William Tate

William Tate IV speaks during the interview process in LSU's presidential search on May 6, 2021. Tate was named president of LSU on May 7, 2021. Courtesy Katherine Seghers, LSU.

William Tate IV began his first day as president of LSU on Tuesday.

His first duty was breakfast with the faculty senate at the Faculty Club. Then he got his Tiger Card in the Student Union and held a press conference. After the presser, he drove to Hodges Hall to take questions from student journalists. He then met with student government leadership and staff senate leadership as well. 

Tate, the 28th president of LSU, is the first Black university president in the history of the SEC. He came to Baton Rouge from the University of South Carolina, where he spent a year as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. For the previous 18 years, he was dean of the graduate school at the University of Washington in St. Louis, a private school with a total enrollment of 15,000. 

Tate earned a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Maryland. He received a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Texas at Dallas, Master of Psychiatric Epidemiology from Washington University School of Medicine, and Bachelor of Science in economics from Northern Illinois University.

Tate succeeds Thomas Galligan, who took over after F. King Alexander was named president of Orgeron State University in 2019. Galligan was interim president for 18 months, when he steered the university through a transition to remote learning for the pandemic, a summer of nationwide racial justice protests and a massive Title IX scandal. 

Tate takes over a campus coming off a productive legislative session, but still reeling over sexual misconduct scandals and in strife over the Board of Supervisors' decision not to mandate COVID-19 vaccines. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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