Dr. Franklyn G. Jenifer, 1995 - 2005

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Dr. Jenifer

Dr Jenifer's Home Page | Profile | Curriculum Vitae
Greeting to Prospective Students | UT Dallas


Dr. Franklyn G. Jenifer, a nationally respected leader in the field of higher education, became president of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) in the fall of 1994. Located in the heart of the Telecom Corridor® of North Texas, U.T. Dallas is a doctoral-level institution with among the most selective entrance requirements of any public university in Texas. It has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, emphasizes natural sciences, mathematics, electrical engineering and computer science and has garnered a national reputation in several academic disciplines.

During Dr. Jenifer's nearly eight years as president of UTD, the university has grown tremendously, and he has been successful in persuading the Texas Legislature to upgrade UTD's funding to be more appropriate to that growth and to the institution's unique mission. His efforts also have enhanced the physical campus and helped the university redefine its strategic plan and mission.

Dr. Jenifer has served as the chief executive of public, private and statewide institutions, leaving a legacy of enhanced academic strength and integrity at each university.

Before coming to U.T. Dallas, Dr. Jenifer was president of prestigious Howard University in Washington, D.C. He was the first Howard alumnus to serve in that capacity.

Dr. Jenifer joined Howard after serving as chancellor of the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education, where he was responsible for 27 public colleges and universities with a total enrollment of approximately 180,000 students. "Excellence" and "access" became the system's watchwords during his tenure. Dr. Jenifer previously had served as vice chancellor of the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, a system encompassing 32 public higher education institutions with an enrollment of nearly a quarter-million students.
Before that, he served as associate provost at Rutgers University's Newark campus. It was at Rutgers that Dr. Jenifer began his career in academia. He started as an assistant professor of biology at the Livingston College campus in New Brunswick in 1970, became an associate professor the following year and a full professor in 1976. He also served as chairperson of the biology department and as chairperson of the university senate.

Dr. Jenifer's background is rooted in scientific research. After receiving his Ph.D. in plant virology from the University of Maryland in 1970, he worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Pioneering Laboratory in Plant Virology in Beltsville, Md.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1962 and his Master of Science degree in 1965, both in microbiology from Howard University.

Through the years, he has been a member of many distinguished educational, scientific, civic and corporate organizations. He was appointed by then-Gov. George W. Bush to the Texas Science and Technology Council, and he serves on the Board of Directors of ChevronTexaco, Inc., and the Board of Trustees of the Texas Health Research Institute, as well as the Public Advisory Committee of the Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project. He is a trustee of the Universities Research Association, Inc., and of the Alliance for Higher Education. He served as chairman of the American Council on Education, the preeminent national education organization, and on the board of directors of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Dr. Jenifer also is a member of the Dallas Citizens Council, the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities and the Monitoring Committee for the Louisiana Desegregation Agreement.

Dr. Jenifer's contributions to society have brought him many honors and awards. Among them are honorary degrees from Babson College, Boston College, Mount Holyoke College, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Bowdoin College, Kean College of New Jersey, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Essex County (N.J.) Community College.

Dr. Jenifer has published numerous articles, ranging from writings in scientific journals on plant viruses to newspaper commentaries on such topics as Afrocentricity, residential schools for at-risk youngsters, black entrepreneurship, "political correctness," the academic preparation of student athletes, the enduring value of predominantly black colleges and universities and the aftermath of the Rodney King incident.

Dr. Jenifer and his wife, Alfleda, have three adult children.


E d u c a t i o n

Howard University, Washington, D.C. (B.S.) 1962

Howard University, Washington, D.C. (M.S.) 1965

University of Maryland, College Park, MD (Ph.D.) 1970

P r o f e s s i o n a l   E x p e r i e n c e

President, The University of Texas at Dallas, 1994- 2005

President, Howard University, Washington, D.C., 1990-1994

Chancellor, Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education, Boston, Massachusetts, 1986-1990

Vice Chancellor, New Jersey Department of Higher Education, Trenton, New Jersey, 1979-1986

Associate Provost, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, 1977-1979
Department Chairperson, Biology Department, Livingston College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1974-1977

Chairperson, University Senate, Rutgers University, 1976-1977

Professor of Biology, Livingston College, Rutgers University, 1970-1979

Plant virologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland (Pioneering Laboratory in Plant Virology), 1962-1970

H o n o r a r y   D e g r e e s

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Doctor of Humane Letters, 1989

Boston College, Doctor of Laws, 1990

Wheelock College, Doctor of Education, 1990

Babson College, Doctor of Laws, 1990

Mount Holyoke, Doctor of Laws, 1990

Bowdoin College, Doctor of Science, 1992

University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Doctor of Laws, 1992

Kean College of New Jersey, Doctor of Humane Letters, 1992

Essex County (N.J.) Community College, Doctor of Science, 1992

M e m b e r s h i p s

Member, Board of Directors, Texaco, Inc.

Past Chair, Board of Directors, American Council on Education

Member, Board of Directors, National Foundation for Biomedical Research

Member of the Corporation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Member, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Member, Board of Trustees, Universities Research Association, Inc.

Member, Board of Trustees, Alliance for Higher Education

Member, Board of Directors, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce

Member, Board of Directors, Golden Key National Honor Society

Member, Board of Visitors, the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University


Hello, and thanks for your interest in The University of Texas at Dallas. I hope this rather impersonal form of communication will eventually lead to an opportunity for us to talk face to face about U.T. Dallas. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight features that make U.T. Dallas an outstanding choice for very bright and talented students. First of all, we demand high quality from our students, faculty and staff.We offer students a nationally recognized faculty that teaches most undergraduate courses. The strong research background of these faculty members means our students learn the latest developments in the fields that they study and that qualified students will have an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision. You may have heard our strength is in fields such as the natural sciences, engineering, computer science and management, but you may not know that we also have outstanding programs in arts and humanities, interdisciplinary studies, human development and social sciences. We maintain the same high standard of quality in all areas in which we offer degrees. Our students have shown similar high standards. For example, our chess, Odyssey of the Mind and debate teams all won national or international honors in competition last year in competitions of the mind against universities like Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, the University of Chicago, and Stanford. Our goal is to have faculty and students who reflect the rich diversity of cultures of our community, state and nation. Again, we strive for this goal without any sacrifice in quality. Our diversity enhances the learning experience of all our students. As you visit our web site, please keep in mind that we are a relatively young campus, and we are constantly enhancing the educational experience of our students at both the undergraduate and graduate level. For example, in the past few years we have expanded our Student Union and built an Activities Center to better serve the needs of our students. And we constantly work very hard to make the academic and student-activity programs the very best they can be. So look us over. I think you will like what you see. And I hope you will be joining us as part of one of the best student bodies in the country so that we can meet personally.


Franklyn Jenifer
President, U.T. Dallas

Dr Jenifer's Home Page | Profile | Curriculum Vitae
Greeting to Prospective Students | UT Dallas