Louisiana State University (LSU) has just made a power move with the school’s first Black president.

During the Board of Supervisors Meeting, the Board named William Tate IV as the school’s next president.

Tate currently serves as an Education Foundation Distinguished Professor and Provost as well as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of South Carolina.

“This is a very pivotal time at our university, from economic, environmental, social challenges, but we are doing great things at this place. From our academic achievements, our enrollment, our diversity, I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished,” said LSU Board Chair Robert Dampf in an official press release. “We set about to find a great leader, and we found one.”

He will replace current LSU President Tom Galligan who has served as the school’s president since January 2000.

For Tate, being a part of LSU’s executive team is exciting and he notes that the students will be a driving force in the work that he sets out to do.

“What I’m really most excited about is I met students here who really are amazing, and for me, this position is all about what we can do to help students and give people access and opportunity in higher education,” said Tate in the statement. “That’s really in my DNA, how do we help people regardless of their background – we find the money, get you here, and give you the opportunity to live your dream. I think there is no better place in the United States to come find your dream and to make it happen than right here at LSU.”

Prior to his current position, Tate has served as dean of the Graduate School & Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Washington University in St. Louis from 2002 to 2020.

He also spent time at Texas Christian University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Since assuming his position as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of South Carolina in July 2020, Tate launched Carolina Online as the school’s effort to deliver degree programs and professional credentials online.

He is also responsible for establishing the university’s Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program.