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Trustees’ statement regarding changes in university leadership

June 01, 2017

Contact:  Michael Tullier, APR, Senior Director
Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing 

The Tuskegee University Board of Trustees and President Brian L. Johnson announce that Dr. Johnson will conclude his service as the university’s president on June 30, 2017. This coincides with the end date of his current annual contract.

During Dr. Johnson’s tenure, Tuskegee University has made strides in accomplishing many of its strategic goals. Chief among those achievements is the adoption of a five-year strategic plan; additional student engagement and leadership opportunities; and advances in expanding academic offerings.

“We appreciate Dr. Johnson’s service to Tuskegee University and wish him well in all his future endeavors. His enthusiastic leadership will continue to be an asset to him and his career,” said John E. Page, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Tuskegee University is well positioned for greater success because of the combined contributions of its senior leadership, gifted faculty, hardworking staff, accomplished students, and committed alumni and friends.”

Dr. Charlotte P. Morris, Interim President

In the interim, the board has appointed Dr. Charlotte Morris to serve as president beginning July 1 — and until a successor is selected through a national search to begin later this summer. An experienced higher education leader with three decades of distinguished university service, Dr. Morris has served most recently as interim dean of the university’s Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science and professor of management.

Her academic leadership and previous service as interim president following the retirement of President Benjamin Payton has earned her the respect of the board, faculty, staff, alumni and university partners. Joseph Grasso, a senior trustee, offered strong support for Dr. Morris’ leadership abilities.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Morris to step in and lead Tuskegee University as president for a second time, again on an interim basis,” Grasso said. “She has an extremely high degree of intellectual capability and a deep knowledge and understanding of the traditions and principles that make Tuskegee such a unique and cherished institution.”

“I am honored by the Board of Trustees’ request to serve Tuskegee University as its interim president,” Dr. Morris said. “Thanks to the dedication and tenacity of our incredible faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, we will continue to build on the ‘Tuskegee Tradition.’ I am as committed as ever to advancing our focus on students through excellence in academics, research, service and outreach.”

Together, the Board of Trustees and the Tuskegee University leadership remain focused on advancing the university’s existing strategic plan, which includes creating a student-centered culture, integrating modern academic approaches, managing resources effectively, increasing enrollment, and expanding private philanthropy.

“My fellow trustees and I look forward to working with Dr. Morris and the university’s leadership in continuing to sustain our achievements and meet our goals,” Page said.

In the coming weeks, the board will announce the selection of a search committee that will be tasked with identifying potential presidential candidates.


About Tuskegee University:

Located in Tuskegee, Ala., Tuskegee University is a private and state-related land-grant institution that serves a racially, ethnically and religiously diverse student body of 3,000-plus students. The institution was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington and is one of 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) nationally and the fourth-ranked HCBU nationally by U.S. News and World Report. For more information about Tuskegee University, visit

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