Rochon signs MOU to increase cooperation between 1890 universities and U.S. agencies
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 2, 2012) — Gilbert L. Rochon, Tuskegee University president, in his capacity as chair of the Council of 1890 Universities, signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Nutrition on June 29.
“This is the first time that the 1890 land grant universities and Tuskegee University have expanded their formal relationship with a federal agency beyond the USDA,” Rochon said.
The five-year agreement is aimed at growing the relationship between the nation’s 1890 Land-Grant institutions and the two agencies through a number of initiatives including: collaborative research opportunities for faculty, student internships, EPA and USDA expert access for outreach programs and environmental career workshops for students. Also, the agreement will establish an Environmental Justice Farmer’s Initiative to help reach minority and low-income farmers and expand their ability to sustain landownership and protect water resources.
Rochon signed the agreement along with Lisa P. Jackson, EPA administrator and Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in a ceremony at the White House’s Eisenhower Office Building. Other dignitaries in attendance: Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director; Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, EPA Region 4 administrator; John Sylvanus Wilson, director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs; Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., Thurgood Marshall College Fund president and CEO; Lorenzo Esters, vice president in the Office for Access and the Advancement of Public Black Universities at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities; and 1890 university presidents: Mary Sias, Kentucky State University, Keith Miller, Virginia State University, Mortimer Neufville, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Juliette Bell, president-elect of University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Rochon was elected chair of the Council of 1890 Universities in November 2011. The Council of 1890 Universities is comprised of the presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities that are designated land-grant institutions by the second Morrill Act of 1890. In addition to Tuskegee University, these include: Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Southern University System, Tennessee State University, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.
Tuskegee University President Rochon poses for a photo after signing a MOU between 1890 Land-Grant Universities, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture on June 29. Front row, left to right: Rochon, Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator. Second row, left to right: Lorenzo Esters, vice president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; Mary Sias, president of Kentucky State University; Keith Miller, president of Virginia State University; Juliette Bell, president-elect of University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and Mortimor Neufville, president of University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
© 2012 Tuskegee University