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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A state higher education administrator is the board’s choice to be the next president of Alcorn State University.

The board announced Thursday that Deputy Commissioner of Academic Affairs Alfred Rankins Jr. is its preferred candidate to become the next leader of the 4,000-student university.

Rankins previously served as interim president of Mississippi Valley State University.

The board began a search for a president after M. Christopher Brown II resigned in December. Brown stepped down as the board moved to suspend him over purchasing problems.

Records reviewed by The Associated Press show Alcorn spent almost $89,000 at the president’s house without seeking bids as required under state law. An auditor says the school spent more than $67,000 in bond money on projects not permitted under the bond authority.


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