Tuskegee University's President resigns
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (October 19, 2013) - Dr. Gilbert L. Rochon, the university's president, has announced his resignation from the university effective immediately (10/19/2013).
During the fall meeting of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Rochon announced his resignation and the Board of Trustees accepted. The Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Matthew Jenkins as the acting president of the university. The critical task for the Board of Trustees was to insure outstanding leadership and management of the university during the interim period.
Dr. Jenkins, a native of the state of Alabama, graduated from Tuskegee University in 1959, receiving the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree with honors. After graduation, he was employed by US Department of Agriculture in Boston. MA; subsequently he served in the US Air Force, at the rank of captain, stationed in Greenland. In this position, Dr. Jenkins discovered rabies and later led a team dedicated to the control and eventual eradication of rabies in Greenland. In 1960, he moved to California; was employed by the State of California Department of Veterinary Medicine and, shortly thereafter, entered private practice in Compton, CA. His veterinary practice grew to a medical and office staff of 18 professionals; he developed a new anesthetic combination that was published in "Modem Veterinary Practice" in 1972 and currently is in use in many countries.
In 1970, Dr. Jenkins and his wife (Mrs. Roberta Jones Jenkins, a fellow Tuskegee University graduate) founded Saroe Imports and later established SDD Enterprises, a highly successful real estate investment and property management firm with businesses in eight states. In 1979, Dr. Jenkins retired from veterinary medicine practice to devote full time to SSD Enterprises as CEO and President; he currently serves as Chairman of the firm. Since its founding in 1984, Dr. Jenkins has served as the Chairman of the Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Family Foundation, an entity that has donated in excess of 12 million dollars to deserving students and academic institutions, including significant contributions to Tuskegee University.
Dr. Jenkins' professional, civic and business contributions and leadership roles included: Trustee and Board President, Compton Community College; Member, Tuskegee University Board of Trustees; Vice Chairman, Charles Drew University Board of Directors; Chairman, Bank of Finance Board of Directors; Chairman, Telemedia Television Management Company; Member, the California State University Foundation Board of Governors; and President, the Tuskegee University Foundation. His many honors include the Frederick D. Patterson Heritage Award and Honorary Doctorate of Science, both by Tuskegee University.
Major General (Ret) Charles E. Williams, chairman of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees thanked Dr. Rochon for his three years of service and expressed very best wishes for his future endeavors. He further observed that the Board was exceedingly grateful to Dr. Jenkins for his willingness to service as president for the period required for the Board to conduct a comprehensive national search for the very best candidate to lead the University. In fact, Dr. Jenkins' substantial business and fiscal affairs expertise, deep and varied management and leadership experiences, emphases on exemplary performance by administrative staff, direct and sustained knowledge of financial resources generation activities, taken in combination with his well-documented interest in and support of Tuskegee University, bode well for a very successful period of acting leadership! The Board of Trustees is committed to provide Dr. Jenkins with all the support necessary to be successful during this interim period.
© Tuskegee University 2013