A petition calling for the firing of Tuskegee University President Brian Johnson has been posted at the Change.org 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.