Four Months After Hurricane Katrina, Turmoil Continues at Southern University of New Orleans

Southern University in New Orleans is about to begin the spring semester operating out of hundreds of trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Association. Robert Gex, the interim chancellor of the university, resigned in late December saying that he was stepping down because in his view the search to find a permanent chancellor was a “sham.” The next day Victor Ukpolo, vice president for academic and student affairs for the Southern University system, was installed as chancellor. Gex criticized the plan to get Southern University on its feet after Hurricane Katrina by eliminating 19 academic programs and concentrate on job training programs. It is believed the Ukpolo was one of the main architects of the reorganization plan.

Before coming to Southern University, he was the associate vice president for academic affairs at California State University in Los Angeles. Ukpolo is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds a master’s degree and a doctorate from The American University.


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