Washington’s 1862 Land-Grant Institution: Washington State University

https://wsu.edu @WSUPullman

Established in 1890 as the Washington Agricultural College and School of Science. In 1905, the school changed its name to State College of Washington, although it was commonly known as Washington State College. In 1959, the Washington State legislature changed the school’s name again to Washington State University.

President: Kirk Schulz became the president of Washington State University in 2016. President Schulz has extensive land-grant bona fides, including having received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the land-grant institution Virginia Tech. Dr. Schulz also held several positions at the land-grant institution Mississippi State University and was appointed president of the land-grant institution Kansas State University in 2009. @WSU_Cougar_Pres


Washington’s 1890 Land-Grant Institution: Northwest Indian College

https://www.nwic.edu @NWIndianCollege

Established in 1973 as the Lummi Indian School of Aquaculture in order to support Indian-owned and operated fish and shellfish hatcheries in the United States and Canada. In 1983, the Lummi Nation chartered the Lummi Community College to fulfill the need for a more comprehensive post-secondary education for tribal members. The school changed its name in 1993 to Northwest Indian College.

President: Justin P. Guillory became the president of Northwest Indian College in 2012 after serving as their Dean of Academics and Distance Learning and Dean of Extended Campus Sites. Dr. Guillory’s land-grant credentials include both a master’s degree in educational administration and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from the land-grant institution Washington State University.




Virginia’s 1862 Land-Grant Institution: Virginia Tech

https://vt.edu @virginia_tech

Established in 1872 as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. The school was renamed Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute in 1896. In 1944, the school’s name was again changed to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and again in 1970 to its present legal name: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In the early 1990s, university administration authorized the official use of “Virginia Tech” as equivalent to the full legal name.

President: Timothy D. Sands became president of Virginia Tech in 2014. President Sands has impeccable land-grant credentials, having earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics and master’s and doctoral degrees in material science and engineering from the land-grant institution University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Sands also started his academic career at his alma mater as a professor of material science and engineering. He then joined the engineering faculty at the land-grant institution Purdue University, where he also served as provost and acting president before assuming the presidency at Virginia Tech. @VTSandsman



Virginia’s 1890 Land-Grant Institution: Virginia State University

http://www.vsu.edu @VSUTrojans

Founded in 1882 as the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute. In 1902, the school’s name was changed to the Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute. In 1920, the land-grant designation was granted to the school after having been removed from the Hampton Institute. The school’s name was changed in 1930 to Virginia State College for Negroes and again changed to Virginia State College in 1946. The present-day name of Virginia State University was provided by the state legislature in 1979.

President: Makola M. Abdullah became the president of Virginia State University in 2016. Dr. Abdullah’s land-grant credentials include having served as the dean and director of 1890 land-grant programs at the land-grant institution Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. @makolaabdullah

Land-grant universities: losing their way in rural America?

Analyses of Data from the WSJ/THE College Rankings

Data from WSJ/THE US College Rankings raise questions about whether land-grant institutions are living up to their original mission.

From the article:

For Professor Gavazzi, it all goes to emphasize the vital importance of finding ways to show rural communities how their land-grant universities can benefit them, as that would then make it easier to make the political case for state funding. But, for him, that requires a shift in culture in land-grants back towards community engagement.

Check it out by clicking here.

TEXAS LAND-GRANT INSTITUTIONS: Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University

Texas 1862 Land-Grant Institution: Texas A&M University

https://www.tamu.edu @TAMU

Founded in 1871 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. Although originally envisioned as a branch of the University of Texas, the school was never enveloped into the University of Texas System, despite repeated attempts to do so. In 1963, the school was renamed Texas A&M University.

President: Michael K. Young became the president of Texas A&M University in 2015. Previous positions have included presidencies of both the University of Washington and the University of Utah.



Texas 1890 Land-Grant Institution: Prairie View A&M University

http://www.pvamu.edu @PVAMU

Founded in 1876 as the Alta Vista Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Benefit of Colored Youth, and originally was a part of the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). Several name changes occurred over the years, including Prairie View State Normal School (1879), Prairie View State Normal & Industrial College (1899), Prairie View University (1945), and Prairie View Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas (1947). In 1973, the school changed its name to the present Prairie View A&M University.

President: Ruth Simmons became the president of Prairie View A&M University in 2017, and she is the first woman to lead this school. Previous positions have included presidencies at Smith College and Brown University.



Vermont’s 1862 Land-Grant Institution: University of Vermont

https://www.uvm.edu @uvmvermont

The University of Vermont was founded as a private university in 1791, the same year Vermont became the 14th U.S. state. In 1865, the university merged with Vermont Agricultural College (chartered November 22, 1864), and became the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. Of great historical interest is the fact that Justin Morrill, the senator from Vermont who authored the 1862 Land-Grant Act that created the land-grant institutions, served as a trustee of UVM from 1865 to 1898.

President: Thomas Sullivan became the president of the University of Vermont in 2012. President Sullivan has an impressive land-grant heritage. Prior to becoming UVM’s president, he served as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the land-grant institution University of Minnesota, where he also was dean of the law school. Dr. Sullivan also served as the dean of the law school at the land-grant institution University of Arizona, and he began his career in higher education as a faculty member at the land-grant institution University of Missouri.

