Chairman Rodney Jenkins statement on naming Alexander Conyers Interim President

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – The South Carolina State University Board of Trustees on Wednesday appointed Retired U.S. Army Col. Alexander Conyers as the University’s interim president.

Conyers, an SC State alumnus who joined his alma mater as vice president for strategic alliances and initiatives in May, had been acting president since July 13.

The following is a statement from Board Chairman Rodney Jenkins:

It has been approximately six weeks since the SC State University named Col. Alexander Conyers as Acting President of this University.

In doing so, we were confident that it was the right decision at the right time.  There was a consensus that the trajectory of this institution needed to be redirected so that it can grow stronger and more fiercely perform in a highly competitive field of colleges and universities from across the nation.  I am very proud of the fact that we came together to do what needed to be done.

Since President Conyers’ appointment, he has proven himself to be a formidable leader as the university makes this very critical transition.  His focus has been keenly fixed on the success of our students. Positive images of his engagements with students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni have dominated the headlines of news outlets throughout the southeast region, and this elevation of the university has created momentum that has fueled his initiatives to increase enrollment, garner financial support, and achieve buy-in from various university constituents. President Conyers continues to gain the support and confidence of the campus community, and employee morale is rising.

Given these recent and tangible developments, we, the members of the board have made the decision to name Col. Alexander Conyers as Interim President of SC State University.

I believe this decision positions Mr. Conyers as a leader the board stands behind, and entrusts to execute the university’s strategic vision, not just as a temporary placeholder; but as a leader who is committed to this journey for as long as the board sees fit.

The board can now, with a high level of assurance, embark on a thorough and integrous process of selecting a permanent president.  Having an interim president is a sign of stability and permanency that quells the concerns of external constituents and potential supporters who would rather conduct business and form relationships with a leader they feel will “be there” for the university in the short term and for the possible long haul.

I am a man of faith and believe in scripture. Proverbs 16:3 states, “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

God bless the Bulldog Nation. God bless South Carolina State University.

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Sam Watson
Director of University Relations | | 803-533-3603 (Desk) | 803-747-1223 (Cell)