/Rod Paige to take reins at Jackson State

Rod Paige to take reins at Jackson State

On Nov. 7, Dr. Rod Paige (the former U.S. Sec. of Education) will assume the role of interim president at Jackson State University. Tuesday morning, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning announced this. Paige participated via teleconference. Dr. Evelyn J. Leggette will be acting president until Paige assumes the helm. She is also senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at JSU. Dr. Leggette released the following news release: “On behalf of senior leadership, alumni faculty, staff, and students, we welcome Roderick Paige home to his ‘dear college home’ and look forward to working alongside him in his interim role as president of Jackson State University.” Paige, who earned a bachelor’s from JSU, succeeds Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers. Paige was appointed education secretary by President George W. Bush in 2001. This made Paige the first African American to be elected to that position. He was responsible for the implementation of the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act. Paige, a Monticello native and Navy veteran, was the Jackson State football coach in the 1960s. Paige was also the superintendent of Houston (Texas), Independent School District during the mid-1990s. According to Dr. Glenn Boyce, IHL Commissioner, the search for the next president will take between five and seven months. Boyce stated that while we will expedite the process, it won’t be fast enough to ensure we don’t get qualified candidates. Boyce stated that alumni, students and faculty would form a campus committee to conduct listening sessions both on-campus and online.