On his second try as a finalist for the Alabama State University presidency, alumnus and state lawmaker Quinton Ross gets the nod.
Dr. Ross was appointed by a 12-2 margin voting margin by the university’s board of trustees this afternoon, beating out a pool of three other finalists in former Grambling State University president Willie Larkin, former Norfolk State University president Tony Atwater, and former Johnson and Wales University president Robert Mock Jr.
Dr. Ross, who has not served as a president or university administrator in any capacity, has served in the state legislature for 15 years, and as a consultant with the Alabama Education Association for the last two years. He is the former director of adult education at Trenholm State Community College from 2004-2014, and has worked as a high school principal.
In 2013, Dr. Ross spoke about the university’s vulnerability to political opposition, months before he was named as a runner-up to former university president Gwen Boyd.
Dr. Boyd was fired in 2016 after a tumultuous tenure at the helm of the institution, which has faced controversies with board scandal, financial shortcomings, rifts with vendors and business partners including celebrity Steve Harvey, and declining enrollment.
Dr. Ross’ candidacy was questioned earlier this week by former ASU trustees, who said it would be a conflict of interest to hire a president who directly influenced the appointment of many current board members as a voting member of the state’s Senate.
Dr. Ross will be the university’s third permanent president in the last five years.