A Change in Leadership at Tougaloo College in Mississippi

Carmen J. Walters is stepping down from her post as president of Tougaloo College in Mississippi. She has been president of the private HBCU since July 2019.

In in email to the campus community that contains a long list of her accomplishments, Dr. Walters said: “It has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to represent this distinguished institution through my interactions with several national leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to represent Tougaloo College.”

The board of trustees issued a statement thanking Dr. Walters for her service.

Neither statement referenced a recent attempt by a group of alumni to remove the president. The alumni stated that “there is discontentment among our ranks directly related to low student enrollment, a decrease in campus morale, horrid student living conditions, and questionable financial practices that have negatively impacted the college.” (See JBHE post.)

Before being named president at Tougaloo College, Dr. Walters served as the executive vice president of enrollment management, student success, and institutional relations at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Earlier, she served in various administrative roles at Delgado Community College in New Orleans for 18 years.

Dr. Walters is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she majored in accounting and business administration. She holds a master’s degree in postsecondary counseling from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Ph.D. in community college leadership from Mississippi State University.

Donzell Lee has been selected to serve as interim president of Tougaloo College. Before his retirement, Dr. Lee had served in multiple roles at Alcorn State University in Mississippi. These roles included interim president, executive vice president for academic affairs, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, chair of the department of fine arts, and tenured professor.

Dr. Lee is a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans. He holds a master’s degree from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in music education from Louisiana State University.

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