Each Tuesday the HBCU Campaign Fund organization will highlight a Chancellor or President, who currently serves at a Historically Black College and University.
This initiative recognizes the current individuals who serve historically black colleges and universities changing and educating lives daily and producing visionary leaders of the next generation.
This Tuesday (2/9/16) highlight feature Dr. Henry N. Tisdale (pictured below), President of Claflin University.
Dr. Henry N. Tisdale was named the eighth president of Claflin University in 1994 which is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Dr. Tisdale is a native of Kingstree, South Carolina, and a magna cum laude graduate of Claflin University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1965. He was awarded a Master of Education degree in Mathematics from Temple University in 1967 then a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1975. He then received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978. He has received Honorary Doctorate degrees from South Carolina State University (2004) and Hofstra University (2009).
As described as a high energy and visionary president, Dr. Tisdale, in the tradition of Claflin’s presidents, has been a servant leader while also overseeing tremendous growth in all areas of the University’s campus and academic endeavors. During his nearly 20 years as president, Dr. Tisdale’s reputation for accomplishment, generating momentum, demonstrating commitment and his strategic approach to advancing Claflin have established him as a prominent influence in higher education.
In Dr. Tisdale’s background in higher education, he served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware (1987 to 1994), served as Assistant Academic Dean for Administration, Planning and Information Management at Delaware State University (1986 to 1987), he was selected by the American Council on Education Center for Leadership Development in Washington, D.C., to serve as an ACE Fellow in Academic Administration (1985). Dr. Tisdale served a full academic year in a mentor/internship relationship with Dr. E.A. Trabant, president of the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.
During his 24-year tenure at Delaware State University, Dr. Tisdale served in several other capacities, including as Assistant Director of Institutional Research and Planning ( 1978 – 1985); Professor of Mathematics (1969 – 1985); and Instructor, Summer Engineering Institute (1978 – 1985). Prior to these positions in higher education, he taught mathematics in the Philadelphia School System (1965-1969).
Throughout his career, Dr. Tisdale has been a recipient of numerous awards and honors. In September 2008, the town of Kingstree, in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of its native son, erected a lasting tribute, six highway markers proclaiming Kingstree, South Carolina, the “Home of Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, The Eighth President of Claflin University.” Dr. Tisdale’s other recent honors include the 2008 Council for Advancement and Support of Education District III Chief Executive Leadership Award, the 2007 Milliken Medal of Quality Award, a 2007 BellSouth Honoree, the I. DeQuincey Newman Humanitarian Award, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in High Education Distinguished Alumni Award, Who’s Who Among Black Americans and the NAACP Educator of the Year Award.
Over the years, Dr. Tisdale has served on many committees, councils, boards and task forces at both the state and national levels. Additionally, he has published and presented widely in areas of probability theory and issues in high education.
Dr. Tisdale is a member of the Board of Directors of UNCF, American Council on Education Commission on Effective Leadership, UNCF Special Programs Board of Directors, the Association of Governing Boards of University and Colleges Council of Presidents, the HBCU-ETS Steering Committee and a member of Governor Nikki Haley’s Transition Team. He is a member of the Claflin University National Alumni Association, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Orangeburg Rotary Club and Trinity United Methodist Church.
Dr. Tisdale’s inaugural pledge to place Claflin University among the premier liberal arts institutions in American was achieved when, in August 2008, Forbes.com listed the University as the top Historically Black College or University in the country and ranked Claflin in the top four percent nationally in their first-ever rankings of “American’s Best Colleges.” U.S. News and World Report’s “Guidebook to America’s Best Colleges” has included Claflin in its “Top Tier” rankings among comprehensive baccalaureate-granting institutions in the South for 14 consecutive years. In its 2012 ranking, Claflin reached a new plateau: For the first time, it was ranked in the top tier of national liberal arts college and universities. Claflin was also ranked #1 in alumni giving among HBCUs. Claflin continues to expand its national exposure #10 ranking among the nation’s baccalaureate colleges and universities from the Washington Monthly.
Under Dr.Tisdale’s leadership, the University’s academic accomplishments include an enhanced and increased enrollment by 85 percent and national accreditation for business administration, teacher education, music, and chemistry.
Dr. Tisdale and his wife, Alice Carson Tisdale, have two children, Danica Camille Tisdale Fisher, and Brandon Keith.
For more information about Arkansas Baptist College, visit www.claflin.edu.