Leadership Activities

Chair Leadership Academy

The Chair Leadership Academy addresses a range of issues confronting department chairs and academic deans. Through its intense curriculum, members are given tools, strategies, and access to information to help them excel in their positions. Members of the Chair Leadership Academy are an integral part of the network of academic leaders and administrators at Howard University. The cohort meets regularly to discuss topics of interest and importance to chairs and associate deans because of their many responsibilities and their critically important leadership roles at Howard. These topics include strategic planning, the course enrollment and registration processes, the Faculty Handbook, and analyzing leadership styles, among many other topics. The objectives of the Chair Leadership Academy help department chairs navigate and manage their various duties and responsibilities.


1) Achieving a Work-Life Balance

2) Developing and Managing Personnel

3) Shaping a Collective Vision

4) Managing Resources and Operations

5) Cultivating a Culture of Assessment

The Chair Leadership Academy builds on the productive working relationships needed to guide departmental growth and change. The Chair Leadership Academy is an eight month program and members meet monthly (sometimes twice monthly) from August to May. 

Chair Leadership Academy Management Team

Associate Provost for Faculty Development 
Okianer Christian Dark, Office of the Provost

Gwendolyn Everett, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Art, College of Arts and Sciences
Thomas Foster, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

Program Manager 
Jacqueline Young, Office of the Provost

Program Assistant 
Deborah Elliott, Office of the Provost

Dean’s Leadership Initiative

Faculty Development Leads Committee

A University-wide Faculty Development Leads Committee was established to: 

  1. Ensure that there is regular input from faculty on University sponsored faculty development initiatives;
  2. Encourage collaboration across Schools and Colleges;
  3. Develop mentoring programs; and 
  4. Maintain an accurate and current listing of faculty development activities occurring in Schools and Colleges on the Faculty Development website.

The Faculty Development Leads Committee is led by Associate Provost Okianer Christian Dark. The committee is composed of faculty representatives from 14 Schools and Colleges, CETLA, the Faculty Senate, University Libraries, and the Office of Research.

2022 – 2023 Members

  • CETLA - Dr. Morris Thomas
  • College of Arts and Sciences - Dr. Thomas A. Foster, Dr. Jules Harrell
  • College of Dentistry - Dr. Iris J. Morton
  • College of Engineering and Architecture - Dr. Sonya Smith
  • College of Fine Arts –
  • College of Medicine – Dr. Thomas Heinbockel
  • College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences - Dr. Chimene Castor
  • Faculty Senate – 
  • Graduate School - Dr. Terri Adams
  • Howard University Libraries -
  • Howard University RCMI - Dr. Dexter Lee
  • Office of Human Resources - Dr. MacKenzie Jordan Johnson
  • Office of Research - Ms. Pamela Clarke
  • School of Business – Dr. Delancey Bennett, Dr. Amanda Hinojosa
  • School of Communications - Dr. Tia Tyree
  • School of Divinity - Dr. Frederick Ware
  • School of Education - Dr. Kenneth Anderson
  • School of Law - Associate Professor Matthew Bruckner
  • School of Pharmacy - Dr. Yolanda McKoy-Beach
  • School of Social Work - Dr. Janice Edwards
  • Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies Collective - Dr. J. Jarpa Dawuni

Faculty Leadership Institute

Overview of the Faculty Leadership Initiative

This institute is open to all full-time faculty who want to develop themselves as leaders, who aspire to work as an academic administrator such as a department chair or an associate dean, or who just want to be a more effective member of a leadership team at the University. 


  • Develop leadership quotient that will permit faculty to be more effective in leading on the faculty, at the University, and in higher education.
  • Develop certain skills that are important in leadership.
  • Develop a pool of potential faculty candidates for the academic administrative pipeline.

Program Components

  • Monthly topics focused on leadership traits, skills, or experiences
  • Regular online leadership assessments
  • Exposure to leaders on Board of Trustees, Cabinet, University, and in the Howard University community



Okianer Christian Dark, JD
Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Professor of Law, Okianer.c.dark@howard.edu

Jacqueline Young, MS
Program Manager, Jyoung1@howard.edu

Deborah Elliott
Administrative Assistant II, Deb.elliott@howard.edu

Photo Gallery of Leadership Activities

Atty. Michael Steele Engages with Faculty Leadership Institute Attendees

On Tuesday, November 7, members of the Faculty Leadership Institute had a candid yet empowering conversation with Michael Steele on leadership. Steele is serving as the 2023-2024 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy. He is also a former chair of the Republican National Committee and former lieutenant governor of Maryland. Steele said that those aspiring to be leaders must first know why they want to do so.  “Look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are doing this. You have to first be grounded in something,” he said. Two other key factors of leadership are the ability to listen and communicate effectively, he offered. “Sometimes you have to shut up and listen,” he joked. Steele also offered the FLI members this advice:  “Your willingness to let others lead is important as a leader. You must always be prepared to lead but never be afraid to follow.”

-----By Jacqueline Young

Pictured above: Front row, l to r:  Caroline Starke, Sosanya Jones, JaNeen Cross, Lennox Graham, Carolivia Herron, Okianer Christian Dark, Maru Etta-Nkwelle Back row, l to r: Justin Hansford, Calvin Hadley, Michael Ralph, Michael Steele, Maurice Fluitt, Elka Stevens, Matthew Franke, Thomas Heinbockel