Until this month, the board of trustees of Xavier University in Louisiana had never named a president for the university. That is because Norman C. Francis has served as president of the university since 1968 when he was appointed by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious order that founded the educational institution in 1925. Dr. Francis will retire on June 30. (See JBHE post on his retirement announcement here.) He is the longest serving university president in the United States.
C. Reynold Verret has been named the next president of Xavier University. He will take office on July 1. Since 2012, Dr. Verret has served as provost and chief academic officer at Savannah State University in Georgia. Earlier in his career, Dr. Verret was provost at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and as the dean of the Misher College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
“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.”
Dr. Verret is a graduate of Columbia University in New York City. He holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.