Columbia University recently formed a partnership with Southern University and A&M College of Baton Rouge — one of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) — that will facilitate new research collaborations between the institutions; exchange programs for students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty; and economic-development initiatives.
A major focus of the partnership will be the creation of “pathway programs” that will encourage Southern University undergraduates to apply to Columbia PhD programs, with admitted graduate students having the opportunity to be mentored by both Columbia and Southern University professors.
In March, a delegation of faculty led by Dennis J. Shields, the president of the Southern University system and the chancellor of its flagship Baton Rouge institution, came to New York City for two days of meetings with Columbia faculty and administrators to discuss areas of common interest and the next stages of planning.
Columbia officials say the new partnership could provide a road map for future alliances with HBCUs. “Collaboration is key to scholarly excellence, and by bringing diverse talent and expertise together, we create new opportunities for innovative research,” said Columbia Provost Mary C. Boyce.