What are you looking for?

Home News 2015 Clark Atlanta University Board Of Trustees Concludes Nationwide Search With Election Of Fourth President: Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., Takes Helm Of Historic Institution July 1

Clark Atlanta University Board Of Trustees Concludes Nationwide Search With Election Of Fourth President: Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., Takes Helm Of Historic Institution July 1

Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

CAU President- Elect Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D.



Donna Brock

ATLANTA (March 31, 2015)—The Clark Atlanta (CAU) University Board of Trustees today concluded its nationwide search for the institution’s fourth president with the announcement of Texas Southern University’s (TSU) Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., as the historic university’s next leader.  Johnson, who currently serves as dean of TSU’s Jesse H. Jones (JHJ) School of Business will assume this new role on July 1, 2015, succeeding Clark Atlanta’s current President Carlton E. Brown, Ed.D., who will retire on June 30.
Johnson, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., earned the B.A. in economics and the MBA in finance from Adelphi University.  He earned the M.A and the Ph.D. degrees in economics from Stanford University.  His professional success tracks through some of the nation’s foremost investment organizations, including Smith Graham & Company where he managed assets totaling $3 billion and Templeton Worldwide where he managed assets totaling $2 billion.  His love of education, teaching and research, and his reverence for the nation’s HBCUs in particular, has kept him close to academic circles for much of his career, which includes leading two schools of business as dean and named professorships at some of the nation’s most respected institutions of higher education.
CAU Board Chairman Alexander B. Cummings Jr., executive vice president and chief administrative officer for The Coca-Cola Company, says “in Ronald Johnson, we have identified a scholar of tremendous intellect, a global financier with impeccable credentials, an institution-builder with a demonstrable record of successes, a fundraiser with highly developed strategic acumen and a compassionate role model whose obvious desire to engage and empower students is borne out of his own personal journey.  I am honored to have Ron and his wife, Irene, become part of the CAU family.”
CAU Trustee Joe Laymon, vice president for human resources at Chevron Corp., led the Board’s 12-member Presidential Search Committee, supported by Washington, D.C.-based, AGB Search.  “Our search was intentionally broad,” he notes.  “We carefully reviewed more than 100 applications from across the United States.  Our fundamental qualifications for the position were rooted in the University’s strategic plan, the realities of the current economic climate, the prevailing legislative environment and the increasingly competitive global student recruitment marketplace.  One candidate, Ronald Johnson, consistently stood out during the intensive, very detailed vetting phases of the process. He possesses the skill, experience and vision necessary to provide the leadership and focus required to elevate Clark Atlanta and reposition it in the international arena.”
The president-elect says he is eager to join the Clark Atlanta University community and begin his term as president.  “There are few institutions in the United States, HBCU or otherwise, with the rich dual history, the intellectual legacy and the tradition of scholar-activism that defines Clark Atlanta.  Now the University will look to its future, harnessing a tremendous wealth of academic talent, a nation-wide expanse of passionate, multigenerational alumni and opportunities to create strategic alliances that will elevate its competitive advantage.”
Johnson emphasized that he and his wife are a team.  “Irene and I want to be a part of the exciting efforts to sustain the relevancy and vibrancy of Clark Atlanta University as a premier institution of higher education and learning.  We are looking forward to becoming part of the CAU community that is inspired by social purpose and fueled by intellectual vitality, cultural diversity, and global awareness.”  
New President’s Leadership, Skills the Right Match for Elevating CAU
As the JHJ School of Business dean and full professor of finance since 2011, Johnson is intricately familiar with the rigors of the academic enterprise and, more important, how to sustain and strengthen connections between the academy and strategic partners to create substantive, relevant opportunities for students and faculty.  Under his leadership, the School in 2014 was listed as one of The Princeton Review’s 295 best U.S. business schools, and GetEducated.com listed its eMBA programs as one of the best online buys.  In 2015, U.S. News & World Report listed the school as one of the best graduate schools. Prior to serving as dean of the JHJ School of Business, Johnson served as dean of the Western Carolina University College of Business in Cullowhee, N.C., where the MBA program was included in The Princeton Review’s “Best Business Schools” in the nation, and its online master’s degree program in project management earned GetEducated.com’s distinction as the nation’s top-ranked online program in quality and affordability.  The school’s online master of entrepreneurship program in 2007 was ranked as one of the five best online entrepreneurship programs in the nation.
Johnson built his career around teaching, mentoring and preparing future leaders in the investment, global financial management, international business, portfolio and securities analysis, economics and banking arenas, serving with distinction for two decades:  BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism and professor of finance, Western Carolina University;
JP Morgan Chase Professor of Finance, Texas Southern University; visiting associate professor of finance in the School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University; assistant professor of finance, Northeastern University; and visiting assistant professor of economics, Howard University. 
As Clark Atlanta reinforces its capacity to prepare for the University’s first comprehensive capital fundraising campaign, Johnson’s credentials and corporate leadership experience will prove invaluable in articulating the University’s assets and positioning the institution as a solid investment. He served as president and chief investment officer of Smith Graham & Company, an institutional investment management company in Houston, Texas, where he managed $3 billion in assets.  Prior to joining Smith Graham, he served as director of global fixed income research and senior portfolio manager for Templeton Worldwide Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he oversaw assets valued at $2 billion.  Johnson also served as the chief strategist and chairman of the investment committee for Americas Trust Bank in Miami, Florida; division chief for domestic financial markets with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and as an economist with the International Monetary Fund, as well as The Federal Reserve System Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.  He has developed investment strategies, informed economic and financial policy decisions, consulted heads of government and their administrations on macroeconomic policy adjustments and led business development teams to more than 25 foreign nations during his career.
Clark Atlanta, Johnson observes, "has done a commendable job in sustaining itself over the past decade.  Despite serious economic turbulence nationwide, compounded by constricting federal regulations and financial aid support, the University has managed to retain its enrollment of nearly 3,500, making it the largest of the nation’s UNCF 37 member institutions, as well as the largest among its affiliated United Methodist Church Global Higher Education Ministries HBCU institutions.  I look forward to working with our talented faculty, dedicated staff, and engaged students to produce the next generation of global leaders, pioneer research and craft innovation that touches the lives of millions of people.  By reinvigorating our business model, we are going to realize strategic advantages that will result in increased enrollment, enriched bases of graduate and undergraduate research, strengthened student support programs, and increased external funding support.  These systemic components, once effectively and operationally interconnected, will ultimately define the brand of this great institution." “Today, we see in our midst a university that is poised to be a leading model for the 21st century in teaching, learning, and world-class research. "Our aim, he adds, is for the world community to see, embrace and share in the awesome mix of inspiration, value creation, and leadership that continues to be the mark of distinction for Clark Atlanta University.”  

# # #

Category: Administration
Keywords: president-elect, Ronald A. Johnson, PhD