Having spent more than 40 years as an educator, Clark Atlanta University President Carlton E. Brown recently announced his decision to retire, effective June 30, 2015. He made the formal announcement to the Board of Trustees on Monday.
“This is a decision made carefully and with much deliberation,” says Dr. Brown, who has spent the past six years at CAU. He added he’s been “blessed with a career that spans four very fulfilling decades … it is time to reflect upon blessings and enjoy them with my family. This is a natural progression in the life of an institution; certainly in the life of a university president.”
According to a statement to press, Clark Atlanta University’s Board Chairman Alexander B. Cummings Jr., executive vice president and chief administrative officer of The Coca-Cola Company, noted that Brown’s decision comes at a time when, despite challenges to the nation’s higher education community, its HBCUs in particular, the institution is “strong and stable. We are well positioned,” the chairman noted, “to continue operations with our sights toward continued progress in key areas.” Cummings shared that the Board of Trustees would announce a formal search for the University’s fourth president later in the year.
Brown joined the University in 2007 as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. In 2008, he was appointed president of the institution. Under his leadership, improvements were made to the University’s facilities, including two LEEDS-certified renovations. The University achieved several years of clean audits, after fortifying internal audit functions and establishing compliance protocols. Through a thorough process re-engineering initiative, Brown and his leadership team sharpened the functional capabilities of many of the University’s critical business units.
Brown’s Top Accomplishments:
- The University’s 2011 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SACS, Five-Year Report passed with commendations for excellence and is now used by SACS as a model report to train other institutions. The School of Business Administration’s American Association of Colleges and Schools of Business accreditation was renewed. The School of Education achieved professional accreditation renewal as well as a new accreditation. Presently, the University is on track for a successful 10-year re-accreditation by SACS in 2016, and is preparing for reaffirmation of accreditation for its social work and public administration programs. The institution also has bolstered its research and sponsored programs infrastructure to better support grantsmanship and research efforts.
- The University’s graduate enrollment has increased.
- CAU also established two new, very prestigious honor societies, Phi Kappa Phi (Clark Atlanta University is the first private HBCU to be granted a chapter) and Phi Eta Sigma, and re-established its chapter of Alpha Kappa Mu.
- The University has cultivated new international relationships, including ties with Liberia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.
- In March 2014, CAU was named as one of only 20 institutions nationwide this summer that will host the Washington Fellows – Young African Leaders Initiative created by President Barack Obama.
“Dr. Brown is more than just a university president to us,” offers CAU’s Undergraduate Student Government Association president Joey Scarver. “He is a father, a mentor, a friend and a brother. Even when the going gets tough,” said the graduating senior, “you believe in what you can do because you know he believes in your potential. That’s who he is and that is how he has touched our lives … indelibly.”
Brown promises his final year will be one of “ongoing, strategic capacity-building. We’re going to be aggressive and relentless as we continue our work toward goals that are essential to our success, especially as it pertains to fundraising and recruitment. “If anything,” he noted, “we’re going to run even harder than we have in previous years. It’s an exciting time for us. We are poised to advance in ways that will affirm our presence as a center of enterprise and discovery, and we are geared up for the task.”