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Belton In as Southern President

Dr. Ray BeltonDr. Ray Belton

The Southern University System has decided to go with a current system chancellor to serve as system president and chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus.

Dr. Ray Belton, who is currently serving as chancellor of Southern University at Shreveport and who is a two-time Southern alumnus, will succeed Dr. Ronald Mason as the next president of the system.

With a 13-1 vote, the Board of Trustees selected Belton over Dr. Ivory Toldson, deputy director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs and a former Southern faculty member, citing Belton’s current experience with the system as an advantage.

In an article for, Board chairman Leon Tarver said Belton “knows the Southern University system well, and he has operated effectively within the system.”

During Belton’s tenure, enrollment at his campus increased by 156 percent and graduation rates have doubled, officials say.

Belton is a graduate of both Southern University at Shreveport (with an associate degree) and the system’s main campus in Baton Rouge. He also has a master’s counseling from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Ph.D. in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Belton will assume the reins at Southern effective July 1.

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