“I have thought of you many times, but my spare moments are few. The school is full. I have a little more time for writing now since we have added another teacher.” -Booker T. Washington, March 31, 1883
Presidential Commentary by Dr. Brian Johnson
Herein lies a glimpse into the daily life of Tuskegee University’s founding Principal and President and the absolute necessity of his having competent and capable hands to come along to assist him. It is simply not true that Mr. Washington-nor any President of an academic institution-is the sole reason for the success or failure of an institution. To be sure, Mr. Washington was the person credited for much of the university’s success; however, without the aid of individuals performing important work such as teaching, administering, managing and even serving as a liaison to external constituencies on behalf of the institution, it would have been impossible for him to perform the most essential functions of his office. Mr. Washington’s many tasks included lecturing, writing, travelling to meet important donors, engaging the community and, most importantly, monitoring the fiscal state of the university. (All of this was in addition to his responsibilities to his family.) Thus, it would have been impossible for him to accomplish his many significant feats if he were also expected to teach and manage every aspect of the Tuskegee Institute. For the role and function of a President/CEO of an organization is a separate and distinct function that encompasses many things except performing the functions of those who are there to assist.
7th President, Tuskegee University