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Auburn University, Tuskegee University sign agreement to create umbrella partnership

Collaboration will include research, academics, community engagement around health inequities
Published: November 21, 2022 | Updated: November 22, 2022
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Auburn University and Tuskegee University initiated a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, to expand partnerships between the universities and collaborate on community outreach at a special signing ceremony on Monday afternoon.

The MOU is a commitment to blend resources and intellectual capacity to address racial and health disparities in communities across the state of Alabama. Through faculty research and outreach collaborations, both universities will work to address lack of health care access and other social and health inequities in the local areas.

“This partnership with Tuskegee University is a win-win for everyone, especially our students, researchers and outreach team,” Auburn University President Christopher B. Roberts said. “As a land-grant institution, it is important to work to eliminate disparities that limit opportunities for those in underserved areas. I am confident the collaboration that will emerge from this agreement will benefit students from both universities, as well as our neighboring communities.”

The agreement is the latest in a number of partnerships between Auburn and Tuskegee, and with the two universities united in a shared mission, the future is bright for all involved.

“This partnership demonstrates the capacity of our shared land-grant missions to improve the quality of life for Alabama’s citizens,” Auburn University Interim Provost Vini Nathan said. “Both institutions maintain a longstanding commitment to addressing health disparities across our state. Through these collaborations, we are bringing together our faculty, staff, students and programs to benefit our communities directly.”

The collaboration includes a 10-member committee to review and recommend proposals to the university presidents for prioritization in seeking state and federal support. The collaboration team will focus on academic programs, research and development, outreach and community engagement.

“The impact of this partnership will benefit the students of both schools and the surrounding communities where we are based,” Tuskegee Provost S. Keith Hargrove said. “By blending our resources, we will be able to have a broader reach in developing state-of-the-art academic programs and research and development opportunities, while deepening our community engagement and outreach.”

The MOU signifies a commitment to forge institutional resources and intellectual capacity to address racial and health disparities in communities across the state. With the understanding that communities of color lack adequate access to healthcare and other social determinates of health impact areas, Auburn and Tuskegee will address these issues through ongoing faculty research and outreach alliances.

“As we focus on innovative ways to expose our students to research and training opportunities to keep them in the forefront of their fields, partnering with Auburn University helps expand their experience,” Tuskegee President Charlotte P. Morris said. “This collaboration provides a formal structure to ensure that the common goals are met to support students of both institutions and partner with the community in meaningful ways.”

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.

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