Dr. Roslyn Artis Selected to be First Female President of Benedict College


Florida Memorial University President Roslyn Clark Artis will be the first female president of Benedict College, a four-year liberal arts HBCU in Columbia, South Carolina, the board of trustees announced Friday on the school’s social media channels.

If Artis accepts the offer, she will become the 14th president of Benedict College on Sept. 1, 2017, her effective start date. She will become the first female president in the college’s 147-year history.

Late Friday, FMU spokeswoman Ceeon Smith said FMU trustees are aware that Benedict College voted to give Artis the school’s top job. She said that’s the only official thing that happened.

Artis has not accepted any offer, Smith said.

Artis has, however, been seeking an exit from the job at FMU. In recent weeks, Artis was reported to be a finalist for the Jackson State University presidency.

But Mississippi’s largest newspaper, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, reported that alumni were concerned about Artis’ possible selection.

The newspaper reported that those concerns arise from her previous position at Mountain State University in West Virginia.The Mississippi newspaper said Mountain State closed in late 2012, just a few months after one of the nation’s six regional accreditors announced it was withdrawing its accreditation. Artis was the school’s provost.

And in 2016, she made the short list for presidential post at West Virginia State University

Artis started in 2013 as FMU’s interim president. She became the first female president in 2014.

As president of Florida Memorial University, she oversaw the expansion of programs and online courses, the news release said. It goes on to say she created academic centers of excellence and updated the university’s technology infrastructure and website.

Artis completed the Miami Gardens-based university’s five-year strategic planning and increased grant writing productivity. “Since assuming the presidency in 2013, unrestricted gifts increased 20 percent (year over year); restricted gifts increased by 38 percent, and revenue from grants and sponsored research increased by 22 percent,” the release said. Artis is also credited with soliciting and receiving $3.8 million, the largest gift from a single donor in the institution’s history.

She oversaw the completion of a Science Annex and an athletic and wellness Center at FMU. 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.

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.