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F. King Alexander

F. King Alexander

F. King Alexander, 2020

Fieldon King Alexander began his tenure as the fifteenth president of Oregon State University on July 1, 2020. An experienced administrator, Alexander came to OSU from Louisiana State University, where he had served as president and chancellor.

Alexander was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1963 but raised primarily in Gainesville, Florida. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from St. Lawrence University in New York, earned a master's in education studies and comparative education policy from the University of Oxford in England, and completed a PhD in higher education administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Prior to coming to OSU, Alexander served as the president of Louisiana State University, a position he occupied for six years. Other appointments included service as the president of California State University Long Beach from 2006-2013, during which time he received the California State University President of the Year Award twice. He also served as the president of Murray State University for almost four years from 2001-2005. Prior to becoming a university president, Alexander was a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he helped to manage a program in higher education.

The father of three daughters, Alexander's first wife, Elizabeth, passed away in 2000. Alexander and his second wife, Shenette, were married in 2006.

Resignation of F. King Alexander

In Winter 2021, reports of major Title IX violations within the athletic department and elsewhere at LSU began to circulate. Notably, an LSU-commissioned investigation of these violations by the Husch Blackwell law firm targeted Alexander as being among those who had failed to "prioritize this issue or meaningfully engage with individuals raising concerns." 

Amidst growing calls from the OSU community that Alexander be dismissed or resign, the OSU Board of Trustees convened an emergency meeting on March 17, 2021 to receive Alexander’s testimony as well as that of several others. Aside from Alexander, nearly all those who offered testimony - a group that included survivors of sexual violence, members of OSU’s graduate student, classified employee and faculty unions, and both current and past executives of the Associated Students of Oregon State University - spoke in favor of his dismissal. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Board voted 12-2 to place Alexander on probation through June 1, during which time he would be tasked with reviewing the Husch Blackwell report; assessing and improving Title IX reporting and survival support services at OSU; and creating a plan to rebuild trust between himself and the OSU community. 

The following day, March 18, the OSU Faculty Senate convened a special session at which, by a vote of 108 to 4 (with 5 abstentions), representatives supported a motion of no confidence and a call for Alexander to resign. A separate no confidence motion calling for the resignation of the Board of Trustees also passed by a tally of 64-30, with 20 abstentions. A subsequent plebiscite referral vote of the entire OSU faculty logged 1,548 (83%) respondents as supporting the Senate’s presidential no confidence motion, with 218 (11.7%) opposed and 98 (5.3%) abstaining.

On March 23 the Board of Trustees met again, this time to accept Alexander’s offer of resignation. During this meeting, the board unanimously agreed that Alexander be placed on administrative leave until March 31, and that his tenure as president be terminated beginning April 1. OSU Provost Ed Feser was appointed Interim President during this meeting.