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President Reynold Verret, Ph.D., Xavier University

Reynold Verret, Ph.D.

President, Xavier University

Dr. Reynold Verret is the sixth president and second lay leader of Xavier University of Louisiana. President Verret was unanimously elected Xavier University of Louisiana’s president by the Board of Trustees, taking office on July 1, 2016. Of the 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and 262 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States, Xavier is the only Catholic HBCU in the nation.

As President of Xavier University, Dr. Verret leads the initiatives to build enrollment, enhance the quality and diversity of academic programs, develop the faculty, promote interdisciplinary efforts especially between the humanities and sciences, and to create cooperative relationships with neighboring institutions and with other partners at the K-12 and higher education levels.

Before his appointment as president of Xavier, Dr. Verret has served as provost at Savannah State University, Georgia’s first public HBCU. He also spent time as the chief academic officer at Savannah. He has also served as provost at Wilkes University, as the dean of the Misher College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, and as faculty in Chemistry at Tulane University and Clark Atlanta University. For many years, he acted as the department chair of chemistry at Clark. During his tenure there, he joined Morehouse School of Medicine as an adjunct professor of immunology while taking part in a research collaboration with the School of Medicine Immunology and Microbiology faculty.

Dr. Verret’s background in the sciences makes him particularly suited to Xavier. As a biochemist and immunologist, Dr. Verret studied the functions of immune cells, especially the mechanisms of resistance to the lytic properties of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. Other areas of interest included fundamental properties of biological membranes and development and identifications of biosensors and biomarkers. He has published over two dozen scientific articles on various biochemical research. Throughout his career, he has dedicated effort to increase the number of students, especially those from underrepresented groups, pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines, encouraging in continuing to advanced study and mitigating the shortage of qualified STEM teachers.

He has served on many professional organizations and advisory bodies, including those of the National Institutes of Health, the Board of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and the Georgia Coastal Indicators Coalition. He has received awards and fellowships for teaching and scholarship.

A Haitian native, Dr. Verret immigrated to the United States in 1963 and received his undergraduate degree cum laude from Columbia University. He earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Howard Hughes Institute for Immunology at Yale and the Center for Cancer Research at MIT.