Phylicia Rashad to step down as Howard University Dean of College of Fine Arts

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Phylicia Rashad is set to step down from her role as dean of Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts after the 2023-2024 academic year. This news of the Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actress’s departure from the position was announced by Howard president Wayne A. I. Frederick in an email sent to Howard students and faculty Monday, per an email obtained by Andscape.

Rashad graduated from Howard in 1970 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. She then launched her career as an actress and is best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the legendary sitcom The Cosby Show. She joined Howard University as the Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts in May 2021.

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“It’s a privilege to serve,” she said about her role as dean in an interview with The Hilltop’s Eliana Lewis. “Service is…building a collective constituency…honoring the needs of faculty, honoring the aspirations of students is service, honoring the discipline is service for me. That’s what I want to do here. But then, there are those other things that a Dean is responsible for. It has been likened to being a CEO of a company… It’s that complex and that involved and those are the responsibilities that one holds. There are more administrative tasks than you can imagine.”

During her tenure as Dean of Fine Arts, Rashad spearheaded significant advancements in the department. Notably, she played a pivotal role in securing a $5.4 million gift from Netflix to establish The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship, which offers incoming theater students a four-year scholarship covering the full cost of University tuition. She also led the hiring of several distinguished faculty members in the department.

The university will start looking for Rashad’s replacement soon. As of this writing, Rashad hasn’t spoken about the news.

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