Tom Galligan, dean of LSU Law and former president of Colby-Sawyer College, has been appointed LSU interim president while the LSU Board of Supervisors conducts a national search to replace F. King Alexander, who has been named the next president of Oregon State University.
“I am honored to have been selected as Interim President, I am excited about the opportunity to serve LSU during this time of transition, and I want to join the LSU community in celebrating the wonderful presidency of F. King Alexander and thanking him for his dedicated service,” Galligan said. “The search for a permanent president will soon be underway, and I expect to be back at LSU Law in the near future. I will share additional details about interim leadership of LSU Law just as soon as those decisions have been made.”
Alexander’s last day as president will be Dec. 31, after which Galligan’s appointment as interim president will begin. After his presidency is over, Alexander will return to a faculty role to conduct research and write, as well as work closely with the Board of Supervisors and the administration on an orderly transition until March 31, 2020.
“This was a very difficult decision for me given my fondness for LSU and the tremendous progress we’re making here,” said Alexander. “It’s been a privilege to be part of such an important and iconic university system. I’m proud of what we’ve collectively accomplished, including setting records for enrollment in size, diversity and academic achievement. Shenette and I, along with our family, thank LSU and Baton Rouge for making our many years here so memorable.”
Under Alexander’s leadership, LSU has reached milestones in enrollment, academic research funding, philanthropic support and new facilities. According to a recent study from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, LSU ranks among the nation’s top public institutions in students’ earnings-to-debt-return.
Prior to joining LSU in 2013, Alexander served for seven years as president of California State University–Long Beach. During that time, the university grew to 36,000 students and achieved its highest graduation rate and largest graduation classes. He also served as president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001 to 2005.
Galligan took over as LSU Law dean in July 2016, after previously serving as president of Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., from 2006-16 and dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law from 1998-2006. After earning his J.D. from the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law and his L.L.M from Columbia University Law School, Galligan taught torts, admiralty, UCC sales, remedies, comparative tort law and advanced tort theory at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where he was named the Dr. Dale E. Bennett Professor of Law in 1997 and was honored by the students as the Outstanding LSU Professor six times.