*Phylicia Rashad has been named dean of Howard University’s newly reestablished college of fine arts.
In an interview with Variety, Rashad gushes about her new gig and admits that she “never saw myself as a dean.”
She added, “But then, I’ve never thought of myself as many things that I’ve been. It’s a privilege to be a part of re-establishing the College of Fine Arts, to engage with the administration, the faculty, the students, the alumni, as well as artists around the country. It’s exciting to think about building towards a future with a College of Fine Arts and Howard University.”
We are pleased to announce that legendary actress and alumna Phylicia Rashad will serve as Dean of the Howard University College of Fine Arts. Read more here: https://t.co/4H0jhg1kRf pic.twitter.com/uWQsDeESHB
— Howard University (@HowardU) May 12, 2021
The “Cosby Show” star previously served as a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member at Howard.
“I started teaching at the invitation of Al Freeman Jr., who was a former chair of the department of theater. He was a friend and we had also worked together in soap opera, and he was from the state of Texas as well,” she recalls. “At the time that I was teaching this masterclass at Howard, I was taping ‘Cosby’ in New York. I would fly down every Friday after tape day to conduct what was supposed to be an hour-long class, which ended up sometimes being three hours because students wouldn’t leave.”
She added, “I marveled at not only their talent — because that would not be questioned, as they were accepted to Howard, and not at their intelligence — but I marveled at their fearlessness,” she says. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Rashad continued, “I was asked not to discuss this, but somehow some former students were aware of the fact that I was in process of being interviewed and they quietly voiced their support.”
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) May 12, 2021
Not only did Rashad graduate from the university, so did her father and sister Debbie Allen.
Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick said there is “no individual better suited to take on this role than Ms. Phylicia Rashad.”
“As we reintroduce our campus community and the world at large to Howard’s College of Fine Arts, the dean will play an instrumental role in ensuring an auspicious beginning for this reestablished institution,” Frederick said. “Given Ms. Rashad’s reputation as well as her capabilities and impressive list of accomplishments, she will undoubtedly empower the college to transcend even our incredibly high expectations. Under her leadership, Howard will continue to inspire and cultivate the artists and leaders who will shape our niche and national cultures for generations to come.”
Rashad will begin her new role on July 1 and will report to Provost Anthony K. Wutoh.
“It is an honor to welcome one of Howard’s acclaimed daughters back home to Alma Mater,” Wutoh said in a statement. “In this full circle moment, Ms. Phylicia Rashad will take the training and skills that she honed as a student at Howard and exuded in an outstanding performing career, and she will share those pearls of wisdom with the next generation of students in the College of Fine Arts. Her passion for the arts and student success makes her a perfect fit for this role.”