Phylicia Rashad named dean of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts

Phylicia Rashad is best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show.” Younger fans might even recognize her as Mary Anne Creed, wife of the late Apollo Creed and stepmom to Michael B. Jordan’s character in the “Rocky” sequels/spinoffs, “Creed” and “Creed II.” Now the celebrated  American actress, singer and stage director is taking on another role: dean of the College of Fine Arts at Howard University.

Rashad graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the school. Founded in 1867, Howard is a historically Black private research university in Washington, D.C., comprised of 13 schools and colleges. The school announced that Rashad had been appointed following a national search for a dean of the recently reestablished College of Fine Arts.

“We are pleased to announce that legendary actress and alumna Phylicia Rashad will serve as Dean of the Howard University College of Fine Arts,” the university posted on Twitter.

Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Howard University Dr. Anthony K. Wutoh, welcomed Rashad, who will report to him.

“It is an honor to welcome one of Howard’s acclaimed daughters back home to Alma Mater,” Dr. 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.”

The school’s president, Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA, congratulated Rashad, noting his excitement to have her “commitment to excellence, and strong vision for leadership amongst a new generation.”

“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,” Dr. Frederick asserted in a statement. “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.”

He also posted a welcome message to Twitter.

Rashad, who has won numerous awards, including a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for “A Raisin in the Sun” and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series multiple times for her work on “The Cosby Show,” will take her place as dean effective July 1, 2021.

“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,” stated Rashad.