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The succession of leadership at Clark Atlanta University has officially been concluded as it taps Ronald Johnson (above, left), the dean of Texas Southern University’s business college, as its new presidetn.

Johnson will succeed his renowned predecessor Carlton Brown on July 1 and become the university’s fourth president on July 1. Brown steps down after seven years at the helm of the private HBCU.

“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,” Johnson said in a statement. “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’s was overwhelmingly voted to succeed Brown by CAU’s board from a pool of more than 100 applicants and three finalists. His credentials are impeccable:

  • He has served in his position at Texas Southern, another historically black institution in Houston, since 2011.
  • Johnson’s previous experience includes serving as the dean of the business college at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and several other academic and private-sector business leadership positions.
  • While president and chief investment officer of Houston-based Smith Graham & Co., Johnson managed $3 billion in assets.
  • Additionally, he managed a portfolio totaling $2 billion in assets while director of fixed income and senior portfolio manager for Templeton Worldwide Inc.

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Clark Atlanta made the announcement Tuesday in a press conference attended by notable alumni, including U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson and Atlanta City Councilman CT Martin.

CAU’s announcement follows a quick succession of transition and change on the nationally-famous Atlanta University Center (now known as Atlanta University Consortium) that includes Morehouse, Spelman and Morris Brown colleges — all HBCUs. Last week, Spelman College’s selected New York University dean Mary Schmidt Campbell as its new president to replace Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum who leaves after 13 years. And this past week, Morris Brown finally emerged from bankruptcy and will graduate 21 students in May.

The transition was announced with the presence of dignitaries U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson and Atlanta City Councilman CT Martin, both CAU alumni.

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