Tuskegee Selects Purdue Administrator, Researcher as New President

Tuskegee University announced Friday the selection of Dr. Gilbert L. Rochon, associate vice president for collaborative research and engagement at Purdue University, as its sixth president.

Rochon takes the helm Nov. 1, replacing longtime president Benjamin Payton.

Rochon is also a senior research scientist at the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing and director of the Terrestrial Observatory at Purdue. The Observatory is a real-time satellite ground station for interdisciplinary multisensor remote sensing.

“As we reviewed and evaluated Dr. Rochon’s education and professional experience, it became evident that he has been preparing thoroughly without aiming for it explicitly for the presidency of Tuskegee University. His resume is very impressive,” said Dr. Andrew Brimmer, chair of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees.

A New Orleans native, Rochon earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Xavier University; a master’s of public health degree from the Yale University School of Medicine; and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Rochon is formerly director of the Dorchester Mental Health Center at Boston State Hospital and was an associate professor and director/chair of the Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Professorship in Urban Studies and Public Policy Institute at Dillard University. He has also served as researcher and investigator in divisions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Rochon has received numerous fellowships, published and/or collaborated on more than 135 articles in peer-refereed professional journals and serves on many review panels and advisory boards in the areas.  He is the founding editor of the Journal of Terrestrial Observation.