Dr. C. Reynold Verret, a historically black college or university (HBCU) educator with a “proven record of leadership”, recently was named the new president of historically black Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to the university’s website, Dr. Verret was hand-picked from an initial pool of more than 300 candidates for the job.

Dr. Norman C. Francis, XULA’s president for 47 years, stepped down from leadership after nearly six decades of service to Xavier.

Prior to his new post Dr. Verret served as provost and chief academic officer at Savannah State University, also a historically black institution, since 2012. This is the first time XULA has had to select a new president, the university says.

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[quote_box_center]Dr. Verret is uniquely qualified by his experience, education, and values to guide Xavier’s mission of promoting a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society. His journey from immigrating to the United States as a young boy to guiding institutions of higher education to success has equipped him with distinctive skills and understanding to lead an HBCU in general, and XU in particular.[/quote_box_center]

[quote_right]Dr. Verret stood out for his proven leadership[/quote_right]

“I would like to congratulate and welcome Dr. Verret to the Xavier family,” said Michael Rue, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “While there were a number of highly-qualified candidates, Dr. Verret stood out for his proven leadership and experience expanding enrollment and increasing graduation rates. His record of achievement, personal history, and values set him apart as the clear choice to carry on the ideals that our founder, St. Katharine Drexel, and our longstanding president, Dr. Norman C. Francis, wove into the fabric of this institution.”

“I am deeply honored to be elected as the next president of Xavier and am excited to engage the entire Xavier community in envisioning a future that sustains the university’s distinct mission in a changing higher education environment and that responds to societal need,” said Dr. Verret. “Upon arriving in this country as a refugee from Haiti in 1963, I was supported by many who nurtured my love of learning and science and gave me the encouragement and confidence to persevere. During my tenure at Xavier, I will continue paying it forward, helping generations of young people realize their dreams, regardless of their backgrounds.”

Tommy G. Meade Jr. is the Editor-in-Chief at HBCU Buzz. Follow him on Twitter.

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