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

The veteran actress was named Dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts in 2021.

Acclaimed actress and Howard alum Phylicia Rashad will retire from her role as Dean of Howard University's Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts following the 2023-2024 school year. 

According to multiple reports, the news was announced by Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, who sent an email to Howard students and faculty on Monday thanking Rashad for the work she's done for the school.

"We deeply appreciate Dean Rashad's selfless contributions and commitment to our alma mater during her leadership of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and the many contributions she has made to Howard University's students, graduates, and global community," Frederick reportedly wrote in the email.

Among those contributions, Frederick noted that "Dean Rashad has also bolstered our esteemed faculty with the appointment of nationally and internationally recognized scholars, artists, and creatives to serve as department chairs, mentors, teachers, and role models for our students."

The university will begin its search for Rashad’s replacement shortly, Frederick added.

Rashad graduated from Howard University in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts before launching a critically acclaimed career as an actress and director. The award-winning star was named the college's dean in 2021, after it was renamed for the late Black Panther star and Howard alum, Chadwick Boseman, who died at the age of 43 after a secret four-year battle with colon cancer. The actor never publicly shared his diagnosis, only revealing his illness upon his death on Aug. 28, 2020.

Boseman graduated from Howard University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. Rashad was one of his professors.

The university announced the renaming news in September 2021, sharing a post on its Instagram page.

"Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts Installation. Yesterday, the letters were installed over the now official Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts," Howard University wrote alongside a video of the building. "An icon in his own right who has left an immeasurable legacy for the next generation. Thank you Mr. Boseman."

Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward, reacted to the news, saying in a statement at the time, "I am extremely pleased that Howard University has chosen to honor my husband in this way and elated that Ms. Rashad has accepted the role as Dean. Chad was a very proud Bison — both Howard and Ms. Rashad played integral roles in his journey as an artist. The re-establishment of the College of Fine Arts brings this part of his story full-circle and ensures that his legacy will continue to inspire young storytellers for years to come."

Months after his death, Rashad spoke to ET about her time with Boseman at Howard, sharing how she remembered "his smile and his gentle way." The Cosby Show star also told ET that he loved mentoring young people.

"I remember his unending curiosity and his love of study, studying many things all of the time. When I look back on his body of film work, and I have been able to see quite a bit of it in these last few weeks, it never ceases to amaze me how very different he is in each and every role. And the differences are subtle," she expressed. "They are not sweet rolled, they are not manipulated, they are not contrived. He presents a real person and persona in every character he plays."

Rashad has yet to comment on her upcoming departure.