Tuskegee University Dismisses 7th President
Tuskegee University has decided to cut ties with 7th President, Dr. Brian L. Johnson.
This news comes abruptly, as The Board of Trustees very recently decided not to renew his contract, effective July 1, 2017.
Although rumors are rampant in regards to their reasoning behind the termination, it is unfortunate for the legacy of leadership for the University, as this will be the third presidential turnover in the span of seven years.
The legacy left behind Johnson’s three-year tenure includes the introduction of Student Engagement Initiatives and online degree programs to introduce further opportunities for well-rounded student education, the renovation of campus dorms, an increase in student enrollment, and instilling a financial trajectory that allowed the university to operate in surplus. He was also persistent in increasing outside funding, personally donating $100,000 over a five-year period to encourage TU Alumnus to give back to Mother Tuskegee.
These positive contributions, however, are often overshadowed by the ongoing struggle Tuskegee has had with financial status. Despite the weight of it’s name due to the rich campus legacy, per data collected by the Capital Financing Program of the U.S. Department of Education, loan debt of Tuskegee University is ranked number three amongst HBCUs. According to trustees, the long-term debt has not received enough attention.
As a student of the illustrious Tuskegee University, the atmosphere of the student body in lieu of the announcement has been decidedly divided. Nonetheless, all are hoping that the trustees’ forthcoming decision in regards to the next leader will be in the best interest of the TU student body and overall presidential legacy.
Dr. Brian L. Johnson, 44, a North Carolina native and graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, boasts a hefty resume prior to his post at Tuskegee. Johnson authored seven academic and scholarly books, obtained numerous administrative and academic fellowships, and was named as 1 of 5 “Leaders of the New School” amongst HBCU presidents in Ebony Magazine September 2016 Issue.
Interim President Dr. Charlotte P. Morris, who formerly served as Dean of the university’s Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Informational Sciences, will replace his post on July 1, 2017.