Cheyney University Provost and VP of Academic Affairs is New Acting President

July 7, 2014

Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, who has served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania since August 2013, is the institution’s new acting president. Dr. Dawkins replaces, Dr. Michelle R. Howard-Vital, who recently announced her upcoming retirement.

“I am deeply honored to be appointed as the Acting President of Cheyney University, the nation’s first institution of higher learning for African Americans. I value Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital’s leadership and I thank her for the many contributions she has made to the development of the University over these last seven years,” Dr. Dawkins said.

“As Acting President, I plan to carry on her legacy by operating according to the mission and vision of the University, implementing the Strategic Planning Goals, growing new programs, enhancing the infrastructure, and collaborating with the faculty, students, alumni and friends of the University to plan for the future. The next stage of Cheyney University promises to be as rich as its historical roots as we continue to prepare students with 21st Century knowledge and skills.”

Dr. Dawkins will continue as acting president until a decision is made regarding an interim president. Dr. Vital, whose last day at Cheyney is July 31, will spend the rest of this month helping Dr. Dawkins make a smooth transition.

“I am confident Dr. Dawkins will provide strong leadership to Cheyney University during this period of transition,” said Frank T. Brogan, State System of Higher Education Chancellor. “The Board of Governors and I stand ready to provide her with whatever assistance she needs to keep the university moving forward.”

Dr. Dawkins came to Cheyney University last year, after having previously served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and professor of education/psychology at Dillard University in New Orleans. LA. During her four years at Dillard, she also served as associate provost, associate vice president for academic affairs and the director for the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Academic Technology.

Previously, she was the chief academic/administrative officer and dean of the College of Professional Studies at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. She also spent time there as interim vice president for academic affairs, chair and a professor of physical education.

Dawkins received a Bachelor of Science degree from Johnson C. Smith University, a Master of Arts from the University of Michigan and a doctoral degree from Ohio State University. In addition, she earned leadership certificates from Harvard University, Hampton University and UNCF.