Roslyn Artis has been named the president of Benedict College, becoming the first woman to head the Columbia institution in its 147-year history. Artis succeeds David Swinton, who retired June 30 following 23 years at the helm of the Historically Black College.
Artis has served the past four years as president of Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Fla., where she led the school’s expansion of online courses and helped develop new majors in high-demand fields. After taking over in 2013, unrestricted gifts increased 20%, restricted gifts increased by 38% and revenue from grants and sponsored research increased 22%.
She is also credited with soliciting the largest gift from a single donor ($3.8 million) in the history of southern Florida’s only Historically Black University. Founded in 1879, FMU is a private, coeducational, and Baptist-affiliated institution with a total enrollment of about 1,400, according to U.S. News & World Report.
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 State University College of Law. Additionally, she holds a Certificate of Fundraising Management from Indiana University and Certificate of Mastery in Prior Learning Assessment from DePaul University.
Before entering academia, Artis worked as a lawyer, serving as past chair of the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners and past president of the Mountain State Bar Association, the oldest minority bar association in the country.
Nationally, she is a member of the Presidents’ Advisory Board for Title III Administrators and the Educational Testing Service Presidents’ Advisory Council. She is a member of the national board of directors for the United Negro College Fund and has recently been appointed to the board of the Council of Independent Colleges. Artis also was serves as chair of the Education Committee for the Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council.
Artis is scheduled to take office Sept. 1 at Benedict, which lists 2,470 students enrolled in baccalaureate degree programs.