News & Politics

Phylicia Rashad Returns to Howard University as a Dean

Rashad's appointment marks the reestablishment of Howard's College of Fine Arts as an independent school at the university.

Rashad accepts an honorary degree at Fordham in 2012. Photograph by Chris Taggart via the Fordham Alumni Flickr page.

Phylicia Rashad has come full circle in her career. Howard University announced on Wednesday that The Cosby Show star will be the new dean of Howard’s esteemed College of Fine Arts.

Before being branded as “The Mother of the Black Community,” Rashad studied theatre at Howard and graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in fine arts. Now, she has the opportunity to share her passion for the arts with current and future students of the school.

“It is a privilege to serve in this capacity and to work with the Howard University administration, faculty and students in reestablishing the College of Fine Arts,” Rashad said in a press statement.

Rashad’s hiring marks the reintroduction of the College of Fine Arts as an independent school within the university. In 1998, the university merged the College of Fine Arts within its College of Arts and Sciences as a way to cut costs.

“I can think of no individual better suited to take on this role than Ms. Phylicia Rashad,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick.

While Rashad does not have an advanced degree, she has 13 honorary doctorate degrees from top schools across the nation, experience as a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member at many colleges, and tons of acting experience under her belt, as well as a boatload of awards to show for it.



Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.