By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Quinton Ross is the new president of Alabama State University.
The ASU Board of Trustees, including president Gov. Kay Ivey participating by phone, voted unanimously – after two no votes were later switched in order to reflect board cohesion – to appoint Ross, an ASU grad and longtime state senator, as the school’s 15th president on Friday.
“I was just very impressed with Dr. Ross overall,” ASU board chairman Alfreda Green said. “The things he said during his interview, his history with the school – I think he will make an excellent president.”
After a bit of turmoil in the preceding days, Friday’s board meeting and vote to appoint Ross was surprisingly low-key.
Trustees Robert Gilpin and Joe Whitt raised objections to Ross’s appointment, with Whitt questioning the overall search and Gilpin complaining that background checks on the four finalists had been handed out at the meeting.
But those objections were quickly dispensed with, as members of the search committee provided details of the process and the appointment of Ross was amended to reflect that his appointment is pending passing his background check.
Any issues with Ross’s background check will be dealt with at a subsequent meeting on Sept. 29, when trustees also plan to approve Ross’s contract and set his official start date.
Ross’s selection brought immediate congratulations from state politicians on both sides of the aisle.
“Dr. Quinton Ross is a true public servant,” Ivey said in a statement after the vote. “He has a heart for Alabama and for Alabama State University. His wealth of experience in higher education and in state government will serve him well as he takes on the mantle of ASU President. Having received three degrees from ASU, I know my friend Quinton Ross will lead this fine school with distinction and vigor. I look forward to working with him to guide ASU to its brightest days yet.”
Ross has served in the Alabama Senate for 15 years, and his colleagues in that body also reached out.
“I would like to congratulate my friend Quinton Ross on being chosen as the next president of ASU,” Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh wrote in a statement. “Along with his professional qualifications, he is a man of integrity who ASU will be proud to have as its leader.
“While we will miss his leadership in the Senate, there is no doubt that our loss is ASU’s gain. I look forward to working with President Ross in his new role.”