F. King Alexander, president of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been named this year’s recipient of the “Robert C. Maxson President of the Year Award” by the California State Student Association (CSSA).
CSSA is the single recognized voice for more than 405,000 students in the California State University (CSU) system. Founded in 1959, the association is the acknowledged statewide student organization designed to represent, serve and protect the collective interests of CSU students.
Each year, the CSSA recognizes one CSU campus president whose leadership reflects a commitment to the mission of the CSSA, who has demonstrated exceptional inclusion of students within the context of shared governance and has assisted the CSSA in advancing its statewide policy agenda. CSULB’s Alexander is this year’s honoree.
“I am honored and humbled that our student leadership granted me this award this year,” Alexander said of receiving the award. “CSSA has worked with us on many very important state and federal issues this year, and it really has made a difference for our students in California and nationally.”
“We feel President Alexander represents the next generation of college presidents,” explained Chris Chavez, CSULB Associated Students president who nominated Alexander for the award. “You have to deal with political, economic and development issues at a university while at the same time respecting shared governance among its different constituencies.
“Honestly,” Chavez added, “given the challenges we faced this year as a university and the level of accountability he expected from the administration and staff, President Alexander was able to maintain the trust we as students have in the university and the mission it serves.”
Alexander was named the sixth president of CSULB in November 2005 after serving as the president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001-2005. CSULB is among the nation’s largest universities and is recognized as a “university of choice” among students throughout California and the western United States.
“One of the main reasons for President Alexander’s selection this year was his support in advising our association on a lot of federal issues,” said Miles Nevin, CSSA executive director. “CSSA has been in existence since 1959, but typically we have not had our pulse on federal issues. President Alexander was very giving to our group in this area, and as a result, we were able to send students to Washington, D.C. to advocate on issues such as financial aid and university funding on a national level. As an organization, we feel that this was a big victory for students (being informed and advocating at the federal level), and the CSSA members were really appreciative of his efforts.”
Alexander is a well respected national expert in domestic and international higher education finance and public policy. His research on university revenue and expenditure patterns has been featured in a variety of publications, including The Economist, New York Times and Christian Science Monitor. His efforts to improve federal higher education policy has contributed to the development of Congressional legislation advancing the “net tuition concept” in order to enhance public accountability and future funding of higher education institutions.
CSSA represents each of the system’s 23 campuses, which range in diversity from the northern California redwood campus of Humboldt State University to the southernmost campus of San Diego State University. Its overall mission is to maintain and enhance the accessibility of quality education for the people of California.