BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Columbia University announced the signing of a historic agreement with Southern University A&M College to create broader opportunities for faculty, students, and both institutions.

Southern University System President Dennis Shields and Columbia University Provost Mary Boyce both signed the agreement.

“At this pivotal moment for HBCUs, when federal agencies have carved out funding for underserved institutions, we have extraordinary opportunities to leverage,” said Shields. The intellectual capital and resources that a university like Columbia has, teamed up with an under-resourced but intellectually strong institution like Southern, could open new doors for faculty and students while creating a long-lasting impact on higher education.”

Eight faculty members traveled with Shields on a two-day visit to Columbia University. The visits were designed to explore areas of mutual interest and plan for the future.

“Collaboration is key to scholarly excellence, and by bringing diverse talent and expertise together, we create new opportunities for innovative research,” said Boyce. “The enthusiasm this partnership has already generated among Columbia faculty is exciting and I am looking forward to seeing where it takes us.” 

 “By enhancing the diversity of Columbia graduate programs, and ultimately the professoriate, we are making a long-term investment in inclusive excellence that reaches far beyond our two institutions,” said Dennis Mitchell, Executive Vice President for University Life and Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement.

Pathway programs for students will be a major focus in this partnership, encouraging Southern undergraduates to apply to Columbia’s graduate programs. This effort will bring more diverse talent to Columbia’s graduate programs and develop a better tomorrow.