LSU picks next president; He will be first Black man to lead university system

By: | May 7, 2021

William F. Tate IV will be the first Black person to head LSU — the first to lead any Southeastern Conference college, for that matter — after a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors.

The board spent much of the day interviewing the three finalists before debating for more than 90 minutes behind closed doors, then voting to offer Tate the job of LSU system president and chancellor of the flagship — a job that one supervisor described as being a combatant in a political knife fight.

Tate is the provost of the University of South Carolina, which puts him charge of the academics at 13 schools and colleges plus two medical schools. He took that post less than a year ago, on July 1, after landing among the finalists for that university’s presidency a few months earlier. He had been a candidate for chancellor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville the year before.

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