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Cook named 21st President of Alcorn...

Cook named 21st President of Alcorn State University

By: Jeremy Pittari - March 25, 2024

(Photo from Alcorn State University)

  • Dr. Tracy Cook has served as the interim president since July 2023.

The 21st President of Alcorn State University was named by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning late last week.

Dr. Tracy M. Cook will begin officially serving in that role on April 1st, though he has been the interim president of the university since July 2023. 

Dr. Tracy Cook | Courtesy of Alcorn State University

Cook is a two-time graduate of Alcorn State University, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from that institution before moving on to William Carey University where he earned his doctorate.

Dr. Alfred McNair, president of the IHL Board of Trustees, said in the announcement of Cook’s permanent hiring that the decision was made in the long-term best interests of Alcorn State University and its students, faculty, staff, and alumni.”

“There was an obvious desire and call from the Alcorn family for Dr. Cook to be named to this role, and we are putting our full faith and confidence behind this decision,” McNair said. “He is the right person to lead Alcorn State University.”

Cook, a Fayette, Mississippi native, has more than 25 years of experience in education administration. In the Jefferson County and Claiborne County School Districts he was a teacher, athletic director, principal and superintendent. Cook also received induction into the Alcorn Sports Hall of Fame as one of the institution’s Top 50 Greatest Football Athletes and received the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023. 

This is not his first leadership role at Alcorn State University. Starting in 2015, Cook served as chief of staff before being appointed to the responsibilities of vice president for student affairs and enrollment management in 2018, according to IHL’s Board minutes.

Cook said in the announcement that he was excited to officially lead a university that has meant so much to me personally and professionally.

“We have a bright future ahead of us and I am committed to leading us all toward new levels of success,” he added.

The decision to remove “interim” from his job title was announced by the IHL’s Board of Trustees on Thursday.

About the Author(s)
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Jeremy Pittari

Jeremy Pittari is a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast. Born and raised in Slidell, La., he moved to South Mississippi in the early 90s. Jeremy earned an associate in arts from Pearl River Community College and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor's of arts in journalism. A week after Hurricane Katrina, he started an internship as a reporter with the community newspaper in Pearl River County. After graduation, he accepted a full-time position at that news outlet where he covered the recovery process post Katrina in Pearl River and Hancock Counties. For nearly 17 years he wrote about local government, education, law enforcement, crime, business and a variety of other topics. Email Jeremy: