Central State University has named Morakinyo A.O. Kuti, Ph.D., vice president for Research and Economic Development (VPRED) and director of Land-Grant Programs.
As an 1890 Land-Grant Institution, Central State is committed to educating students who are underrepresented in the agricultural and food science disciplines. Additionally, through extension programming, the University provides outreach and educational programming to nearby urban and rural communities.
The newly created VPRED role will enhance Central State’s impact on students and the community. Kuti will lead the implementation of Central State’s strategic plan and statements of purpose, goals, mission, and vision as it relates to research, the Title III program, other sponsored activities, and Land-Grant programs.
“It is an honor to be named the vice president for Research and Economic Development and the director of Land Grant Programs. I am humbled to be a part of ushering in a new era of research and innovation at Central State University,” Kuti said.
Previously, Kuti has served as the associate provost for research; interim dean of the John W. Garland College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture; and director of 1890 Land-Grant Programs at Central State.
Kuti has secured over $20 million in public and private funds that have enhanced Central State’s physical infrastructure, enabled faculty research and scholarly activities, and provided students with scholarships and experiential learning opportunities. He has administered $225 million in public and private funds since 2005.
Kuti led a multidisciplinary team of faculty and staff that increased Central State’s external awards by 227% from $20.1 million to $50.5 million in three years and increased CSU’s ranking on the National Science Foundation survey of Higher Education of Research and Development Expenditures (HERD) from 42 to 22 in three years.
Central State is the highest-ranked predominantly undergraduate HBCU on the 2021 HERD Survey.
Kuti secured U.S. Department of Agriculture approval for CSU to construct a $16 million, 40,000-square-foot research facility expected to open in fall 2024 by reallocating unused funds to priority needs.
He has demonstrated a record of success in facilitating positive outcomes for underrepresented students, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Over 1,700 students have been positively impacted by Kuti’s programs with 300 entering the workforce or graduate studies.
Kuti holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from Central State University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from St. Thomas University, and a doctorate in public policy and administration from Walden University.
“During his tenure at Central State, Dr. Kuti has significantly increased our science, technology, engineering, and mathematics profile, while securing millions of dollars to support University research and education. We are excited to see what he will accomplish as the new vice president for Research and Economic Development and director of Land-Grant Programs,” said Dr. Alex Johnson, interim president.