William Tate

William Tate Named LSU’s First Black President

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Louisiana State University has named William Tate as the university system’s first Black president.

The LSU System includes a total of 13 schools, including campuses in Baton Rouge, Alexandria and Eunice. It also includes medical schools in New Orleans and Shreveport, a law school, an agricultural center and research facilities dispersed around the state.

“What I’m really most excited about is I met students here who really are amazing, and for me, this position is all about what we can do to help students and give people access and opportunity in higher education,” Tate said. “That’s really in my DNA, how do we help people regardless of their background – we find the money, get you here and give you the opportunity to live your dream. I think there is no better place in the United States to come find your dream and to make it happen than right here at LSU.”

The LSU Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of Tate. Tate will begin his new role in July.

Tate will replace LSU President Tom Galligan. Galligan has served as president of the board since January 2020.

“We set about to find a great leader, and we found one,” said Robert Dampf, chairman of the LSU board.

Once he steps into his new position, Tate will also be 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,” Edwards said.

Tate has been executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina since July 2020. He previously served as graduate school dean and vice provost for graduate education at Washington University in St. Louis. Tate has also worked as a professor at Texas Christian University and served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Tate holds a Ph.D. in mathematics education, a master’s degree in psychiatric epidemiology and a bachelor’s degree in economics.

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