BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — Dr. F. King Alexander made his first appearance on LSU's campus Thursday, just a day after the faculty senate issued a ‘no confidence’ vote in his ability to head the system, something he said hasn't deterred him from his goals at all.
"I think we all need to work together and work together closely. Not fight, but work together closely to promote the values I believe, we all believe in," Alexander said.
Meanwhile, LSU students told NBC33 what concerns them the most is how their next leader plans to combat continued funding cuts and dwindling budgets.
"I am an out of state student, so budget cuts are huge for me, and I feel them the most," shared Kaitlin Torke, an LSU Junior.
Alexander said with years of experience dealing with cuts at the Cal State level he's ready to take on lawmakers for higher education funding.
"We would like to work with as many state legislatures as possible, but also the federal government, to make sure that states stay in this game. To stay in this investment game of human capital and human talent and students. We all know that's the future of every state economy. And we've got a long way to go in Louisiana," Alexander explained.
Alexander said his time as CSU Long Beach president has also taught him a few things about finding funds in tough times.
"Some of the first areas that we have cut have been development and university relations and have been connecting with alumni and friends of the university. That could have been one of the worst things we could have done in those environments, is to disassociate ourselves from the potential owners and friends of the university," Alexander said.
Students said they're ready for a leader, and the more they learn about Alexander, the more they like.
"We really need someone to step up and take the role of the student’s voice. I know he is very student centric as opposed to institution centric, so really just a leader that can show the way," Torke added.
The board still needs to vote on Alexander’s appointment before it can be made official.