Home News Local news UVI TRUSTEES PICK RAGSTER TO BE NEW PRESIDENT

UVI TRUSTEES PICK RAGSTER TO BE NEW PRESIDENT

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March 10, 2002 – Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster has been tapped to be the next president of the University of the Virgin Islands. Ragster was selected Saturday by the UVI Board of Trustees from a field of 27 applicants found in a nationwide search begun last August.
The field was narrowed in February to three candidates: Ragster, Robert Jennings of Wake Forest University's Babcock Graduate School of Management and Laurence I. Peterson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and tenured professor of chemistry at Kennesaw State University.
UVI's board of trustees interviewed the three at a meeting Saturday and later announced that Ragster was the choice to fill the position.
Ragster, who holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at San Diego, has been affiliated with UVI for more than 20 years. She has held several faculty and administrative positions at the university and now is senior vice president and provost.
Ragster will succeed Dr. Orville Kean, who in 1990 became the university's third president, capping an academic career spanning 35 years at UVI.
Ragster will officially take over from Kean on Sept. 1, according to a release from UVI.
Ragster said Sunday that the negotiations with the board had not been completed and though she was "excited about the possibilities," the process was ongoing.
She said her position as provost is still "all-consuming," but she felt becoming UVI president held the "largest potential for making a difference" in the community.
The direction in which the president takes the university, she said, will play a "crucial part of the destiny" of the larger community.
Ragster's appointment was announced the same day that Marthious Clavier, president of the St. Croix UVI Student Government Association, was quoted in broadcast and published reports as saying the SGA was endorsing Jennings to be UVI president. Jennings had sufficiently impressed students at a meeting Thursday that the SGA was motivated to come out publicly in favor of his appointment, Clavier said.
Ragster will be UVI's fourth president. The others were Dr. Lawrence Wanlass, Dr. Arthur A. Richards and Kean.

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