2. ABOUT: Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D.

Rev. 7/1/17 Dr. Brian L. Johnson served as 7th President of Tuskegee University. He was appointed on April 28, 2014, assuming duties on June 15, 2014 and concluding service on June 30, 2017. To view Administrative Highlights, click here: Tuskegee 7th President Administrative Highlights

Dr. Johnson is an accomplished professor, scholar and administrator  who has published (7) academic and scholarly books–including (2) books on William Edward Burghardt Du Bois and (1) institutional history of his alma mater-Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black university.

Dr. Johnson is also a sought after speaker who shares a powerful and compelling biographical narrative based upon an August 31, 1995 biographical article, the Raleigh News and Observer titled, “A Young Man Apart, A World Apart,” and becoming an accomplished professor, scholar and academic administrator before the age of 40.  Dr. Johnson has been selected to speak at several events included among these was his selection as Clemson University’s 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Speaker, Auburn University’s 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Speaker, Westmont College Provost Lecture Series, University of Toledo Black History Month Speaker February 2016, Gordon College’s Faith Seeking Understanding Lecture Series February 2016, Mercy College Commencement Speaker 2016 and the Doctoral Hooding speaker at the University of South Carolina-Columbia 2014 Winter Ceremony. Mercy College awarded Dr. Johnson his first honorary doctorate in 2016.

To view some of Dr. Johnson’s lectures, talks or speeches, click here: Dr. Brian Johnson Lectures, Talks and Speeches

To view selected items of Dr. Johnson appearing in the news and media, click here: President Johnson in the news and media

Signal accomplishments reflecting Tuskegee University’s tradition and trajectory under President Johnson include but are not limited to the following: removal of SACSCOC regional accreditation warning for board governance and fiscal stability, significantly reducing the institution’s long-term debt, moving institution from annual operating deficits to surpluses based on audited financials, a 5-year strategic plan, a 10-year campus master plan, implementing online degree programs with SACSCOC approval, increased enrollment revenue based on head count and BFTE, enhanced infrastructure and technology including a new Analytics platform, a new electronic employee evaluation system, a new outcomes, accreditation, budget,planning and student co-curricular modules, online transcripts, putting the “A” in STEM with a new Music and Visual Arts Program and Lyceum Speakers Series, new student engagement initiatives including common-reading first year experience, President’s Men and Women Leaders Program, university-wide honors program and President’s scholars cohort experience, world-renowned Commencement Speakers including First Lady of the United States of America Michelle Obama, Phylicia Rashad, Derek Luke, ESPN CEO John Skipper and Tyler Perry and, finally, a re-invigorated and diverse portfolio of fundraising with six-figure gifts from capable alumni, the first-ever online appeals for campus improvements and renewed foundation relations and grants received from organizations such as Thurgood Marshall Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Lumina Foundation. In 2015, Tuskegee University was ranked #1 HBCU according to College Choice, and in 2016 Tuskegee University ascended to #4 ranked HBCU in both Wall Street Journal and U.S. News and World Reports. Moreover, in 2016, Mercy College conferred President Johnson his first honorary degree, Simmons College awarded President Johnson with the George Washington Carver medal, Ebony Magazine (September 2016 Issue) named President Johnson 1 of 5 HBCU presidents as part of its “Leaders of the New School”  and President Johnson organized a historic convening of foundations and corporations on behalf of Tuskegee University at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The President and Mrs. Johnson also created a $100,000 endowed scholarship for Tuskegee University students in 2014.

Dr. Johnson received his Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina specializing  in 17th-19th Century American Literature and his M.A. in English from The University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Among several academic and administrative awards, he has received a (2012-2013) (A.C.E.) American Council of Education Fellowship (Presidential Aspirant), a (2012-2013) (A.A.S.C.U.) American Association of State College and University Millennium Leadership Initiative Fellowship (Presidential Aspirant), a (2011-2012) (CCCU) Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities rising senior administrative Fellowship, a (2011-2012) Tennessee Board of Regents Maxine Smith rising senior administrator Fellowship at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, a  (2007) Woodrow Wilson/Career Enhancement Sabbatical Fellowship, a (2006-2007) appointment as the Civic Engagement Scholar within the (J. McDonald Williams Institute-Dallas, Texas), a (2005-2007) Lilly Foundation/Center for Christian Studies Fellowship (Gordon College, Wenham, MA), a (2004-2005) non-resident fellowship within the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies (Harvard University) and a (2003-Present) Andrew W. Mellon-Benjamin Mays Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Johnson is married to his college sweetheart, Shemeka Barnes Johnson and they have two sons, Brian Asa and Nathan Morgan Qodesh. He serves on the Trinity Forum Board of Trustees (Washington, DC).

You can contact Dr. Johnson at dr.brianjohnson73@gmail.com;

You can follow Dr. Johnson on twitter @DrBrianJohnson1