For the second time in three years, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander has been named the 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 425,000 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.
“I am both honored and humbled to receive this award from the CSU system’s student leadership. I can’t imagine receiving any greater honor than to be recognized by all CSU students,” said Alexander, who also was accorded the honor in 2010. “The California State Student Association has worked with me on many very important state and federal issues over the past year, and it has made a difference for our students. I look forward to continue working with them as we tackle other important higher education issues both here and in Washington, D.C.”
CSSA Executive Director Miles Nevin said Alexander, who was nominated for the award by a representative at Sonoma State University, was chosen for the 2011-12 Maxson Award from a pool of 23 CSU campus presidents.
“President Alexander is a popular university president, evidenced by the support he garners among all stakeholders of the CSULB campus community,” Nevin pointed out. “But popularity is not what informed CSSA’s decision to recognize him this year. The recognition comes after several years of President Alexander supporting CSSA’s efforts to participate in federal advocacy.
“From removing big banks from profiting off student loan defaults, to protecting the Pell grant program, CSSA has worked closely with President Alexander to effectively communicate with our congress people and Department of Education leaders,” he continued. “At a time when local legislators are ignoring the needs of public college students, it is crucial that CSU students maintain a strong presence in Washington, D.C. President Alexander has been pivotal in assisting us in maintaining such a presence.”
Alexander was named the sixth president of CSULB in November 2005 after serving as the president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001 to 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.
A national expert in domestic and international higher education finance and public policy, Alexander’s 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.
Alexander received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in higher education finance and public policy, a master of science degree from Oxford University (England) in comparative education policy, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University in political science.
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.