UNCF Government Affairs Committee
The Government Affairs Committee is made up of UNCF-member institution presidents who are academic and community leaders, all of whom have a passion for—and a commitment to—providing educational opportunity.
Dr. Henry N. Tisdale
President, Claflin University
Chair, UNCF Government Affairs Committee
Member, ICB Advisory Committee
Dr. Henry N. Tisdale was named Claflin University’s eighth president in 1994, culminating a national yearlong search by the Board of Trustees. Tisdale, a 1965 honor graduate of the University, returned with the pledge that his alma mater “will enter the 21st century with an eye to becoming a premier liberal arts institution,” and that the Christian tradition on which it was founded would remain a part of the University. He also found it important to “create a sound fiscal system, a dynamic strategic planning process, a link between the budget and planning process, an enrollment plan, and an academic plan for excellence.” He wasted little time to deliver on his promise.
Four months after his arrival, Tisdale announced the establishment of the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy totaling nearly $2 million, Tisdale identified three areas of concentration: strengthening academic programs in science, engineering and mathematics; renovating the James S. Thomas Science Center; and upgrading the Summer Science Camp for middle-school students. In addition to strengthening Claflin’s academic programs, the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics was implemented to increase the number of minorities receiving bachelor’s degrees in science, engineering and mathematics, thus incorporating a strategy to reverse the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines.
Also in 1994, the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College was established. With higher entry requirements, the Honors College works to prepare students for graduate and professional schools and leadership roles in their profession and society at large through learning experiences, academic advising, cultural enrichment and community service.
Committed to the vision of making Claflin a premier liberal arts college, Tisdale implemented several programs. Claflin’s state-of-the-art television production studio began producing local shows through a collaboration with Time Warner Cable. The award-winning Freshman College was established in 1996 to ease the transition into college life, and the Professional and Continuing Studies Center became a reality in 1997 after years of planning. Also in 1997, Claflin’s Academic Plan for Excellence was implemented, and the Leadership Development Center was established.
Throughout his career, Tisdale has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors in recognition of his exceptional and transformative leadership. He is the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian award and the Higher Education Leadership Foundation Award. In September 2008, the town of Kingstree, in recognition of the extraordinary achievements of their native son, erected a lasting tribute, six highway markers proclaiming Kingstree, SC the “Home of Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, The Eighth President of Claflin University.” Tisdale’s other recent honors include the 2008 CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) District III Chief Executive Leadership Award, the 2007 Milliken Medal of Quality Award, 2007 BellSouth Honoree, the I. DeQuincey Newman Humanitarian Award, the NAFEO (National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education) Distinguished Alumni Award, Who’s Who Among Black Americans and the NAACP Educator of the Year Award. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Hofstra University and South Carolina State University.
Over the years, Tisdale also has served on many committees, councils, boards and task forces at both the state and national levels. He is a member of the Board of Directors of UNCF, American Council on Education Commission on Effective Leadership, UNCF Special Programs Board of Directors, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Council of Presidents, the HBCU-ETS Steering Committee and a member of Governor Nikki Haley’s Transition Team. He is a member of the Claflin University National Alumni Association, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Orangeburg Rotary Club and Trinity United Methodist Church.
Claflin continues to grow and change under Tisdale’s leadership. This year, 2016, marks his 22nd anniversary at the University. Tisdale and his wife, Alice Carson Tisdale, have two children, Danica Camille Tisdale Fisher and Brandon Keith Tisdale and a grandson, Asa Toure Fisher.
Haywood L. Strickland
Haywood Strickland was elected the 16th president of Wiley College on September 12, 2000. As the President and CEO, he brings extensive higher education administration and fund-raising experience to Wiley College, where he hopes to create a new milieu and achieve excellence in the life of the College.
Indeed, since Strickland assumed leadership, Wiley College has witnessed positive changes in the management and operations of the institution. He hopes to achieve true excellence at Wiley College as envisioned by its founders through his hands-on approach, visionary leadership, proactive planning, and prudent fiscal practices. Strickland is systematically putting in place mechanisms that promote performance, accountability, and institutional effectiveness through sound management principles.
Most importantly, he is promoting teamwork with the philosophy of building trust through fair play. This simple, but very important management principle, is based on fostering team spirit and team effort that will permeate the college community. Once achieved, team spirit will solidify the Wiley College family and further cement the relationship between the College and the larger community. As a result, Wiley College will be positioned in its rightful place to compete or surpass its peers in imparting knowledge to the young adults of society through teaching, research, and public service in the academic arena.
By creating these favorable conditions, Wiley College will be able to provide a superior education to its students in a truly caring and nurturing environment that fosters the production of competitive, quality, and well-rounded graduates for the local economy in the state of Texas, the nation, and the world. Ultimately, Wiley College wishes to promote pride among all its stakeholders through its solid performance in academe and the global marketplace.
