Auburn University and Tuskegee University initiated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at a special signing ceremony Monday afternoon to expand partnerships between the universities and collaborate on public relations.
The MOU is a commitment to combine resources and intellectual capacity to address racial and health disparities in communities across the state of Alabama. Through faculty research and outreach, both universities will work to address the lack of access to healthcare and other social and health inequalities in local areas.
“This partnership with Tuskegee University is a win-win for everyone, especially our students, researchers and our outreach team,” said Christopher B. Roberts, president of Auburn University. “As a land grant agency, it is important to work to address inequalities that limit opportunities for people in underserved areas. I am confident that the collaboration resulting from this agreement will benefit students from both universities as well as our neighboring communities.”
The agreement is the latest in a series of partnerships between Auburn and Tuskegee, and with the two universities united in a common mission, the future is bright for all involved.
“This partnership demonstrates the ability of our combined land grant missions to improve the quality of life for Alabama citizens,” said Vini Nathan, Auburn University interim provost. “Both institutions have long been committed to addressing health disparities in our state. Through these collaborations, we bring our faculty, staff, students and programs together to directly serve our communities.”
The collaboration includes a 10-member committee to review and recommend proposals to university presidents for prioritization in seeking state and federal assistance. 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,” said Tuskegee Provost S. Keith Hargrove. “By pooling our resources, we will be able to achieve greater reach in the development of cutting-edge academic programs and research and development opportunities, while deepening our engagement and reach in the community.”
The MOU signifies a commitment to forge institutional resources and intellectual capacity to address racial and health disparities in communities across the state. With an understanding that communities of color do not have adequate access to health care and other social determinants 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 introduce our students to research and educational opportunities to help them stay at the forefront of their fields, partnering with Auburn University helps expand their experience,” said Tuskegee- President Charlotte P. Morris. “This collaboration provides a formal structure to ensure common goals are met, to support students from both institutions, and to engage with the community in a meaningful way.”