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Outgoing President F. King Alexander speaks during diploma ceremonies for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as part of LSU's 300th commencement, Friday, December 20, 2019, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.

Far from the benighted bayous of a reactionary state ignorant enough to pay him $600,000 a year to run LSU, F. King Alexander has had an epiphany.

Football players beating up their girlfriends is a Bad Thing.

We think a university president who is incurious about a head football coach ordered to stay away from young female students is also a Bad Thing. Not bad enough for Alexander to get involved in the late stages of the Les Miles debacle at LSU, apparently.

And by late stages, we mean about three full years.

But we must be as broad-minded as Alexander himself. Hauled before the board of Oregon State, where he is now president, we listened to his astonishing account of the psychological burden of being a university president in Louisiana. The Chronicle of Higher Education called it a "scorched earth" review of his former institution.

In a “very conservative state with very conservative values,” Alexander told a board of doubtless fully enlightened Oregon trustees, it was tough to be the liberal from Cal State Long Beach.

“Here we are much more advanced in how we see what our values are and I think we have a much more balanced approach,” Alexander said. “It’s not athletics that tries to run the university. We have a much better balance, and we have higher expectations.”

“We,” meaning, we assume, not the bigoted and narrow-minded of the Bayou State, for in Alexander’s retelling he was a Don Quixote against reactionaries.

In a self-pitying discussion of his LSU years — we thought he loved us! — we learn the truth, that institutional racism led a “large segment” of the university community to oppose diversity on campus. (If that means opposing watering down the ACT test requirements for admission, that includes us.)

That Alexander got a lot of pushback from his decisions involving abuse of pledges in the Greek system we entirely believe. “The pressure I got for shutting down the Greek system for Title IX issues was unbelievable,” he told his Left Coast overseers. “We took drastic action that cost us millions in donations from Greek alums, people who thought I was going too far.”

While we wonder how courageous those decisions can be construed as they came after the death of a student in hazing, there is to us more than a hint of political dog-whistling going on here. After all, down South they’re big on the Greek system, unlike more inclusive climes where “higher expectations” are practiced.

Alexander did not mention that there were rumors he would be tapped for a high position in the Hillary Clinton administration. It could not have been good for his sense of balance when the liberal from Cal State Long Beach was living in a state voting for Donald Trump in 2016.

Seriously, King? We were that bad?

With all allowance for Alexander trying to protect his new job — so far successfully — could he not have avoided portraying the Tiger faithful as, to borrow a word from President Biden, Neanderthals?

On F. King Alexander’s watch, a lot of good things happened at LSU. He worked very hard against really tough budget times. We are sorry that he felt ostracized, if any of these bathetic phrases have any truth to them. But all this is a bit much to take.