Alcorn State University president-elect Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. will begin serving as president of the university on Monday, March 17. The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning voted unanimously to name Dr. Rankins as president at a meeting held recently on the ASU campus in Lorman.
An Alcorn State University alumnus, Dr. Rankins currently serves as deputy commissioner for academic and student affairs for the Institutions of Higher Learning. He served as Acting President for Mississippi Valley State University for one year, beginning in November 2012.
“This is an exciting time for Alcorn State University,” said Dr. Hank M. Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education. “Welcoming a new president represents a new chapter in the history of the institution and I am fully confident that this will be one of the most successful chapters. I look forward to many accomplishments ahead for Dr. Rankins, the university and the Alcorn State family.”
Since 2008, Dr. Rankins has served in Academic Affairs at IHL, most recently as deputy commissioner. In this role, he has served as the system’s chief academic officer, managing a $14 million budget and advising the Board of Trustees and the Commissioner of Higher Education on all matters pertaining to academic programs, policy and planning; student access, readiness and success; and faculty affairs.
A native of Greenville, Miss., Dr. Rankins holds an undergraduate degree in agricultural economics from Alcorn State University and a master’s degree and his doctorate in weed science, both from Mississippi State University. In addition to holding degrees in agriculture from land-grant institutions, Dr. Rankins has also worked at MSU, where he served as a tenure-track assistant professor, tenured associate professor, extension specialist and assistant vice president intern for academic affairs.
Dr. Rankins and his wife, Juandalyn, have two children, Aftyn and Alfred.
Before the Board of Trustees made its final decision, Dr. Rankins met with campus constituency groups on the Alcorn State University campuses in Natchez and Lorman. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members were able to pose questions to him and share their thoughts and concerns with him. Attendees were able to provide feedback to the Board of Trustees. This feedback was reviewed during the Board Meeting on campus.
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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.