Alabama A&M Makes Andrew Hugine the Million Dollar Man

Alabama A&M University and President Andrew Hugine agreed to a contract extension this week, with a unique clause designed to make his term of service among the most permanent in the HBCU community. 

With a three-year extension of his current deal, Dr. Hugine will extend his stay at AAMU through 2023. And if another school hopes to hire him away, they will pay AAMU a $1 million severance fee. 

“We as a board have chosen to be deliberate in creating an environment that promotes leadership stability,” said AAMU Board President Pro Tempore Jerome B. Williams. “We consider Dr. Hugine to be a valuable asset.  He has done an excellent job, and has also assembled a leadership team that is taking the University into the future. I am very pleased with the milestones we have reached over the past few years as a board by working with the administration and university stakeholders.  We certainly do not take his leadership for granted and this extension is a testament to that.” 

The extension underscores significant gains at the land-grant institution over Dr. Hugine’s nine-year term. The school has quietly grown its profile as a valuable regional asset in agriculture and STEM training.  Fluctuation in state appropriations and enrollment, crooked former governor Robert Bentley’s attempts to disrupt the school through administrative interference, and tension early in his tenure never broke Dr. Hugine’s hold on leadership or the board’s faith in the school’s direction.  

Dr. Hugine’s success is the latest example of growing stability among presidents and boards at HBCUs nationwide. It is almost a rebellious position from public HBCU executives, who for years have suffered from the pressure created by legislators to dismantle HBCUs through firing staff and faculty members, drastically changing strategic planning, and silently conceding in the face of bad legislative policy.

Schools like Florida A&M University, South Carolina State University, Albany State University and Southern University, all campuses where politics have created significant controversies and disruption over the last decade, have a long way to go.

But AAMU is emerging as an example of how to navigate the political maze. In nine years, enrollment has grown by 20%; the school executed a capital campaign which raised more than $27 million, and the school’s endowment now approaches $50 million.

No public HBCU will ever find immunity from all of the forces generated by elected officials, students and alumni. But AAMU, and other HBCU boards and presidents deserve credit for putting institutional growth over personal gain, all while setting new standards for how HBCUs can thrive in the 21st century. 

“I am thankful for the continued confidence placed in me by the board,” said Dr. Hugine in a release.  “The success experienced at Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University is due to the hard work and dedication of the leadership team, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other stakeholders who believe in the mission and vision of this great institution.  At Alabama A&M, our motto is Service is Sovereignty and being able to serve our students and assist them in their pursuit of a quality education is what ultimately motivates the work that we do.”


  1. Congrats to AA&M, the Board, and Dr. Hugine. The recent success of AA&M is clearly been recoginzed. I really loke the $1 million buyout clause. That shows the University and Board are committed to ensuring that Dr. Hugine has all the resources to be successful.

  2. Sometimes a man may have to leave home to do the best job that he can do. This may be an example of an eschatalogical truth.

  3. I love the idea of stability in our administration. It did and still does make me feel good when people are not being pushed out or encouraged to leave like discarded livestock. If a person warrants longevity, then so be it. Job well done Dr. Hugine.

  4. I am not sure what measures AAMU trustees use for assessing success. As its President is a mathematician and one for statistics and numbers, I would suggest one look more closely at the public data available.

    Graduation rates are measured in six years. The six-year graduation rate at AAMU is 24%, which by most measures is poor. Simplified, it means that 24 out of every 100 students is graduating in six years. Most university curricula are based on four years. The four-year graduation rate at AAMU is one of the poorest I’ve seen, hovering around four percent (4%). The retention rate (based on how one retains new students) at AAMU is 59%, which is relatively lower than a number of schools too.

    It is uncertain what AAMU trustees want in a President, but it is relatively certain that graduation of its students is not such that it is a model for student success. AAMU undergraduate enrollment is around 5,038.

    This public data is available at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

  5. Mr. Jones: I am not sure how people gather information, but facts are stubborn, and it appears the AAMU board lacks ability to assess what matters in the long run and one of which is to ensure that students and parents who’ve paid for an education get what they paid for without fail. However, many of our conventional standards for excellence are so compromised today that I hardly know how to speak to such behavior. No thanks, once was enough for me, and I wrote an editorial piece initially supporting him. I’ll decline a second time.

  6. He is NOT doing a great job as the “board would have us to believe! He has no interest in the Athletics department and he continues to allow bad management, embarrassing scenarios, and financial irresponsibility to plague the university. Crumbling infrastructure, and the like… Get rid of Him!!!

  7. You are absolutely right. What appears to be the case is that the A&M board, for whatever strange reason, is trying to boost Hugine up prior to the release of some very damaging info about NCAA sanctions that only underscores his incompetent leadership at A&M. This HBCUDigest article is a poor and transparent attempt to do so. None of his supposed attributes are supported by the reality of what’s happening at A&M.

  8. I just visited Alabama A&M this weekend with a friend of mine. My friend took her daughter to school. I was very disappointed to see how filthy her bathroom was. The shower, toilet and sink was sickening. We had to buy all kind of disinfect to clean her room. I could go on and on about how awful this room was. This place wasn’t too much better than the way the immigrants are having to live. I plan to send an email to the President and Dean of Housing. If nothing is done to improve that d
    orm I will be sending pictures to the media. Hopkins is the name of the dorm.

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