Alcorn State University could soon have a new President. The College Board has named Alfred Rankins Junior its preferred candidate to take over the school. As MPB's Paul Boger reports Rankins would replace Christopher Brown who resigned late last year amid allegations of misuse of state funds.
Just two-and-a-half months after Alcorn President Christopher Brown resigned, the College Board announced that it has selected a new head administrator. Al Rankins -- an Alcorn alum -- says he's excited for the opportunity.
This is a tremendous oppurtunity for me, and I am deeply honored for the chance to return home." said Rankins.
The board selected Rankins after former president Brown was accused of several counts of misusing state funds. The worst of which was spending almost 89-thousand dollars on renovations and furniture for the President's house without seeking bids that are required by law
I-H-L Commissioner Hank Bounds says he believes the problems at Alcorn State are in the past.
"We think we've dealt with it appropriately, and today is really about looking forward as opposed to looking in the rear-view mirror." said Bounds. "Sending the right kind of person down there to make sure that not only those kind of things don't occur again, but that we put Alcorn on the right trajectory for moving forward for the citizens of Southwest Mississippi, the students at Alcorn, faculty, staff and all the stakeholders."
Rankins -- who also served as Interim President of Mississippi Valley State in 2012 -- says his ultimate goal is to turn Alcorn into economic driver in Southwest Mississippi.
Southwest Mississippi is one of the most impoverished regions in our state, and we have a responsibility at Alcorn to do our part to improve the quality of live of those in the region." said Rankins.
Rankins is expected to visit the campus to meet with faculty, students and other groups. The College Board will make it's final decision on Tuesday after those sessions.