Phylicia Rashad is Stepping Down as Dean of Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts

Phylicia Rashad is a Tony Award-winning actress and the inaugural recipient of Fordham University’s Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre. She is also the inaugural Toni Morrison Endowed Chair in Arts and Humanities at Howard University.

In 2021, she was named dean of Howard University’s Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts, her alma mater. In the year 2023, Rashad is stepping down as dean of the college.

“Dean Rashad has held a longstanding commitment to arts education and literacy; having served as adjunct faculty, master instructor, and guest artist/lecturer and administrator at several colleges,” Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick wrote in a statement.

The president continued, “Dean Rashad returned to alma mater to lead the reestablishment of the College of Fine Arts as an independent college and to restore it to its rightful place as the center for arts and creativity at Howard University.”

Her outstanding contributions to fine arts programming at Howard University were recognized in the statement. She was instrumental in securing a $5.4 million donation from Netflix to establish The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship. According to NBC Washington, the grant is intended to provide entering theater students with a four-year scholarship covering the full cost of tuition.

Her time at Howard has not been without incident. She sparked outrage when she tweeted her support for ex-costar Bill Cosby after his sexual assault conviction was overturned. She was eventually reprimanded by the school.


Rashad rose to prominence after appearing as Claire Huxtable in The Cosby Show. Her performance garnered her two Emmy nominations. She was also nominated for two Primetime Emmys in the guest actress drama series category for her work as Carol on NBC’s This Is Us.

Among her recent television credits are the Fox series Empire, David Makes Man on the OWN Network, and Between the World and Me.


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