Biography

Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. is the 19th president of Alcorn State University, where he serves as the chief executive officer of the nation’s oldest public land-grant HBCU. Dr. Rankins has administrative oversight for Alcorn’s sprawling 1,700-acre Lorman campus and branch locations in Natchez and Vicksburg, including more than 120 buildings totaling nearly 2 million square feet, and a $110 million operating budget.

Prior to his appointment as Alcorn’s president, Dr. Rankins served as deputy commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs for the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). As the IHL system’s chief academic and student affairs officer, he advised the IHL Board of Trustees and Commissioner of higher education on all matters pertaining to academic programs, policy, and planning; student access, readiness, and success; and faculty affairs. While serving as deputy commissioner, Dr. Rankins also served as acting president of Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena.

Prior to his appointment at IHL, Dr. Rankins served on the faculty at Mississippi State University (MSU) in Starkville, where he was a tenured associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and extension specialist with the MSU Extension Service. His basic and applied research has led to many publications, and he has held various leadership positions in professional societies and organizations.

A native of Greenville, Mississippi, Dr. Rankins received a Bachelor of Science degree from Alcorn State University and both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Mississippi State University. Dr. Rankins and his wife, Juandalyn, have two children, Aftyn Elise and Alfred Elijah.