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Dr. William Tate becomes LSU's first Black university president

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BATON ROUGE - LSU's Board of Supervisors chose a new university president Thursday, ending its search in historic fashion.

Thursday evening, the board named Dr. William Tate IV the new president of the LSU system. He comes from the University of South Carolina, where he served as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs.

The SEC confirmed Tate is the first African-American university president at not just LSU but the whole Southeastern Conference. Tate acknowledged the milestone during his introductory news conference Thursday.

"What I would like you to say, in 'x' number of years, because you asked me how long I'm going to be here, is not that the guy was just an African American president, but he did a doggone good job and we're thankful he came."

Tate will officially take over in July 2021.

"We are experiencing some challenges at this institution," Tate said. "I am ready to work with each of you to make sure that those are dealt with directly, and that students are taken care of and this community feels like a safe place where, they can come study and be the best they can be as a part of the LSU community."

Earlier Thursday, the university's Board of Supervisors heard from each of the three candidates who were aiming to secure the coveted leadership role. The other finalists included Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier and Dr. Jim Henderson.

Click here to view additional information from LSU on its presidential search. 


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