Rice named AVP of Student Affairs


Nefsa'Hyatt Brown, Interim Executive Editor

One of Alabama State University’s native sons, Rolundus Rice, Ph.D, rejoined the Alabama State University family as the assistant vice president of Student Affairs, where he will supervise the Offices of Financial Aid, Judicial Affairs, Academic Advisement, Records and Registration, Academic Center for Educational Success, Academic Labs, and Housing and Residential Life.

Rice, who is a history professor by training, began his career as the dean of humanities at Talladega College. After a short stint at Talladega, commuting two hours a day from Atlanta, Rice made his way to Lincoln University as the assistant provost for Academic Affairs and the Graduate School.

He returned to his alma mater to serve as the “right hand man” to Vice President of Student Affairs Davida Haywood, Ph.D.

“My story is very unique. I dropped out of high school,” Rice said explaining the hardships he endured before making his way onto the campus of Alabama State University as a graduate student in 2006.

While he was a student at ASU, he worked for the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture. Those experiences gave him, what he refers to, as the “cultural substance” that he needed to understand and work for his (black) people.

After graduating with a graduate degree in history in 2010, Rice went on to Auburn University to become the second African American to graduate with a Ph.D in history. His mentor, Associate Professor Bertis English, Ph.D, whom he met at ASU, was the first.

“I understand any time you have an environment where you are training young black minds to be successful, significant, and competitive, you are always going to have outside forces that try to limit your reach and your scope,” Rice said. “Any environment where you are giving an oppressed people the tools to compete with the majority population, you are always going to have some resistance.”

Despite the various universities attended or graduated, Rice always credits his success to Alabama State University.

Rice said as a black man, when he arrived at Alabama State University, he was “completely lost … I had no clue about what life was, but I found myself on this campus. We have a lot of students who come here and are lost – ships without rudders. Alabama State was my map, my vehicle and my mother. It gave me all that I needed to be successful.”

As his alma mater, he believes in the progression of Alabama State University, despite everything it has been through. He believes that President Quinton Ross, Ed.D, and his administration are creating the nucleus to take Alabama State to the next level.

“I am not as brilliant as people may think I am,” Rice said explaining what he wants to give to the students as the assistant vice president of Student Affairs. “I work hard and I study a lot, but it was my mentors right here on this campus who have helped me to become the man that I am today – and that’s what I really want to see. I want to be everything to these students that someone was for me.”

Rice said ultimately he wants students to feel at home when they arrive on the campus everyday as he did, and act as a embodiment of the motto “When we Teach Class the World Takes Notes.”