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APSU taps former chief of staff from Johnson C. Smith University as assistant VP of academic affairs

A former administrator at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., has been appointed to the position of assistant vice president of academic affairs at Austin Peay State University.

Dr. Brian Johnson, who most recently served as chief of staff in the presidents office at Johnson C. Smith University, will begin his new role at APSU on Feb. 7. He will assist Dr. Tristan Denley, provost and vice president of academic and student affairs.
A former administrator at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., has been appointed to the position of assistant vice president of academic affairs at Austin Peay State University.

Dr. Brian Johnson, who most recently served as chief of staff in the president's office at Johnson C. Smith University, will begin his new role at APSU on Feb. 7. He will assist Dr. Tristan Denley, provost and vice president of academic and student affairs.

“I am very pleased to join Austin Peay State University during this fascinating time in the University's history,” Johnson said. “I look forward to assisting Dr. Denley and the entire academic affairs staff in service to Austin Peay's students, faculty and staff.

“This is an absolutely incredible time of growth at Austin Peay that I am most fortunate to be part of it.”

Johnson was chief of staff at Johnson C. Smith from July 1, 2008-Dec. 18, 2009. In January 2010, he returned to faculty as associate professor of English.

As part of duties associated with the role of chief of staff, he was acting director of the school's Biddle Institute and chair of the freshmen and sophomore programs. Prior to becoming chief of staff, he was associate vice president of academic affairs from August 2007-July 2008.

From January 2006-August 2007, Johnson was founding director of the Jonathan Jasper Wright Institute for the Study of Southern African American History, Culture and Policy at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. He also served as director of TRiO and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program from August 2002-August 2003 at the University of South Carolina, where he also was associate director of freshman English and composition.

Johnson is known for his scholarship on W.E.B. Du Bois, a prominent intellectual leader and civil rights activist on behalf of blacks in the first half of the 20th century, and is the author of two books on Du Bois. His more recent book, titled “William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, Toward Agnosticism (1868-1934),” was published in 2008 by Rowman and Littlefield, New York. His other book, titled “Du Bois on Reform: Periodical-Based Leadership for African Americans,” was released in 2005 by the same publisher.

Johnson earned a Ph.D. in English in 2003 from the USC. He received his M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His bachelor's degree in English is from Johnson C. Smith University.

Johnson, his wife, Shemeka, and their two sons, Brian Asa and Nathan Morgan Qodesh, will be making their home in Clarksville. -- Melony Shemberger