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Preferred candidate named for Alcorn president position

JACKSON (AP) — The College Board in Mississippi says its preferred candidate to become the next president of Alcorn State University is an experienced administrator who earned her undergraduate degree from the school.

The board announced Monday that the candidate is Felecia M. Nave. She has been provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University since June.

Nave was previously at Prairie View A&M University, where she was a professor of chemical engineering and held other positions, including director for faculty development and engagement.

“We believe the preferred candidate’s background, both as a graduate of Alcorn State University and many years of service in higher education, both as a faculty member and an administrator, make this individual extremely well qualified for this opportunity,” Shane Hooper, a College Board trustee who led the presidential search committee, said at a news conference in Jackson.

Nave will visit Alcorn State’s campus in Lorman on Wednesday to meet with students, administrators, faculty, staff and alumni. The College Board is meeting at noon Wednesday on the campus and trustees are expected to confirm her for the job at the historically black, land-grant university.

She would succeed Alfred Rankins, who left the Alcorn State presidency after he was named Mississippi’s higher education commissioner.

Rankins said Monday that nearly 60 people applied for the Alcorn State presidency, and 10 were interviewed from what he said was “a very strong pool of candidates.”

Nave graduated with honors from Alcorn State in 1996, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She earned a master’s degree in chemical and environmental engineering and a doctorate in engineering, both from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio.

Alcorn State has about 3,750 students. It has satellite campuses in Natchez and Vicksburg.

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