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Dr. Robert R. Jennings elected 13th president of Lincoln University

11/23/2011, 2:41 p.m.
Dr. Robert R. Jennings elected 13th president of Lincoln University

On Saturday, Nov. 19, the Lincoln University Board of Trustees voted Dr. Robert R. Jennings to become the 13th president of Lincoln University. Dr. Jennings is expected to begin his tenure at Lincoln University in January 2012. He will be replacing Dr. Ivory V. Nelson who is retiring effective December 2011.

With a proven track record, Dr. Jennings brings his expertise in critical leadership initiatives such as increasing enrollment, fundraising, increasing grants/contracts and overseeing the development of academic review.

Before coming to Lincoln University, Dr. Jennings served as an administrator for Gems, Inc., in Union City, Ga., a licensed learning academy operating in two states which serves children 6 weeks to 12 years old and operates personal care homes serving adults including seniors with special needs. Under this position Dr. Jennings managed day-to-day operations of both agencies including staff development training, marketing and quality control. He oversaw 20 employees, 150 children, and a budget of $1 million, and reported directly to the Board of Trustees for Gems, Inc.

Dr. Jennings' career in higher education includes serving as president/CEO of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Normal, Ala. from 2005 to 2008. While at Alabama A&M he raised $4 million for a scholarship endowment program which was the first time this had ever occurred in the history of AAMU. In addition, Dr. Jennings secured the largest legislative increase in the 132-year school history by 12 percent, acquired the first AA Bond rating, and secured $15 million for the construction of the University's Wellness Center. Dr. Jennings also increased the government grants and contracts portfolio by $6 million annually and developed an academic review process to meet SACS standards.

Prior to becoming the president of AAMU, Dr. Jennings was the executive vice president/chief operating officer for Future Focus 2020, Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. While at WFU he secured a five-year contract for evaluation of an $18 million infrastructure grant of five institutions of higher learning, including a medical school.

As the vice chancellor for development and university relations at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C., Dr. Jennings increased the endowment by $2 million, developed a marketing plan with a new brand for the institution, and re-established the Planned Giving Program, which generated $2 million.

Other than his professional accomplishments, Dr. Jennings has done work in the government arena. He has served as the U.S. State Department's chief consultant for the U.S. Information Agency to the University of Niamey in Niger, Africa. Dr. Jennings served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in the Office of the Administrator in Washington D.C., and as a "loaned executive" to the Reagan administration. His professional development is endless and is represented by a broad range of expertise such as government relations, gift planning, fundraising, management, student affairs, program and policy development compliance, lead training and neighborhood initiatives, strategic planning, and operational and financial management.

Dr. Jennings received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Morehouse College in Atlanta. He received his Master of Arts degree in Education Psychology/Elementary Education and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration and Policy Studies from Atlanta University in Atlanta. Dr. Jennings also received an Education Specialist degree in Interrelated/Special Education from Atlanta University, and was a Charles Merrill Summer Fellow to the University of Ghana in Accra, West Africa.