NAFEO Honors Tennessee State President With Leadership Award
Tennessee State University president Dr. James A. Hefner has been selected to receive the Presidential Leadership Award from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), the Silver Spring, Md.-based organization announced last month. The Presidential Leadership Award is the highest-ranking award presented by the organization.
Hefner was selected for the award due to his ongoing contributions to strengthening and expanding educational opportunities for African Americans throughout the United States.
“We at NAFEO are proud of the tenacity and patience Dr. Hefner has displayed in the educational area by insisting on standards of excellence for our institutions,” said Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, president of NAFEO. “He has played a significant role in raising standards to bring our students into this new millennium prepared to take full advantage of every available opportunity.”
Hefner was to be presented the award at a March 6 banquet during the annual NAFEO conference held in Washington, D.C.
“NAFEO’s work in the arena of ensuring educational opportunities for African Americans is unparalleled,” Hefner said. “For me to be recognized by such a highly respected organization is a humbling honor, and I pledge to continue my commitment to African American achievement in higher education.”
Hefner became the sixth president of Tennessee State University in 1991. Prior to coming to TSU, he served as president of Jackson State University in Mississippi and as provost at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama.
Hefner is the longest serving president in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, which is the sixth-largest higher education system in the United States. During Hefner’s tenure at Tennessee State University, enrollment has grown from 6,500 in 1991 to 9,024. Alumni giving has grown from $67,000 in 1991 to roughly $500,000. Sponsored research has grown from $7 million in 1991 to $41 million, the highest research productivity among all Tennessee Board of Regents institutions.
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