The SU System Board of Supervisors named Ray L. Belton President-Chancellor of the Southern University System, the nationís only historically black university system, on June 12, 2015. Previously Chancellor of Southern University Shreveport (SUSLA 2000-2015, Belton has accumulated more than 28 years of experience in higher education.
The Board of Supervisors in 2015 adopted an administrative model that provides for the assumption of the roles of President of the SU System and Chancellor of the SU Baton Rouge campus as carried out by a single administrator.
The first year of Dr. Beltonís historic tenure was mostly focused on implementing the new administrative model, through a quest to stabilize the university system and advance a culture of institutional excellence.
During his tenure as Chancellor of the Shreveport campus, the university enjoyed unprecedented growth resulting in an enrollment increase of over 156 percent. During Dr. Beltonís leadership, SUSLA acquired more than $34 million to support capital improvements including: academic structures, student centers, and the first time development of student apartments (one of only two at community colleges in the state) at the institution.
Dr. Belton has held several national leadership positions including serving on the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (COC-SACS), as a Commissioner on Diversity and Inclusion for the American Association of Community Colleges, the Executive Board of the Louisiana Campus Compact, and the National Advisory Board of Community Renewal International. He was recently elected to SACS COC Appeals Committee at the organizationís annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
His statewide affiliations include serving in senior leadership roles with the Consortium for Education, Research and Technology (CERT), Biomedical Research Foundation, Alliance for Education, Coordinating & Development Corporation of Northwest Louisiana and as a member of the local Chambers and Committee of 100.
Early in his career, he served on active duty in the United States Army for eight years on assignments stateside and abroad and was recognized as one of the top non-commissioned officers of his brigade.
Dr. Belton has received numerous awards, to name a few, they include: the Leader of the New Century, from the Shreveport Times and the Distinguished Achievement Award, from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is also the recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Community Service Award sponsored by the Black Lawyers Association and is recognized as the "2001 Distinguished Graduate,Ē University of Texas at Austin, Community College Leadership Program, Austin, TX. Further, in acknowledging his scholarly work, he was the recipient of: W.K. Kellogg Graduate Fellowship 1996, 1997, 1998; League for Innovation Graduate Scholarship 1996, 1997; C. C. Colvert Scholarship 1997, 1998; John and Suzanne Roueche Scholar 1997, 1998; and Community College Leadership Program Fellowship 1996, 1997.
Dr. Belton is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana who graduated from SUSLA and continued his studies at Southern University A&M College where he graduated first in his class. He earned a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
Belton is married to Norma B. Belton. They have a combined family of six children and four grandchildren.