Roslyn Clark Artis
Effective September 1, 2017, Dr. Roslyn Artis will become the 14th President of Benedict College. She will become the first female President in the College’s 147-year history. Dr. Artis brings an impressive mix of higher education and corporate experience.
As President of Florida Memorial College, she led an unprecedented academic innovation of several programs, expansion of online courses, and developed new majors in high-demand fields. Additionally, she created academic centers of excellence and updated the University’s technology infrastructure and website. She led the development of the University’s Five-Year Strategic Planning Process and increased grant writing productivity. Since assuming the presidency in 2013, unrestricted gifts increased 20% (year over year), restricted gifts increased by 38 percent, and revenue from grants and sponsored research increased by 22 percent. Dr. Artis is also credited with soliciting and receiving the largest gift from a single donor ($3.8 M) in the institution’s history. She completed construction on a state-of-the-art Science Annex and a comprehensive Athletic Facility and Wellness Center on campus. Dr. Artis initiated and consummated strategic partnerships and collaborations between the University and external public and private entities for the purpose of revenue generation and the visibility for the institution.
Dr. Artis is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she earned a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. She also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from West Virginia University College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from West Virginia State University. Additionally, she holds a Certificate of Fundraising Management from Indiana University and a Certificate of Mastery in Prior Learning Assessment from DePaul University.
Artis is married to Selby Artis and is the mother of three: Christopher, Jayden and Jocelyn.
David L. Beckley, Ph.D.
David L. Beckley, the longest tenured senior college president in Mississippi, was appointed president of Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi on January 16, 1993, and assumed the position on July 1, 1993. Before assuming the position as 11th president of Rust College, he served as 12th president of Wiley College in Marshall, TX (1987-1993).
Under his leadership at Wiley College, the College improved its management, retired outstanding building bonds and federal loans, and renovated campus facilities. In addition, the endowment fund increased, accumulated fund deficits of $1.5 million were retired, and the percentage of terminal faculty degrees increased from 42 percent in 1987 to more than 50 percent in 1992.
Since returning to Mississippi, he has been elected Chair of the Mississippi Association of Independent Colleges, President of the Mississippi Association of Colleges, member of NCAA Division III Presidents Council, President of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church (NASCUMC), Chair of the Member Presidents of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) 2000-02, Board of Directors of the Methodist Health Systems, Inc., Memphis, TN, and the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, where he chaired the Black College Council, SERVE Board, Yocona Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare Foundation (1999-2000), Black Methodists for Church Renewal, United Methodist Senior Services of Mississippi, Inc. (1999-2008), the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (2002-2008), the CREATE Board, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, Mississippi Access for Justice Commission, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Commission, and Batesville Job Corp Board of Directors.
He is a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, Phi Delta Kappa Educational Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Professional Men’s Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi National Fraternity, Inc., and a 33° Mason.
A 1967 graduate of Rust College, Beckley became the third alumnus to serve his alma mater as president. In addition to the Rust College bachelor’s degree, Beckley holds both the M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Higher Education Administration from the University of Mississippi.
Since accepting the presidency of Rust College, the College’s endowment fund has grown from $13 million to $23 million, reaffirmation of regional accreditation with Specialty Accreditation received from the Department of Social Work by the Council on Social Work Education. The College celebrated the 43rd consecutive year of a balanced budget with the close of the 2010-2011 fiscal year in June of 2011.
Among his recent awards are the Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America; Outstanding Education Alumni Award, University of Mississippi; Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education; Citizen of the Year, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Service Award, NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association); 2010 Man of Excellence Award presented by the Tri-State Defender Newspaper of Memphis, TN, and President of the Year, National Association of African American Honors Programs.
He and his wife, the former Gemma Douglas, have two daughters, Jacqueline B. Abdulah, a public school teacher in Birmingham, Alabama, and Lisa B. Roberts, an associate professor at Tallahassee Community College and operator of a music school specializing in Harp; one granddaughter, Christian Samone Lampley; and a grandson, David A. Roberts.
Dr. Larry L. Earvin
Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr.
Herman J. Felton, Jr., is the 17th president of Wiley College.
Prior to joining Wiley in December 2017, Dr. Felton served as the president of Wilberforce University, the nation’s oldest private HBCU and UNCF-member institution, since July 2016. During his tenure, he successfully secured $3.8 million in programmatic grants to strengthen the institution’s master’s degree program; increased career placement through advisement; and created an intramural complex with a $50,000 grant secured from the Home Depot Retool Your School Campus Improvement Program. As a result of Dr. Felton’s engagement efforts, alumni support grew significantly, with $458,000 in gifts being garnered at the 2017 Wilberforce University National Alumni Association Conference. Dr. Felton also secured $350,000 to create the Dr. Mark and Shelly Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship, Social Good and Transformational Leadership.
