New president introduced to the university community


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (June 13, 2014) — The seventh president of Tuskegee University and his family were officially presented to the campus community today. Dr. Brian L. Johnson, the newest addition to this institution’s legacy of leadership, shared his vision and goals for Tuskegee during an address at the University Chapel.

Dr. Brian L. Johnson, 7th President of Tuskegee

Mrs. Shemeka Johnson and sons, Brian
 and Nathan. (Photo courtesy of Frank Lee).

Retired Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, Board of
Trustees chairman
Johnson will assume his duties Monday. The Tuskegee University Board of Trustees unanimously selected him on April 28. 

During introductory remarks, Board of Trustees chairman, retired Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, praised Johnson’s personal character and called him the “right fit for this university.”

“It was clear to the board that he had prepared himself well for this responsibility,” Williams said.

Johnson stressed to the audience that he would spend much of his first year assessing the university and holding listening meetings with various stakeholders such as faculty, students and staff. However, aligning the university as an “Outcomes-Oriented Organization” was a central point in his address. He said it was important that Tuskegee’s programs are based on measurable standards and that decisions are data-informed. 

“At the end of the day, what Tuskegee University will be judged by, internally amongst ourselves and also externally, will be by what are we producing,” Johnson said.

More than STEM

He placed emphasis on five areas: creating a student-centered culture, fully inaugurating 21st Century higher education at Tuskegee, administering efficient resource management, increased enrollment and fostering a culture of advancement and development.

Johnson said that fundraising and development is not the responsibility of a single individual, but the entire university. He also said he would like Tuskegee to not only be known for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, but to be successful in a number of different areas, including liberal arts. In order to survive in the 21st Century, Johnson said Tuskegee must have a diverse portfolio that embraces interdisciplinary scholarship and includes funding from sources other than research.

“We have to be very imaginative about philanthropy,” he said. 

Johnson said he plans to foster a culture of leading by doing during his administration. He displayed his commitment to advancement and development by announcing his family’s pledge of $100,000, over five years at $20,000 annually, for an endowed student scholarship. 

“I am asking people to give to this great university,” he said. “If I am not giving to this university, then why would anyone want to give to the university?”

Johnson concluded his address by sharing his administrative philosophy. He said he would be transparent, consistent, collaborative and communicative. He also asked that Tuskegee stakeholders help support the administration and its future. 

“I am asking Tuskegee University to do two things – trust the Tuskegee tradition and trust the Tuskegee trajectory, ” Johnson said.

© 2014 Tuskegee University

Back to News Listing