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Joffre T. Whisenton

Ph.D., The University of Alabama, 1968. Educational Psychology.

M.S., Springfield College, 1956.

B.S., Tougaloo College, 1955. Biology and Health Physical Education and Recreation (double major).

Dr. Joffre T. Whisenton currently serves as president of Joffre T. Whisenton and Associates, Inc. The consulting firm has been in operation since 1988 focusing on the resolution of problems in institutions of higher learning as well as industry, foundations, corporations, and the federal government.

Whisenton formerly served in the capacity of president of the Southern University System in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 1985 through 1988. From 1987 through 1988, he served in a dual role as system president and interim chancellor of Southern University at Baton Rouge.

The Hattiesburg, Mississippi native is a graduate of Magnolia High School in Moss Point, Mississippi and holds degrees from Tougaloo College in Mississippi; Springfield College in Massachusetts; and The University of Alabama. 

He comes from a long line of educators -both his parents and grandparents were teachers. His grandfather taught for 51 years before retiring in DeKalb, Mississippi, where during the 1950s the S. H. Whisenton Junior High School was named in his honor. His father retired after 40 years as a teacher and administrator in the public schools of Moss Point, Mississippi.

Whisenton served as associate executive director with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in Atlanta before assuming the presidency of the Southern University System. Prior to joining the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1969, Dr. Whisenton held a joint appointment as professor and chairman of the Division of Education and Psychology at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa and as a program associate in the Office for Student Development at The University of Alabama.

Whisenton is the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from The University of Alabama in 1968. After earning his doctorate, he served on Stillman College’s faculty for 13 years. His positions at Stillman included professor of educational psychology, instructor of physical education, basketball, baseball, and track coach, dean of men, chairperson of the physical education department, and director of athletics. He also directed Stillman’s self-study program for regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Whisenton took a leave of absence from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools from 1975 to 1977 to serve in the capacity of special assistant for educational policy to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He served as a major policy advisor to the Secretary and other key officials of the department on the broadest range of educational policy issues. He handled, on behalf of the Secretary, contact with key officials of government as well as with interested national citizens and professional groups and organizations. He also dealt with policy matters involving department programs and operations with key officials at the White Hous as well as with other government agencies and Congress, and advised department officials on various educational policy issues, as appropriate.

His affiliations include membership in Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Professional Fraternity; the Urban League; the NAACP, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Counseling and Development, the American Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, and St. Marie’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta Georgia.

He was married to the late Zadie E. Bedford, who held the Ed.D. in educational research and elementary and early childhood education from The University of Alabama. They have one son, Joffre Conrad.