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Dr. Burnett Joiner

Livingstone College
Hood Theological Seminary


Burnett Joiner is the tenth president of Livingstone College and Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina. Born in Raymond, Mississippi, the chief academic executive has earned an outstanding reputation as a leader in educational transformation. Since his appointment to the presidency of Livingstone and Hood in the fall of 1996, Joiner has spearheaded several major initiatives to advance the college and seminary to the forefront of higher education in the country. Among these initiatives is an integrated marketing program that has resulted in a 120% increase in the student population at both the college and seminary. He has developed new scholarship programs to complement the marketing program. Together, the programs have enabled many more students to attend Livingstone and Hood. The marketing target is to continue to increase the student population into the next century.


This initiative, like the others, is important to the continued progress of the college and seminary. It is equally important to the hopes of hundreds of first generation families to graduate one of their own from college. His milestone educational support program also includes the widely heralded Center for Teaching Excellence that recently won the support of a one million-dollar gift from the Food Lion corporation and which has attracted national and international news coverage. Academic programs and curricula have been strengthened with new faculty. Dr. Joiner has required more rigorous standards to the academic offerings to prepare students at Livingstone and Hood for the global and increasingly competitive marketplace. His new thrusts led to neighborhood restoration and revitalization including two of the college’s oldest buildings. The community development initiative involves many structures that are on the National Register of Historic Places and among the treasures of the institution. While he celebrates and values the institution’s history, Joiner is investing in its future technological architecture. In preparation for that time he has constructed the infrastructure for a fiber optic network throughout the campus and seminary. This vast network for data, voice, telecommunication, and video will place the college among the leading institutions in the use of information technology for administration and instruction.


Two years ago Joiner announced a partnership with the citizens and the City of Salisbury. He envisioned that the campus community would be fully involved with them in community development and community service programs. Within the last two years his community development efforts have restored and reclaimed useful life in the historic neighborhoods around the campus. Hood Seminary, under Dr. Joiner’s leadership, was granted full accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools and Colleges in the United States and Canada.


Prior to his appointment at Livingstone and Hood, Joiner was Associate Vice President of Academic Services at Dillard University in Louisiana. For four years, 1991 to 1995, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee. There, he transformed the commuter campus to a residential campus, erased the college’s cumulative deficit and increased student enrollment. He also established the first graduate program at the college.


Additionally, he has been a consultant for more than two hundred school districts, institutions, and organizations around the country and the Caribbean. He has appeared as a guest expert on educational issues on radio and television including the PBS MacNeil/Lehrer special " Learning in America".


Joiner earned the Ph.D. in education and psychology from the University of South Carolina. After completing his undergraduate work at Alcorn State University, he completed requirements for a master’s degree from Bradley University.


Professional and Civic organizations have presented him with numerous honors, awards and citations for his extraordinary service and achievement. In 1990 the Association of Teacher Educators recognized him as one of the top leaders in education in America. He is listed in Who’s Who Among Black Americans. Dr. Joiner and his wife, Inez, have two sons, who like their parents, are both educators.