Charlotte Morris Named as Tuskegee University Interim President

Dr. Charlotte P. Morris will become interim president of Tuskegee University, following the July 31, 2010 retirement of school president Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, Tuskegee board chairman Dr. Andrew F. Brimmer announced late last week.

Having served in various roles at the university over the past 25 years, including current positions as executive associate to Payton and director of the university’s Title III program, Morris will be the first woman to lead the 128-year-old institution. While she serves as interim president, retired Army General Charles Williams, a Tuskegee alumnus and trustee, will lead the search for a new president of the historic Alabama school most famously led by Booker T. Washington at the turn of the twentieth century.

“Dr. Charlotte Morris brings a broad range of knowledge and experience about Tuskegee University’s management and governance that is second only to the president’s. She is well known and highly respected by the campus community as a strong and able administrator. I am confident that she will handle the role of interim president wisely and well,” Payton said in a statement.

A native of Kosciusko, Miss., Morris received a B.S. from Jackson State University, a master’s from Delta State University, and a Ph.D. in education and business management from Kansas State University.

“I am delighted to be asked to play a more significant role in the legacy of this historic institution. I will inherit a great team, and I am confident that we will keep the institution intact for the new president,” Morris said.

Originally, Payton announced plans to retire on June 30, 2010, completing 28 years of service to the school. Brimmer said Payton recently agreed to extend “his tenure for one additional month until July 31, 2010.”

Following the appointment of a permanent president, Morris will serve as an associate dean and professor of management in Tuskegee’s College of Business and Information Science.