Dr. Ross Alexander Affirmed at Texas A&M University – Texarkana Investiture Ceremony


On March 7, 2024, Dr. Ross Alexander, the esteemed fifth President of Texas A&M University-Texarkana, delivered a captivating Investiture speech that not only highlighted his commitment to academic excellence but also emphasized his dedication to fostering a vibrant campus and local community. His innovative leadership and passion for education shone through as he shared his vision for the University’s future, inspiring those in attendance to join him in shaping a brighter tomorrow for A&M-Texarkana.
Investiture Speech Transcript – Dr. Ross Alexander

“Today, I stand here proudly at a university with incredible momentum. We are growing rapidly and at a pace that will only accelerate. We are fulfilling workforce needs across East Texas and throughout the region. Weare emphasizing and delivering an A&M degree for local students who will become local leaders. Simply, we think big; we dream big; and we do big,” said Alexander

“A&M-Texarkana will quickly evolve into the premier public regional university in the Ark-La-Tex, with an emphasis on East Texas. No one will have better academic programs, none will be more aligned with workforce needs, no one will have more attractive scholarships, none will be a better workplace or attracter of talent, no one will be as innovative, and none will have as much fun as Texas A&M University-Texarkana. I guarantee it. And it will all happen sooner than one might expect,” Alexander added.


About the President
Since August 1, 2023, Dr. Ross Alexander has served as the fifth President of Texas A&M University—Texarkana (TAMUT). Previously, he served for six years as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of North Alabama (UNA) where he led the institution to 17 consecutive terms of record enrollment—a nearly 70% increase in total enrollment—with students from 48 states and 64 countries. Under his leadership, UNA became one of the few universities in the nation whereby a student can earn a micro-credential, certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, master’s degree, or doctoral degree either on-campus or online. Dr. Alexander also successfully raised tens of millions of dollars from both philanthropic and governmental entities to support the academic enterprise and major capital projects, notably for a Computing and Mathematics Building, Engineering Building, and Nursing and Health Professions Building. He led the effort to establish a UNA campus on-site in east Asia, offering graduate and undergraduate programs in collaboration with a top-100 research university, an unprecedented accomplishment for a public regional comprehensive university. During his time at UNA and through his efforts, three of the five academic colleges were named after obtaining multi-million-dollar philanthropic contributions.

Prior to UNA, Dr. Alexander held numerous leadership positions at Indiana University East (IUE), including Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate & Continuing Education. There, he led unprecedented enrollment and academic program growth, particularly in online education. Before IUE, he was a faculty member and administrator at the University of North Georgia for many years. At North Georgia, Dr. Alexander was named as the 2010 North Georgia Alumni Association “Professor of the Year,” the most prestigious faculty award at the institution. Dr. Alexander is an award-winning teacher, adviser, and scholar who maintains an active research agenda in the areas of American national government, online education, and organizational leadership. Notably, he served as the Principal Investigator for a multi-million-dollar National Science Foundation (NSF) grant focused on providing greater access to minority students pursuing STEM degrees.

Dr. Alexander earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University; and M.P.A from Arizona State University; and a B.A. from Beloit College, where he was an all-conference football player. In addition, he earned a certificate from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (MLE).

A native of the upper Midwest where he was imbued with a strong work ethic, Dr. Alexander descends from several generations of Wisconsin dairy farmers on his father’s side of the family. On his mother’s side, he is the descendent of immigrants from eastern Europe who worked in the Milwaukee slaughterhouses. A proud husband to Lilia (nee Tzvetanova—originally from Bulgaria) and father to Victoria, Madelaine, and Ross Jr.; Dr. Alexander enjoys reading history, physical fitness, and advocating for TAMUT in the community and across the region.

About the First Lady
Lilia Alexander proudly serves as the First Lady of Texas A&M University-Texarkana. She possesses responsibilities in event planning and execution, fundraising and donor engagement, and student advocacy, among many others.

A university faculty member since 2013, Mrs. Alexander is a published expert and innovator in the field of online education. She develops and teaches courses in political science, public policy, and higher education administration, almost exclusively online. She earned both a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) and B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Affairs from the University of North Georgia. Mrs. Alexander is completing her Ph.D. from Indiana University in Higher Education Policy, with a minor in Public Affairs.

Originally from Bulgaria, Mrs. Alexander moved to the United States at age 19 to attend college on a tennis scholarship. She played both #1 singles and doubles at North Georgia and later served as a graduate assistant on the team while earning her master’s degree. Due to her experience, she has a particular passion for supporting international students. Mrs. Alexander is polylingual herself, speaking Bulgarian, English, Russian, and Spanish.

Mrs. Alexander gracefully balances her teaching, University, and parenting responsibilities. She and President Alexander are the proud parents to three children—Victoria (age 6), Madelaine (age 5) and Ross, Jr. (infant). She enjoys travel, baking, and cheering on the Eagles!

First-class finger foods were provided post-ceremony.
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