Howard University Selects a New President, a Historian


Howard University; Historian; Ben Vinson III


Howard University, the renowned historically Black institution that was founded to educate freed slaves, has selected a historian of Latin America as its next president, as the university’s leaders hope to continue its trajectory of surging enrollment and research growth.

Ben Vinson III, who has served as provost of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland since 2018, was chosen to be the 18th president of Howard, a 156-year-old university in Washington, D.C., that counts Vice President Kamala Harris, the former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and the author Toni Morrison among its alumni. He will assume the post on Sept. 1.

The move, announced by the university on Tuesday, comes at an energized time for Howard, which has scored a series of wins in recent years, including record research expenditures and high-profile academic hires. Dr. Vinson will need to keep up the momentum, as well as deal with students who have staged sit-ins and protested conditions at the university.

“Dr. Vinson is the right leader to usher Howard into its next era,” Leslie Hale, vice chair of the university’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “As a historian, he reveres the Howard legacy and brings a bold perspective of where Howard University should sit within the upper echelon of academic institutions.”

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By Vimal Patel




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