BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. has been selected as the 15th President of Alabama State University, pending the verification of his background check.
The decision was made during the ASU Board of Trustees meeting Friday afternoon. Ross was chosen after an initial 12-2 vote that later became unanimous following further recommendation from ASU trustee Darrell Hudson.
Ross has served the Alabama Senate for the past 15 years, most recently as Senate Minority Leader. During that time he has worked with various legislative committees, including but not limited to Finance and Taxation, Military Affairs, Education Youth Affairs — a committee for which he was vice-chair of — and County and Municipal Government. Ross — who will have to resign from his legislative position in order to take the role — was one of four finalists who visited the campus in August, as he was tabbed for the position over Robert Mock, Tony Atwater and Wille Larkin.
“I would like to thank God, first and foremost, for the huge blessing and opportunity of being selected as the 15th president of Alabama State University,” Ross said in an interview with the Alabama Media Group (AL.com). “I would like to sincerely thank ASU Board of Trustees Chairwoman Alfreda Warner Green and all of the members of the Board, along with the Presidential Search Committee, for their diligent work and leadership regarding a decision which is vital to the future of ASU. I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve my alma mater, where I look forward to working side-by-side with faculty, staff, alumni and all stakeholders, to provide a world-class education to our beloved students, who are our most precious resource.”
An alumnus of Alabama State University, Ross earned his bachelor’s (1992), master’s (1995) and doctorate (2010) from the school. He is a veteran in the fields of education and school administration, starting out as an English instructor in the Montgomery Public Schools system and advancing through to various positions of leadership.
In higher education, Ross served as the Director of Adult Education at Trenholm Community College from 2004-2014. During that time, he held a position on the President’s cabinet. In 2015, Ross became the manager of UniServ Organizing and Staff Consultant for Postsecondary Education within the Alabama Education Association, a position he still holds as of now.
Born in Mobile, Ala. and raised in Pontiac, Mich., Ross has received several awards of recognition for his achievements and public service.
“As ASU celebrates its sesquicentennial I realize I have been chosen to lead the university at a unique time in its history,” Ross said to AL.com. “There is much work to do and the path forward may not be easy, but together we can preserve and add to the rich legacy of ASU for another 150 years. Therefore, let us come together as one ASU Family to achieve the greatness which is our heritage and our destiny.”
The Board is expected to reconvene on Sept. 29, during which the ASU trustees are expected to deal with any issues that may arise from Ross’ background check and — if finding none — approve Ross’ contract and set an official start date.
Dr. Leon C. Wilson will continue as ASU’s interim president until Ross officially begins his tenure.
The Montgomery Advertiser, AL.com and the Alabama Political Reporter contributed to this report.