Vol 58 No. 2 : February, 2006
Vol 58 No. 2 : February, 2006
Alexander Takes the Helm
On Jan. 9, F. King Alexander officially began his duties as president of CSULB. He is the sixth president in the history of the institution, succeeding Robert C. Maxson, who retired at the end of the fall 2005 semester after 11½ years of leading “The Beach.”
“It is nice to finally get both feet planted on campus and to get to work,” said Alexander, whose selection for the CSULB presidency was announced by the CSU Board of Trustees in October. “During these initial weeks, I hope to learn as much as possible about the institution, students, faculty, staff and the Long Beach community.
“Every university has its own distinctive academic culture, history and operational ethos,” he added. “Understanding these institutional dynamics is very important as we look to build upon the solid foundation created under President Maxson.”
Alexander comes to CSULB from Murray State University in Kentucky, where he has served as president since 2001. He is a Foundation Fellow at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford; and a faculty affiliate at both the Cornell University Higher Education Research Institute and the University of Illinois (UI) Institute of Government and Public Affairs.
Prior to his presidency at Murray State, Alexander was a professor and director of the Higher Education Program at UI in Urbana-Champaign (1997-2001) where his duties included directing and managing the graduate education program in the study of higher education leadership and public policy development.
While there were a few students taking classes during the winter session, the majority of CSULB’s 34,500 students didn’t return to the campus until the spring 2006 semester, which began on Jan. 25.
“Another of my objectives during these initial weeks will be to ensure that our campus is ready to address the educational needs of our students for the spring semester,” Alexander noted. “This includes not only preparing for the multitude of curricular opportunities that will need to be available but also to make sure that we have the full array of co-curricular activities scheduled to continue or be initiated.
“As we look to the future, it is imperative that we continue to build upon many of the effective policies enunciated throughout the campus and by the previous administration,” Alexander explained. “These initiatives include ensuring that we continue to attract top quality students, faculty and staff while also working collaboratively to enhance the state and national reputation of this great university.”
Alexander earned his Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was recently honored with the School of Education’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He received his master of sciences in educational studies/comparative education from the University of Oxford (England), and his bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Lawrence University in New York.
Recognized during his 15 years in higher education as an expert in higher education finance and public policy, Alexander’s 2001 article titled “Vouchers in American Education: Hard Legal Policy Lessons from Higher Education,” was selected as one of the premier articles in higher education finance during the last two decades.
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