In Memory of Dr. Roscoe Hightower, Jr.

Words cannot express the impact Dr. Hightower impressed upon all privileged to be in his immense presence! It is with our most heartfelt sincerity we announce the passing of beloved UFF-FAMU President Dr. Roscoe Hightower, Jr.

Roscoe Hightower, Jr. was born in Miami, Florida on February 7, 1966. His matriculation began at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) School of Business, where he majored in Business Administration culminating in his Bachelor’s degree in 1988 and Master’s Degree in 1989. In pursuit of his doctoral degree, he successfully defended his dissertation, “Conceptualizing and Measuring Servicescape’s Impact on Service Encounter Outcomes,” thus receiving his Ph.D. from Florida State University.  Among his many professional accolades, like becoming a Centennial Eminent Scholar, he was a member of the Omega Psi Phi’s Upsilon Psi Chapter fraternity.

As Professor of Marketing at FAMU, he immediately joined the United Faculty of Florida at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (UFF-FAMU) chapter in 2004 where he began advocating for the bargaining rights of faculty. During his tenure at UFF-FAMU he served as a UFF Senator for over ten years holding positions as an FEA Delegate, NEA Delegate and AFT Representative to lead the charge on vocalizing the concerns for higher education faculty on both a statewide and national level. With the full support of the FAMU faculty behind him, he was elected as Chapter President for the last six years. As we all try to process this unexpected news, please keep Roscoe’s family, FAMU community, and everyone who knew him in your thoughts and prayers.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to support the education of Roscoe’s daughters.

The funds raised through the Roscoe Hightower Tribute fund will support the education of his descendants. Thank you for your support during this time of great sorrow.

Text to Give – text Hightower to 41444

A few kinds words from his union family…

Roscoe Hightower, Jr. Ph.D was a true representative of a faculty advocate. He tirelessly applied himself to the goal of improving working conditions for FAMU faculty across the University and at the Developmental Research School. He answered the call when he was nominated to President without hesitation because he knew he could be the voice of the faculty. He aptly applied himself as the voice of the faculty at faculty senate, BOT, and University meetings. If no one else was prepared to ask a question, there was no doubt that Roscoe was going to ask a question that shed light on the plight of faculty. He has left a crater sized hole in the UFF-FAMUly and will be sorely missed by all our members. – Samique March-Dallas, Ph.D, UFF-FAMU

“The first time I met Roscoe was at a UFF Senate meeting and he was a towering and strong presence.  Over time, I came to know Roscoe, first and foremost, as a tireless advocate for FAMU’s faculty, and, secondarily, as a mentor and leader within UFF.  Any words I could use to describe Roscoe’s resolve in his service to the union would fall short.  So, instead, I leave you with his own words; words that I believe show his heart for the work he was honored to do on behalf of FAMU’s faculty, students, and the FAMU community as a whole:

“This is a gigantic thank you to everyone that provided their knowledge, professional expertise, time, access to extremely valuable resources, and overall, their positive support with assisting UFF-FAMU have its first town hall webinar….  UFF-FAMU like other chapters across the state and nation is in an extremely challenging space right now, and the only way out is by working together in solidarity!  …I promise that UFF-FAMU will in the long-term prosper by having worked through these existential challenges that make the FAMU environment what it is.”

Roscoe’s absence leaves a profound void not soon to be filled.  He will be sorely missed.” – Teresa M. Hodge, UFF Statewide President

“Dr. Roscoe Hightower was incredibly special to all who had the privilege of knowing him. Whether as a friend, colleague, family member, student, or union member, Roscoe’s presence was felt by all, and he had an uncanny ability to make everyone feel seen, heard, and appreciated. He was a fierce union advocate and was committed to bettering the FAMU community for his colleagues and students with an unmatched passion and drive. Our immense grief for this tragic loss is only outweighed by our deep gratitude for the life and contributions of our dear friend Roscoe. Rest in Power, Dr. Hightower.” – Adela Z. Ghadimi,Ph.D, UFF Executive Director

“ A. Phillip Randolph once said ‘It’s easy to get people’s attention, what counts is getting their interest.’ Dr. Roscoe Hightower worked diligently as president of UFF-FAMU to ensure that professors were interested in fighting for a better life for themselves and their students.  Dr. Hightower was a dedicated educator and an influential leader who had a positive impact on anyone who knew him. Roscoe will be missed.” – Andrew Spar, FEA President

“Roscoe was a committed unionist, a brilliant academic, and a friend. I am shocked to hear of his sudden passing, but I know my life is better for having known him. I know the lives of his students and the future of his community are also better because of him. I extend my sincere condolences to his family, and I hope we can all continue to learn from his example.” – Andrew Gothard, former UFF President (2021-2023)

The funds raised through the Roscoe Hightower Tribute fund will support the education of his descendants. Thank you for your support during this time of great sorrow.

Author: Shenel

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