Dr. Sullivan will be stepping down as president this year, and his successor has been named. Suresh Garimella, who currently is the executive vice president for research and partnerships at Purdue University, will assume the UVM presidency in July 2019. @SVGarimella


Higher Ed Social Podcast on Land-Grant Universities

The podcast I did with Jackie Vetrano and Lougan Bishop on Higher Ed Social just posted on https://highered.social as well as on Google Play and Apple Podcasts.

We primarily talked about landgrant universities and my Johns Hopkins University Press book with West Virginia University president E. Gordon Gee, but also covered the college rankings and their negative impact on higher education.



Utah’s 1862 Land-Grant Institution: Utah State University

http://www.usu.edu @USUAggies

Founded as the Agricultural College of Utah in 1888. Through the years, there were various attempts to merge operations with the University of Utah, and for a short period of time the curricula of the Agricultural College were limited strictly to agriculture, domestic science, and mechanic arts. Eventually these restrictions were lifted for all areas of study except law and medicine. In 1929, the school was renamed Utah State Agricultural College. In 957, the school was granted university status as Utah State University of Agriculture and Applied Science, but the short name Utah State University is used in official documents to this day.

President: Noelle E. Crockett became the president of Utah State University in 2017. President Crockett has extensive land-grant credentials. Previously, she was the executive vice president and provost at USU, as well as having served as vice president for Extension, dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, director of the Utah Agriculture Experiment Station, and faculty member in the Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences. President Crockett also received her master’s and doctoral degrees in animal breeding and genetics from the land-grant institution Oregon State University.



TENNESSEE’S LAND-GRANT INSTITUTIONS: University OF Tennessee and Tennessee State University

Tennessee’s 1862 Land-Grant Institution: University of Tennessee

https://www.utk.edu @UTKnoxville

Founded in 1794 as Blount College. In 1807, the school was re-chartered as East Tennessee College and then in 1840 was renamed East Tennessee University (ETU). In 1867, Congress passed a special Act making the State of Tennessee eligible to participate in the Morrill Act of 1862 program, and in 1869 ETU was named as Tennessee’s recipient of the Land-Grant designation and funds. The school was renamed the University of Tennessee in 1879 by the state legislature.

President: Wayne T. Davis currently serves as the interim chancellor of the University of Tennessee. A new permanent chancellor is expected to be named and installed in office by July 1, 2019.

Tennessee’s 1890 Land-Grant Institution: Tennessee State University

http://www.tnstate.edu @TSUedu

The university was founded in 1912 as the Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State Normal School for Negroes. The school changed its name to Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State Normal College in 1925, and in 1927 it became known as Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College. In 1968, the college officially changed its name to Tennessee State University.

President: Glenda Glover became president of Tennessee State University in 2013. President Glover’s land-grant credentials include being an alumnus of Tennessee State, where she received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics. @gloverpres


SOUTH DAKOTA’S LAND-GRANT INSTITUTIONS: South Dakota State University, Oglala Lakota College, Si Tanka/Huron University, Sinte Gleska University, and Sisseton Wahpeton College

South Dakota’s 1862 Land-Grant Institution: South Dakota State University

https://www.sdstate.edu @SDState

Founded in 1881 as Dakota Agriculture College. The school’s name was changed in 1904 to South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. In 1964, the name again was changed to South Dakota State University.

President: Barry H. Dunn was named president of South Dakota State University in 2016. Dr. Dunn’s land-grant bona fides are extensive. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology and both a master’s and Ph.D. in animal science from SDSU. Professionally, he served as the dean of SDSU’s College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, and as both the director of SDSU Extension and as a professor of animal science. Dr. Dunn previously also was the executive director of the King Ranch Institute for Range Management for the land-grant institution Texas A&M.



South Dakota’s 1994 Land-Grant Institutions: Oglala Lakota College, Si Tanka/Huron University, Sinte Gleska University, and Sisseton Wahpeton College


Oglala Lakota College


Founded in 1971 by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, Oglala Lakota College (OLC) is a public tribal community college that serves the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

President: Thomas Shortbull became president of Oglala Lakota College for the second time in 1995 (he previously served as president from 1975-79). In addition to his two presidential stints, President Shortbull served three terms as a state senator as well as having held various other local government positions.



Si Tanka/Huron University


Founded by the Sioux Tribe in 1973 as the Cheyenne River Community College. The college then changed its name in July 1999 to Si Tanka College. In May 2001, the small tribal college bought Huron University, a private, accredited four-year university established in 1883. Due to financial difficulties, Si Tanka University was closed in 2006 and its accreditation was withdrawn. In 2010, a group of Si Tanka alumni reopened Si Tanka University as an unaccredited online university.

President: The president of Si Tanka is Harold L. Harris. No information on President Harris is available.



Sinte Gleska University

http://www.sintegleska.edu @sintegleskau

Sinte Gleska University was founded in 1971 and named for the Brulé Lakota chief Sinte Gleska. SGU was designed to serve the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

President: Lionel R. Bordeaux became the president of Sinte Gleska University in 1973. Prior to his presidency, he held various positions in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.



Sisseton Wahpeton College


Sisseton Wahpeton College was established in 1979 as an entity of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (formerly the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe/Dakota Nation).

President: Randy Smith is the President of Sisseton Wahpeton College. He also serves as the president of the largest organization of rural and tribal colleges in the United States, the Rural Community College Alliance. President Smith’s land-grant credentials include his serving on the community college leadership doctoral program advisory committee for the land-grant institution Mississippi State University.