Tuskegee President to Step Down

Benjamin F. Payton, president of Tuskegee University, the historically black educational institution in Alabama that was founded by Booker T. Washington, has announced he will step down at the end of the 2009-10 academic year. Dr. Payton, currently one of the longest-serving university presidents in the nation, is only the fifth president of Tuskegee since its founding in 1881.

During his tenure, Dr. Payton was a successful fundraiser, growing the endowment from $15 million to over $100 million. More than $350 million in construction projects have been completed. Academic programs have been strengthened and professional and doctoral programs have been established or greatly expanded.

Prior to coming to Tuskegee, Dr. Payton was a senior program officer in higher education for the Ford Foundation. President Payton has stellar academic credentials. He holds bachelor’s degrees from Harvard University and South Carolina State University. He earned a master’s degree at Columbia University and a Ph.D. at Yale University.

Andrew F. Brimmer, chair of the university’s board of trustees, has established a presidential search committee. Applications will be accepted up to May 31, 2009.