Back to Administration PRESIDENT'S OFFICE

President's bio


Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins


Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins was appointed Acting President of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in July, 2014. Since arriving on campus in August, 2013, Dr. Dawkins has served as the University’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and will retain those responsibilities while serving as Acting President.


Prior to her arrival at Cheyney University, Dr. Dawkins served as Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor as well as the Associate Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director for the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Academic Technology at Dillard University. Prior to that, Dr. Dawkins worked at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) for 28 years serving as Chief Academic/Administrative Officer/Dean of the College of Professional Studies, former Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chair, and Professor of Physical Education.


Having worked extensively with faculty development throughout her career, Dr. Dawkins has developed national and international perspectives on the contributory roles of faculty and universities in the expanding global society.  Her leadership positions include Past President of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network (a network of faculty developers), former President and co-founding member of the HBCU HHHHHHHh    H(Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Faculty Development Network, board member of the Higher Education Teaching and Learning (HETL) Association and the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS), and Resource Faculty for the National Summer Institute on Learning Communities.  She has served on advisory boards including AAC&U’s Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future (PCFF) project in the sciences, the Brown-Columbia Universities Inter-Ivy League Pilot Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and the Melton Foundation to Promote Global Citizenship. She also served on the Melton Foundation Board which is composed of institutional members from China, Chile, India, Germany and the U.S. 


Since coming to Cheyney University, Dr. Dawkins has served as Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Council and was instrumental in collaborating with faculty, staff, and students in the Middle States reaccreditation process. Under her leadership as Provost and VP of Academic Affairs, through collaborative planning with staff and faculty, the University revised institutional academic policies and practices, overhauled financial aid and admissions, signed new/updated, existing articulation agreements with University of the Sciences of Philadelphia and Community College of Philadelphia, reinvigorated the International Program, restructured University College to increase retention and completion rates through academic learning communities, reactivated the Provost’s Council, established the Ad Hoc Advisory Committees on Retention and Admission Criteria, assessed the Strategic Plan, and promoted a culture of assessment, continuous improvement and data based decision making.  Currently the University is conducting feasibility studies to promote the design or redesign of new or existing degree programs.  In addition, last year the institution offered its first Winterim term of distance learning courses.


Dr. Dawkins received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, M.A. from The University of Michigan, and B.S from JCSU.  In addition, Dr. Dawkins received leadership certificates from Harvard University, Hampton University, and UNCF.  She is married to Bobby G. Dawkins, Ph.D., who recently retired as a Senior Polymer and Fiber Associate in Research and Development from PBI Performance Products, Inc. They have two adult daughters: Malia Dawkins, M.A., who is a Marketing Specialist, Actor and Producer, and Demi Dawkins, M.D., who is in a Neurosurgery Residency at the University of Wisconsin.