Humphries to Direct NAFEO
Dr. Frederick S. Humphries has been named the new executive director of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO).
The deal, which had been rumored to be in the works for months, was finally inked late last month, according to Humphries, who is the outgoing president of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. While he plans to begin his NAFEO work on a part-time basis immediately, Humphries says he will not assume full-time duties until January 2002.
“Fred Humphries is, without a doubt, the best and most qualified person for the job,” says Dr. Earl Richardson, president of Morgan State University and a longtime member of the NAFEO executive board. Humphries and Richardson disclosed the news to Black Issues during the annual Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund banquet in Manhattan.
Among the immediate challenges Humphries will face are improving the financial health of the organization — which for years has failed to collect dues from all of its member institutions and has experienced declining participation in its annual conference, which also serves as a key fund-raising event — and resolving an ongoing dispute between NAFEO and the United Negro College Fund (see Black Issues, Aug. 30).
Interim Director Wilma J. Roscoe has managed NAFEO since the previous director, Dr. Henry Ponder, resigned earlier this year to head Talladega College. The Humphries announcement places new urgency on the board of trustees at FAMU to name his successor. The FAMU board was named in June 2001 and soon after asked Humphries to remain at the university’s helm until trustees could conduct a presidential search. Humphries, who announced his resignation back in February and originally planned to depart in June, agreed to stay until Dec. 31.
The magna cum laude graduate of FAMU in 1957 went on to earn his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and has been an HBCU president for more than 20 years. Humphries became president of FAMU in 1985. Highlights of his tenure as president include growing the campus enrollment from 4,000 to more than 13,000 students; winning back the university’s law school, which was closed in 1968 and is scheduled to reopen next fall; leading the campus to create several new doctorate programs; and guiding the institution to become the nation’s leading producer of African American undergraduates.
— By Cheryl D. Fields
© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com