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Dr. C. Reynold Verret, Ph.D

Member, NAAHP Advisory Board

President, Xavier University of Louisiana

The sixth president of Xavier University of Louisiana, Dr. Reynold Verret, is the University’s second lay president. Of the 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and 262 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States, he leads the only Catholic HBCU in the nation. Prior to acceding to the presidency of Xavier University of Louisiana, Dr. Verret served as provost and chief academic officer at Savannah State University since 2012, where he led the university’s initiatives to build enrollment, enhance the quality and diversity of academic programs and to create cooperative relationships with neighboring institution and with other partners.

Dr. Verret has served also as provost at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania and as Dean of the Misher College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. At these institutions, he led the revisions of general education curricula, oversaw accreditations, developed international programs, established collaborative agreements with neighboring institutions at the K-12 and higher education levels, instituted new state-approved academic programs, promoted interdisciplinary efforts between the humanities and sciences, and planned new facilities. Dr. Verret also served on faculty at Tulane University and also at Clark Atlanta University, where he was chair of the department of chemistry for many years.

As a scientist, Dr. Verret’s research interests have included the cytotoxicity of immune cells, biosensors and biomarkers. He has published in the fields of biological chemistry and immunology. At the University of the Sciences, he led a faculty effort establishing a knowledge network on social exclusion in support of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health within the World Health Organization.

Throughout, Dr. Verret has worked to enhance student achievement and progression to degree. He has contributed to increasing the number of US students pursuing degrees in STEM disciplines and continuing to advanced study. This has included initiatives to mitigate the shortage of qualified science and math teachers in K-12.

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.

Dr. Verret received his undergraduate degree cum laude in biochemistry from Columbia University and the Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To these, were added postdoctoral experiences as fellow at the Howard Hughes Institute for Immunology at Yale and the Center for Cancer Research at MIT.