The Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY) is said to be the new top leader at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Alexander Cartwright – Reported to be new chancellor of the University of Missouri (Photo Courtesy of the State University of New York)

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports MU System spokesperson John Fougere won’t confirm that Dr. Alexander Cartwright has accepted the position.  “While we expect an announcement soon, we are maintaining our policy of confidentiality of any possible candidates,” said Fourgere in an email to the Post-Dispatch.

The MU System Board of Curators was scheduled to meet behind closed doors Tuesday with an announcement expected Wednesday.

Provost Garnett Stokes was named Interim Chancellor earlier this month.  She replaced Hank Foley, who had held down the position since 2015.

According to the State University of New York website, Dr. Cartwright has served as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of the 64 campus system since September 2014.  He’s credited with introducing a “sweeping diversity, equity and inclusion policy” to all the school’s campuses and it’s administration.

He will take over a university mired in problems stemming from racial unrest in 2015, when protests along with hunger strikes and a boycott by the football team resulted in numerous administrative changes.  Former Chancellor R. Bowen Lofton resigned his position after the series of incidents.

Standard & Poor’s credit rating service downgraded the university system’s status in 2015 from stable to negative following the racial issues and Lofton’s departure.

The State University of New York website says Dr. Cartwright is a native of the Bahamas, who “believes in inclusive excellence wherein an institution cannot achieve excellence if it (is) not inclusive”.

He also served as Acting President of the Research Foundation for SUNY in 2015 and 2016, where he oversaw the management of over $1 billion dollars in yearly research activity.

Dr. Cartwright was one of three finalists to be chancellor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2016.

He’ll inherit a campus in Columbia which has seen a decline in enrollment of more that 2,000 student entering the fall 2016 semester.  Several dorms have also closed.