Before his appointment to Wilberforce University, Dr. Felton served as senior vice president, chief operating officer and vice president of institutional advancement for Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC. He also was the director of development while serving as a lecturer in the Government, Law, and International Affairs Department at Murray State University in Murray, KY.
Dr. Felton earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from UNCF-member institution Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, FL, and earned his J.D. from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
He is co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.), an organization ensuring that a pipeline of transformational, highly skilled and principled leaders are identified and cultivated to meet the needs, challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Felton served in the United States Marine Corps for eight years.
Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan
Beverly Wade Hogan has served as President at Tougaloo College since May 2002. She is the first woman and the 13th president to lead this historic institution.
Hogan is often described as a visionary, an innovative and strategic thinker, and disciplined, compassionate, firm, fair, analytical and spiritual leader. Under her leadership, new undergraduate degree programs in mass communications, hotel and hospitality management and religious studies as well as two graduate degree programs have been added. A new Honors Program and three centers have been established—the Center for Undergraduate Research, the Center for Continuing/Online Education, and the Center for International Studies and Global Change. The college was designated as a Center of Excellence in Transportation Security by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security and selected as one of seven institutions to participate in the Campus Resilience Project. Significant technological improvements have been made, including campus wide connectivity, smart classrooms and wireless networks and the construction of the Bennie G. Thompson Academic and Civil Rights Research Center.
Prior to becoming President, Hogan served as the college’s Interim President, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and founding director of the Owens Health and Wellness Center. An effective and committed leader, she served as the Commissioner for the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Federal State Programs and the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Hinds County and the state of Mississippi, respectively. She has been an adjunct instructor in leadership and public policy at Jackson State University and a frequent guest lecturer at the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University. Additionally she has been involved with employment and educational training programs in Denmark, Sweden and West Germany in affiliation with the German Marshall Fund. She has been a scholar with the Kettering Foundation where her research focus was Higher Education and Civic Responsibility, a participant and presenter in the Oxford Roundtable at Oxford University in Oxford, England and a participant in leadership seminars at Harvard University.
Hogan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Tougaloo College and masters in public policy and administration from Jackson State University. She has done additional studies in clinical psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi and University of Georgia. She engaged in further doctoral studies in human and organizational development at Fielding Graduate University. She holds Honorary Doctorates from Wiley, Rust and Benedict Colleges and Brown University, and has earned numerous professional certificates in leadership development, organizational management and administrative law.
Hogan has received extensive recognition for her trailblazing contributions. Among her extensive roster of achievements, she is the founder of the first psychiatric halfway house in the state of Mississippi. She has authored and published works on topics such as “The Dissonance Analysis of the Viet Nam War,” “Comparable Worth—the Challenging Issue of Pay Equity,” Jobs and Economic Growth,” “Public Policy Implications of AIDS in the Workplace,” “Higher Education and Civic Responsibility” and “Gender and Race” as a chapter in a textbook, Leadership and Service, published in 2008.
Active in an array of professional and civic organizations, Hogan serves on various boards, including Bancorp South, Sanderson Farms, the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation and RAND’s Gulf States Policy Institute. She is also a member of the national board of directors for the United Negro College Fund. Hogan was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs. She is also a founding member and former president of the Central Mississippi Chapter, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Links, Inc.
She and her husband Marvin have two adult sons and six grandchildren.
Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr.
On February 8, 2006, the Livingstone College Board of Trustees named Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., the school’s 12th president. A longtime educator and administrator, Dr. Jenkins was chosen from among five finalists.
Jenkins most recently served as President of Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida from 1997 to 2005. During his tenure, the College expanded its faculty and broke ground on its first new building in decades while reducing its debt from $8.5 million to $500,000 in three years and growing its enrollment from 300 students to 1,300 students. Recently, Edward Waters named this new building after Jenkins as a tribute to the tremendous progress made under his leadership.
Prior to his tenure at Edward Waters College, Jenkins served as a chancellor of Elizabeth City State University from 1977 to 1995, becoming the first alumnus to serve as its Chief Executive Officer. While there, he secured the support of the State Legislature of North Carolina for construction of six major buildings on campus. He also launched a $5 million capital campaign, completing the fundraising a year ahead of schedule. He was honored to have the then newly constructed Science Building named in his honor.
Jenkins earned a Bachelors degree in Biology from Elizabeth City State University, teaching certification in Biology from Howard University, and a Masters degree and Doctorate degree in Biology Education from Purdue University. He is married to Dr. Faleese Moore-Jenkins, and they have three children: Dr. Lisa Lopez, Attorney Ginger Cartwright, and Jimmy Jr., a graphic artist and college lecturer.
