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University of Redlands and Tuskegee University forge historic agreement

Faculty and administrators from the University of Redlands and Tuskegee University build a new partnership. Left to right: Hideko Sera of U of R; Julie Townsend of U of R; Kendrick Brown of U of R; Emma Haley of Tuskegee; Channa Prakash of Tuskegee; Rhonda Collier of Tuskegee; Raymon Shange of Tuskegee; and Leo Rowland of U of R. (Photo by Coco McKown ’04)

In a first-of-its-kind agreement for both institutions, the University of Redlands, a private liberal arts, graduate and professional university in Southern California, and Tuskegee University, a private historically black university in Alabama, have partnered to provide expanded opportunities for students and faculty.

The new options for students and faculty will include residence at the partner institution for up to one year. 

“Our historic new alliance with Tuskegee University will bring us impressive new opportunities,” said Dr. Ralph Kuncl, president of the University of Redlands. “The two institutions will enrich and strengthen each other’s scholarship and teaching, as we look forward to exploring an array of potential joint programs together.”

U of R Professor Nicol Howard (second right) and U of R School of Education students host Emma Haley (third left), interim department chair of elementary and secondary education at Tuskegee University. (Photo by Coco McCown ’04)

“Booker T. Washington, who founded Tuskegee University in 1881, was keen on educating the entire student—the hands and the heart, as well as the mind,” said Dr. Charlotte P. Morris, Tuskegee’s interim president. “Partnerships like this with the University of Redlands help to ensure we provide our students, and our faculty, with well-rounded academic and professional experiences.” 

The initiative grew out of discussions at the U of R, particularly at its Johnston Center for Integrative Studies and Sociology and Anthropology Department, about augmenting domestic off-campus opportunities for students. 

“When I started following up on those conversations and researching possibilities for exchanges within the U.S., Tuskegee stood out,” said Leo Rowland, U of R director of study abroad. “When Kendrick [Brown, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,] arrived last year, he shared my enthusiasm for moving forward to learn more about possibilities for collaboration.”

In early February, Brown led a five-person delegation, including representatives from U of R’s Johnston Center, School of Education, and science faculty, to Tuskegee. 

“We received a warm welcome,” said Brown, whose research in the field of psychology has emphasized social issues and public policy, including diversity in higher education and society at large. “We were impressed by Tuskegee’s talented students and faculty. We also appreciated the student-centered programming and the institution’s commitment to first-generation students—attributes that mirror our own.”

In late September, a group from Tuskegee reciprocated with a trip to Redlands, where representatives toured the campus and met with U of R’s president, provost, and three deans, among others at the University and in the Redlands community.

“This partnership will open new doors for our Tuskegee students and faculty to benefit from the tremendous resources and innovative programs at U of R,” said Dr. Channa S. Prakash, dean of Tuskegee University’s College of Arts and Sciences. “We were highly impressed by the passion, commitment and hospitality shown by U of R faculty and administration during our visit.” 

Brown added, “This multifaceted partnership is an incredible opportunity for us to connect with a historically rich, vibrant university and its surrounding community.”

U of R students who are interested in the exchange program should reach out to Rowland at leo_rowland@redlands.edu.