TSU Provost Robert Hampton
UPDATE: In the wake of an audit that showed continued TSU problems, The Tennessean reported Oct. 8 that TSU President Melvin Johnson has shifted Hampton's responsibilities to others in his cabinet, and that Hampton will return to faculty status.
As originally reported, Sept. 4:
Tennessee State University's recent unflinching assessment of vast reforms needed in TSU academics, research and administration has produced an aggressive Academic Master Plan.
The name of TSU Provost Robert Hampton is woven throughout that plan, with his name repeatedly invoked as the linchpin in executing academic and operational improvements ranging from sponsored academic research to information technology governance, services and infrastructure.
Hampton joined the administration of TSU President Melvin Johnson in 2006, arriving from City University of New York, where is was a chancellor's faculty fellow, president of York College of CUNY, and a professor of sociology.
TSU has set ambitious goals for this, the first year of implementation of the academic plan. The initiative is partly propelled by a tough report on TSU's deficiencies delivered earlier this year by the Pappas Consulting Group.
Pappas Group described its own report as "hard-hitting, direct and candid," and that document, plus the new master plan, call unequivocally for "a cultural shift of seismic proportions" at TSU, in the interest of TSU truly becoming "Nashville's public university and university of choice," despite competition from such institutions as Middle Tennessee State University, Belmont University and others.
Prior to CUNY, Hampton, now 60, was the University of Maryland's associate provost for academic affairs and dean for undergraduate studies. Earlier, he was dean and faculty member at Connecticut College. Hampton earned his bachelor's in sociology at Princeton University, and his master's and Ph.D. in that field from the University of Michigan. ♦