Dr. Ben Vinson III will become president of Howard University, effective Sept. 1, The Washington Post reported.
Vinson – a historian of the African diaspora in Latin America – is currently provost at Case Western Reserve University. Some of his previous roles include dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University; vice dean for interdisciplinary programs and graduate education at Johns Hopkins University; and founding director of the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins.
Howard, as a school, has “serious momentum,” and will rise to the upper echelon of research universities, Vinson said.
“There are so many things about Howard right now that really distinguish it as what I would call a fast-moving locomotive train,” Vinson said.
But the presidency does come with some hurdles of its own. Over the last decade, Howard has faced criticism over financial health and improved housing and services. A gender imbalance also exists at Howard – Over 70% of Howard’s 9,800 undergrads last fall were women – an issue many other HBCUs have also encountered.
Vinson holds a bachelor’s degree in history and classical studies from Dartmouth College and a doctorate in history from Columbia University.
In 2002, Diverse named Vinson an Emerging Scholar.