10. Brian Johnson: Biography

Photo of 7th President 6-13-14Rev. 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.

He has formerly served as a Vice President for Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (Chief Diversity Officer), Assistant Provost of Academic Affairs, Chief of Staff, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Program Director, Coordinator and both Associate and Assistant Professor of English.

Dr.  Johnson received a Ph.D. in 17th-19th Century American literature at The University of South Carolina at Columbia (2003), a M.A. in English from The University of Wisconsin-Madison (1998) and a B.A. in English from Johnson C. Smith University (1995). Dr. Johnson published an August 31, 1995 article the Raleigh, N.C. News and Observer titled, “A Young Man Apart, A World Apart,” which chronicled his experiences growing up in the inner city of Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Johnson is also the editor and author of (7) academic and scholarly books: (2) books on William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, W.E.B. Du Bois: Toward Agnosticism (2008) and Du Bois on Reform: Periodical-based Leadership for African Americans (2005); co-editor of (4) volumes on American History in the Conflicts in American History Series ( 2010)–Volume 3: Civil War, Volume 4: Reconstruction, Volume 7: The Long Civil Rights Movement and Volume 8: Towards the Next American Century; co-author of (1) institutional history of his alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University, titled, The Yancy Years: the Age of Infrastructure, Technology and Restoration (2008).

Among several administrative and academic fellowships, he has been named a (2012-2013) (A.C.E.) American Council of Education Fellow (Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis Chancellor’s Office/Lilly Family School of Philanthropy), a (2012-2013) (A.A.S.C.U.) Association of American Schools and Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Initiative Fellow, a (2012-2013) Faith and Action Scholar within the Focus Leadership Institute (Colorado), a (2011-2012) Tennessee Board of Regents Maxine Smith Fellow (Tennessee Higher Education Commission), a (2011-2012) (C.C.C.U.) Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities rising senior administrative (MELDI) Fellowship, a (2006-2007) Woodrow Wilson/Career Enhancement Sabbatical Fellow, a (2006-2007) Civic Engagement Scholar within the J. McDonald Williams Institute-Dallas, Texas, a (2005-2007) Lilly Foundation/Center for Christian Studies Fellow (Gordon College, Wenham, MA), a (2004-2005) non-resident fellow 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 Shemeka Barnes Johnson, and they have two sons, Brian Asa Johnson and Nathan Morgan Qodesh Johnson. He serves on the Trinity Forum Board of Trustees  (Washington, DC).

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 long-term debt at the institution, moving institution from annual operating deficits to surpluses based on audited financials, 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, new outcomes, a new electronic employee evaluation system, a new 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 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, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, 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.

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

You can follow Dr. Johnson on twitter @DrBrianJohnson1

5 responses to “10. Brian Johnson: Biography

  1. Dr. Wilson,
    My name is Gabriel Smith and I am a graduating senior history major at Tuskegee University. On behalf of the student body I welcome you to our University. I will have graduated by the time you will take office but I will start my MA program in History at Auburn right up the road. I hope at some point I may be able to meet you. A President with a Liberal Arts background at Tuskegee is truly historic in every sense of the word.

    Good Luck and Godspeed!

    Like

  2. Dr. Johnson,
    My name is Gabriel Smith and I am a graduating senior history major at Tuskegee University. On behalf of the student body I welcome you to our University. I will have graduated by the time you will take office but I will start my MA program in History at Auburn right up the road. I hope at some point I may be able to meet you. A President with a Liberal Arts background at Tuskegee is truly historic in every sense of the word.

    Good Luck and Godspeed!

    Like

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