INDIANAPOLIS, IN – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Chancellor Dr. Laurence Alexander was selected as a member of the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum this past fall.
The Presidential Forum is comprised of one president or chancellor from each of the 32 Division I Conferences. The purpose of the forum is to assist the NCAA Division I Board of Directors in accomplishing its strategic mission in the Division I governance structure and help ensure that the NCAA core value involving presidential leadership of intercollegiate athletics at the campus, conference and national level is achieved.
“University of Arkansas -Pine Bluff Dr. Laurence Alexander has shown a steadfast commitment to the forward progression and advancement of our athletic programs and more specifically the student-athletes within the Southwestern Athletic Conference,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.
“We unequivocally feel that NCAA could not have selected a more qualified individual from within the leadership ranks of our conference to assist them with the overall molding and crafting of legislation and strategic initiatives that will significantly impact our membership and the constituents in which they serve,” McClelland added.
“I am honored to be chosen to represent UAPB and the presidents and chancellors of the SWAC on the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum,” Alexander said. “I look forward to weighing in with colleagues in providing counsel to the Board on policies and strategics priorities while supporting our students athletes by advancing the opportunities for their success and well-beings.”
Dr. Alexander is in his eighth year as Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, an 1890 land-grant research university. Since joining UAPB, Alexander has promoted institutional excellence through initiatives that targeted improved student success outcomes, fostered greater innovation through institutional collaboration, increased research and grant activity, expanded partnerships with business and industry, encouraged efficiency and productivity, cultivated strong connections with alumni and friends, and championed student development and experiential learning.
During his tenure, the university launched several initiatives that significantly improved retention and graduation rates, increased academic programs, research grants, new construction and renovation projects, and reached historic gains in fundraising and development, which included multi-million dollar donations from Simmons Bank and the Windgate Foundation.
Alexander is engaged in various state and national professional organizations, including the Executive Council of the Presidents Council of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Council of University Presidents, and the APLU Council of 1890s Institutions.
Currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Alexander will step into the Chair’s role at the June meeting of the Council. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of ARE-ON Arkansas Research Education Optical Network, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Research Alliance, a group of state research universities and business leaders committed to creating opportunities in the areas of research, commercialization and job creation. He also served as a mentor in the Millennium Leadership Initiative Institute of the American Association of State College and Universities.
A native of New Orleans, Alexander received a bachelor degree in Drama and Communications from the University of New Orleans, a master’s degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Florida, a Juris Doctor from Tulane University, and a Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently rank among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams.
Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis.
Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.
For more information, visit www.swac.org.