Online Petition Calls for the Ouster of Tuskegee University President

brian-johnson-thumbA petition calling for the firing of Tuskegee University President Brian Johnson has been posted at the website. The petition, posted by a group of “concerned Tuskegee alumni” says that Dr. Johnson “lacks the professional and personal qualities that are necessary to lead a university as prestigious as Tuskegee University.” Later in the petition, the authors write, “the President of Tuskegee University is not meant for a rookie. Our university should not be a learning grounds for someone who lacks maturity, professionalism, poise and experience.”

JBHE asked Tuskegee University and President Johnson to comment on the petition. A university spokesperson pointed out to us that “the official association for alumni is the Tuskegee University National Alumni Association which has indicated to its members and its chapters that it has no part in this.”

Dr. Johnson, now 41 years old, became the seventh president of Tuskegee University last June. Previously, he was interim vice president for strategic planning and institutional effectiveness and assistant vice provost/assistant vice president for academic affairs at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina. He is the author of Du Bois on Reform: Periodical-based Leadership for African Americans (AltaMira Press, 2005) and W.E.B. Du Bois: Toward Agnosticism (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008).

At the time of this posting on JBHE, more than 300 people had signed the online petition supporting the firing of President Johnson. Many posted comments supporting the effort.

Related Articles


  1. Thanks for posting this article. It should be noted that although the Tuskegee National Alumni Association does not support this there are serious issues at Tuskegee University with the Chairman of Board of Trustees and the Current President that is being glossed over by this article. It should noted that the acting President that Dr. Johnson replaced has also called for his removal. If you want to contact some concerned Alumni regarding their issues please advise.

  2. I was was extremely impressed with the President of Tuskegee AND his introduction of Michelle Obama at the Commencement speech! So, I feel as if African-Americans (not BLACK folks) today care “too much about what Caucasians think of us or Michelle Obama’s commencement Tuskegee speech…” SO!!!!!!! Where were the African-American renegades when the media was coming down on Michelle’s speech or anything else she does, like wear shorts or when they talked about her kids at Thanksgiving? Always got something to say about REAL BLACK folks, but nothing about Caucasians…things that make you go hhhmmmm!!!

  3. Lady T, what does your comment have to do with the point of this article which is to oust the president?

    We seem to be moving way too slow on this. The entire board should be fired as well. Time for REAL leadership.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Black Film Project and Film Studies Fellowships Established at Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates Jr., professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, will direct the newly established Black Film Project, an initiative aiming to support independent films focusing on Black history and culture.

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Yale Library Acquires Digital Collection of Langston Hughes Papers

In a recent December upload, the Yale University Library added a collection of papers from Black poet Langston Hughes to the school's online archive. The collection contains correspondence between Hughes and other authors and civil rights activists of his time.

Academic Fields Where Blacks Earned Few or No Doctoral Degrees in 2022

In 2022, African Americans earned 1.2 percent of all mathematics and statistics doctorates, 1.2 percent of all doctorates in computer science, 1.7 percent of all doctorates in chemistry, and only 1.7 percent of all doctorates awarded in engineering disciplines.

Featured Jobs