policy change.
He felt that Alexander’s decision changed the status of LSU and “lowered standards” for the university.
“I hope he gets the job and I hope he’s very happy in California,” Lipsey told the News Star.