Phyllis W. Dawkins, a seasoned executive with stops at several HBCUs was yesterday announced as the permanent president of Bennett College for Women. Dr. Dawkins, who has served as interim president since August 2016.
Officials praised Dr. Dawkins for her relationship building and community outreach in announcing her promotion.
“The Bennett College Board of Trustees is pleased with Dr. Dawkins’ performance during the period in which she served as interim president,” said Dr. Gladys Ashe Robinson, BOT chairwoman and a Democratic Senator from Guilford County. “She has developed a genuine relationship with students, faculty, staff and alumnae and is reaching into the religious, civic and philanthropic communities to engage them in Bennett’s present and future sustainability. We are confident that Dr. Dawkins, along with the support of trustees, will reenergize, reorganize and rebrand Bennett for future success.”
Financial troubles have plagued the college for the last three years, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Colleges placed the school on accreditation probation in 2016.
But officials cited growing relationships in Greensboro, NC with the United Methodist Church and other faith based organizations as a key accomplishment during her role as interim president. The new president applauded the campus community as a catalyst for her success.
“I have been thoroughly impressed with the students, staff and faculty of Bennett College since arriving in Greensboro in November 2015,” Dawkins continued. “For years Bennett has been one of the community’s best-kept secrets, but I plan to work in concert with the BOT, faculty, staff, students and alumnae to ensure the institution’s visibility is raised. I am very grateful to the Board for entrusting me with such an awesome responsibility, and I look forward to working closely with them to ensure we position Bennett College to continue educating young women for generations to come.”
Dr. Dawkins previously served in a variety of executive roles, including acting president, at Cheyney University. She also previously held posts at Dillard University and Johnson C. Smith University, her alma mater.