Six Men Named as Finalists to Lead the Southern University System

southern_universityOn June 30 Ronald Mason Jr. will leave his post as president of the Southern University System in Louisiana to take on his new role as president of the University of the District of Columbia (See JBHE post here.) The search committee assigned the duty for finding a replacement for Mason has announced a pool of six finalists. The new president of the Southern University System will also have the added duty as chancellor of the main campus of the Southern University system in Baton Rouge. The six finalists, who are all men, will all be in Baton Rouge for interviews on May 28. The search committee plans to narrow the list of finalists to three candidates who will be recommended to the board of supervisors for consideration.

Following are brief biographies of the six finalists.

belton_r2Ray Belton is the chancellor of the Shreveport campus of Southern University. Dr. Belton is a graduate of Southern University. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Hatches-PhotoBarrett Hatches is president and CEO of the Chicago Family Health Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a doctorate in urban higher education from Jackson State University in Mississippi. He also holds a master’s degree in management from Webster University in St. Louis.

RochonpicGilbert Rochon is the former president of Tuskegee University in Alabama. Dr. Rochon is a graduate of Xavier University in Louisiana. He holds a master of public health degree from the Yale University School of Medicine and a Ph.D. in urban studies and planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

toldsonIvory Toldson is an associate professor of counseling psychology at Howard University and the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Toldson is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where he majored in psychology. He holds a master’s degree in counselor education from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia.

ukopoloVictor Ukpolo is the chancellor of the Southern University campus in New Orleans. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Ukpolo holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from American University in Washington, D.C.

yarboroughEarl Yarborough Sr., is the former president of Savannah State University in Georgia. Dr. Yarborough is a graduate of Wichita State University in Kansas. He holds a master’s degree in industrial studies from California State University, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

Update: On May 28 the search committee narrowed the field to three finalists: Ray Belton, Barrett Hatches, and Ivory Toldson.


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