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Belton named new Southern U president/chancellor

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BATON ROUGE - The Southern University System Board of Supervisors has selected Dr. Ray Belton as president and chancellor of the Southern University System in a 13-1 vote Friday.

Belton is a graduate of Southern University at Baton Rouge and Shreveport and has led the Shreveport campus since 2000. He received a doctorate in education administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Belton, along with other semi-finalist Dr. Ivory Toldson, met with stakeholders at the SUBR campus Thursday. Friday, both were interviewed by the board with the final selection made in the early afternoon.

The board of supervisors says he is the best person to lead a university that is in a state of emergency. Recently struggling with budget cuts and a decline in student enrollment. They wanted someone capable of raising money, recruiting and retaining talent and embracing change.

"In recognizing some of the challenges we have historically faced," Dr. Belton said. "I really believe my leadership will benefit the university at this time."
Belton describes his leadership style as patient and persistent.

"In recent years our platform has been discussing how to navigate through these troubled waters," Dr. Belton said. "We've talked more about the process than our response, I think now we need to just do the work."

He said his first item of business will be navigating through the new dual position as both president and chancellor and putting together a strong leadership team.

The board anticipates Belton taking over leadership by July 1.

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