Bowling Green State University President Sidney A. Ribeau has been named president of Howard University, its Board of Trustees announced Wednesday. Ribeau was the board’s unanimous choice. Ribeau will assume leadership as Howard University’s 16th president effective Aug. 1.
Ribeau will succeed H. Patrick Swygert, who is stepping down at the end of June after a 12-year stint.
Ribeau will leave Bowling Green State University in Ohio, after 13 years of service. During his tenure, Ribeau upgraded BGSU’s communications and computing technology and encouraged collaboration with other institutions to increase operational and cost efficiencies.
“The Search Committee was very impressed with Dr. Ribeau’s credentials and his reputation as a facilitator of change and collegial leader. He is a charismatic executive who works effectively inside and outside the institution he heads,” said retired Gen. Colin L. Powell, who along with Richard D. Parsons, chairman of the Board of Time Warner Inc., co-chaired the Howard University Search Committee.
Ribeau led a capital campaign at BGSU that reached its goal of $120 million a year early. In 2003, Ribeau was awarded the President’s Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators for his “courage and leadership in guiding the BGSU campus community to develop a community focused on student learning and designed to educate the whole student by taking students’ personal and intellectual growth into consideration.”
“I am excited by the opportunity to serve this historic institution,” said Ribeau. “Howard is a remarkable university, a truly international university and one that has made significant contributions not only in this country but around the world, training principally African-Americans for global leadership roles in America and the world.”
Ribeau began his teaching career in 1976 as a professor of communication studies at California State University, Los Angeles. Later, he became chair of the university’s Pan African Studies Department. He went on to serve as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, then vice president for academic affairs at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, a position he held until going to BGSU.
Ribeau earned a bachelor’s in English and speech education from Wayne State University, and a master’s and doctorate in interpersonal and group communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Dr. Ribeau brings to Howard a complete academic resume having served as professor, dean and vice president,” Parsons noted. “He has built a well-rounded and impressive resume as a scholar and academic leader in higher education and has a solid record as an effective fundraiser.”
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