Dr. Walter Kimbrough
A native of Atlanta, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough was his high school salutatorian and student body president in 1985, and went on to earn degrees from the University of Georgia, Miami University in Ohio and a doctorate in higher education from Georgia State University. He has enjoyed a fulfilling career in student affairs, serving at Emory University, Georgia State University, Old Dominion University and finally Albany State University in 2000, when he became the vice president for Student Affairs at the age of 32. In October of 2004, at the age of 37, he was named the 12th president of Philander Smith College. In 2012 he became the 7th president of Dillard University in New Orleans, LA.
Kimbrough has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college. Kimbrough also has been noted for his active use of social media to engage students in articles by The Chronicle of Higher Education, CASE Currents, and Arkansas Life. He was cited in 2010 by Bachelors Degree.com as one of 25 college presidents you should follow on Twitter (@HipHopPrez).
A 1986 initiate of the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at the University of Georgia, Kimbrough was the Alpha Phi Alpha College Brother of the Year for the Southern Region and served as the Southern Region assistant vice president. Kimbrough has forged a national reputation as an expert on fraternities and sororities, with specific expertise regarding historically Black, Latin and Asian groups. He is the author of the book, Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities.
Kimbrough was named the 1994 New Professional of the Year for the Association of Fraternity Advisors, and selected as a 2001 Nissan-ETS HBCU Fellow. In 2009, he was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 To Watch. In 2010, he made the coveted Ebony Magazine Power 100 list of the doers and influencers in the African American community, joining the likes of President and Mrs. Obama, Jay-Z, Richard Parsons, Tyler Perry, Debra Lee and Tom Joyner. Finally, in February of 2013, he was named to NBC News/The Griot.com’s 100 African Americans making history today, joining another impressive group including Kerry Washington, Ambassador Susan Rice, Kendrick Lamar, Mellody Hobson and RG III.
Kimbrough and his wife Adria Nobles Kimbrough, attorney with the Kullman firm in New Orleans, are the proud parents of two children: Lydia Nicole, 7, and Benjamin Barack, 5.
Follow Kimbrough on his blog: http://hiphopprez.blogspot.com
Dr. Roderick L. Smothers
Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., was named 14th president of Philander Smith College on October 1, 2014, and began his tenure in January 2015. A dynamic scholar, transformative leader and forward-thinking visionary, Smothers is committed to building upon the institution’s strong and historic legacy, while advancing its mission to new levels of excellence. His focus is on strengthening academic programs, enhancing the college’s local and national presence, growing enrollment, increasing donor giving, and better equipping graduates with the qualifications, skills and resources that will allow them to compete in the globalized 21st century marketplace.
Previously, Smothers served as vice president for institutional advancement at two historically black universities: Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, TX, and Langston University in Langston, OK, where he was responsible for university development and fundraising, sponsored programs, marketing and public relations, external affairs, community engagement and alumni affairs. As an accomplished fundraiser, he has worked extensively with individuals, non-profit organizations, corporations, and foundations along with federal, regional and state agencies, and holds a cumulative fundraising/grant writing record that exceeds $60 million.
While at Langston, Smothers also served as the associate vice president for academic affairs, assistant dean of the school of education and behavioral sciences and assistant professor of education. Years prior, he was on the faculty of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and was dean of enrollment management at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette. His higher education career began at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he spent eight years as an administrator in academic and student affairs. As a higher education professional, he is also experienced in conducting scientific and applied research, facilitating data-driven, community-based interventions, and training educators aspiring to leadership roles in elementary and secondary school administration. His research agenda includes the past, present and future of historically black colleges and universities; the transformation of toxic urban school districts, strengthening the secondary and post-secondary educational pipelines for African American males; effective mentoring programs; the access dilemma in higher education for minority students; and the effectiveness of state merit-based tuition programs.
A native of Vidalia, LA, Smothers earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in public administration (with a concentration in higher education administration), and a doctoral degree in educational leadership, research and counseling, all from LSU. He also holds a certification in fundraising management from The Fund Raising School at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Initiative. Additionally, he has served as a U.S. Air Force reservist with active-duty time spent during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Smothers holds membership in several professional organizations, including the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), American Association of Governing Boards (AGB), Research Association for Minority Professors (RAMP) and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). A strong youth, community and civic proponent, he currently serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas Board of Directors. He formerly served on the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., National Board of Directors as its Southwestern regional vice president, and remains active at the local, regional and national levels. He looks forward to becoming engaged in service with the Central Arkansas community. In his leisure time, Smothers enjoys college sports, fishing, reading and traveling. He is the proud father of five children: Roderick Jr., Joshua, T’Keira, Wilson and T’Keyah.
Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy
ICB Advisory Committee
Government Affairs Committee