President Connie Ledoux Book
Constance “Connie” Ledoux Book began service as Elon’s president on March 1, 2018, bringing more than 20 years of higher education leadership to the university. She was named Elon’s ninth president after serving as provost of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, and previously serving 16 years as an Elon faculty member and senior administrator.
The granddaughter of Louisiana sharecroppers, Book was instilled with a passion for teaching and learning. She has a deep belief in the transformative opportunities of higher education and a primary commitment to student growth and development. As a faculty member devoted to student engagement and success, she received Elon’s 2009 Ward Family Excellence in Mentoring Award.
Book is known as an entrepreneurial leader and innovator. In March 2015, she was named the first female provost and dean in The Citadel’s 175-year history. She served as the second-ranking official at the college, responsible for all academic functions. She launched new programs in nursing, engineering, cybersecurity, intelligence security and advanced STEM education that were supported by more than $15 million in new gifts, grants and state appropriations. New curricular offerings were designed with several business and government partners, including Boeing, Google and the U.S. Department of Defense. Book also led development of online graduate programs to serve military and federal employees across the country, leading to record growth of The Citadel’s graduate college.
Book embraced her groundbreaking position as the highest-ranking female leader at The Citadel, which admitted its first female cadets in 1996. With her support, The Citadel reached record enrollment for African-American, female and Latino first-year students. In January 2018, Book received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from The Black History Intercollegiate Consortium in recognition of her contributions to the Charleston, S.C., community and The Citadel.
Book has been a leader in Elon’s development as a prominent national university. As Elon’s faculty fellow for strategic planning from 2008 to 2010, she coordinated a two-year process of creating the university’s Elon Commitment strategic plan with input from hundreds of university stakeholders. The 10-year plan includes eight themes that guide Elon’s drive for ever-higher quality. During five years as associate provost, Book spearheaded the complete redesign of career services and the establishment of the Student Professional Development Center, the creation and implementation of the residential campus plan, enrichments to Elon’s digital learning opportunities, development of the Study USA program and growth of civic engagement initiatives.
Book joined Elon’s faculty as assistant professor of communications in 1999, teaching courses in new media, broadcast policy, news writing, research and production. She was department chair from 2004 to 2006, when she was named associate dean of the School of Communications. Among her responsibilities were the school’s accreditation, faculty development, growth of the internship program, the school’s advisory board and the establishment of the Elon in Los Angeles and the Elon in New York programs.
Book began her career as a television producer and reporter in Louisiana before transitioning to higher education. Prior to joining the Elon faculty, she served three years as assistant professor at Georgia College & State University, one year as visiting professor at North Carolina State University, and two years as assistant professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.
An active scholar, she is the author of “Digital Television: DTV and the Consumer,” the first book dedicated to understanding how the transition from analog to digital television impacted consumers. Her work has received five first-place awards from the National Association of Broadcasters’ educational group and several research grants. She has appeared on panels at the Federal Communications Commission, the National Cable Television Association, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors and regional cable television associations.
The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters recognized Book with an Outstanding Service and Leadership Award in 2009 for her assistance with the state’s transition to digital television. She testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on the DTV transition in 2008 and that same year received a leadership citation from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for research on the impact of state cable franchising in Texas.
As an advocate for transparency in government and open public records and meetings, Book conceived, established and served four years as executive director of North Carolina’s Sunshine Center, housed at Elon, and served two years as a board member for the center’s sponsoring group, the North Carolina Open Government Coalition.
Book has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from Northwestern State University (Louisiana), and a doctorate from the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia.
Book’s family includes her son, Joe Book, a 2017 Elon University graduate, and her daughter, Bella Book, a 2015 Mount Holyoke College graduate.