Columbia University Teams Up With Southern University for Faculty Development

Columbia University and Southern University and A&M College, a historically Black university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize a new partnership that will facilitate faculty research collaborations; exchange and experiential learning programs for students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty; and innovation and economic development initiatives.

Pathway programs for students will be a major focus of the partnership, encouraging promising Southern University undergraduates to apply to Columbia Ph.D. programs for graduate studies, where they will be co-mentored by both Columbia and Southern faculty before returning to Southern for tenure-track positions.

Dennis Mitchell, executive vice president for university life, senior vice provost for faculty advancement, and professor of dental medicine at Columbia, said that “we are looking forward to opening up collaborations for students, faculty, and trainees across our campuses. By enhancing the diversity of Columbia graduate programs, and ultimately the professoriate, we are making a long-term investment in inclusive excellence that reaches far beyond our two institutions.”

“At this pivotal moment for HBCUs, when federal agencies have carved out funding for underserved institutions, we have extraordinary opportunities to leverage,” added Dennis J. Shields, president of the Southern University System and chancellor of Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College. “The intellectual capital and resources that a university like Columbia has, teamed up with an under-resourced but intellectually strong institution like Southern, could open new doors for faculty and students while creating a long-lasting impact on higher education.”


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