The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) appointed Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. as Commissioner of Higher Education, and he is slated to begin July 1.
“Dr. Rankins has experience at both the system level and as a university president,” said Trustee C.D. Smith, President of the Board of Trustees of State IHL. “He understands the important role higher education plays in our state and the lives of our students and their families. He also understands the challenges our universities face in today’s higher education landscape. He will provide excellent leadership to the university system.”
Dr. Rankins received a Bachelor of Science degree from Alcorn State University and both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from MSU. He has also served as a tenured professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at MSU.
Most recently, Dr. Rankins served as the president of Alcorn State University. Under Dr. Rankins’ leadership, Alcorn has strengthened its academic programs, improved campus infrastructure, initiated and completed major capital projects, increased fundraising, seen record enrollment, and risen in national rankings.
“[These] experiences will inform my decisions as commissioner, and help me serve all eight public universities in Mississippi as we work together to advance the system and the state.”
Dr. Rankins previously served as deputy commissioner for the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State IHL, where he served as the IHL system’s chief academic and student affairs officer. While serving as deputy commissioner, Dr. Rankins also served as acting president of Mississippi Valley State University.
Dr. Rankins serves on the University Press of Mississippi Board of Directors, Entergy Mississippi Advisory Board, Mississippi Postsecondary Education Financial Assistance Board, and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges Executive Board.
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