Administration visits with Huntsville alumni
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (September 20, 2011) — Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon, members of the administration, and staff members visited with alumni and corporate donors at a luncheon on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Rochon and others were also in the city for Tuskegee’s football game against Alabama A&M University, which was held that evening.
“I’ve been gratified by the fact that we have done quite well this year with respect to the rankings by U.S. News and World Report, and by Forbes, where we moved up in regional institutions,” Rochon said. “As of the September/October issue of Washington Monthly in the baccalaureate category — as designated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education — Tuskegee ranked No. 1 nationwide.”
Tuskegee was at the top of a list of 309 institutions in the publication’s online edition and a list of 50 in the print edition. The university is also experiencing an increase in enrollment.
“We’re not doing badly,” Rochon said, “but we still have a long way to go with respect to the ambitions of the school.”
Ambitions include the continued increase of federal research funding, which allows the university to conduct breaking research in several fields as well as establish centers of excellence. Rochon said even during harsh federal decreases in earmarks, the university actually increased its federal dollars from $42 million to $47.6 million at the end of the past fiscal year. He also announced that the university just received $9.9 million from the National Science Foundation, the largest federal grant in university history.
“Even with the federal downturn in regards to earmarks, we’ve done well as a university,” Rochon said.
Rochon said despite the fact that the university has the third largest endowment among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, continuous funds from other sources are still needed.
“This is a far cry from what one needs in order to advance into that elite rank by breaking the ceiling and moving into a research university category,” Rochon said. "I think Tuskegee’s illustrious history deserves and warrants such a breakthrough.”
Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon speaks to alumni and corporate donors at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Huntsville, Ala., on Sept. 17.