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Rubin Patterson, Ph.D. Appointed as Dean of Howard University College of Arts and Sciences

WASHINGTON (January 18, 2019) – Howard University announces the appointment of Rubin Patterson, Ph.D., as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS). Patterson will begin his new role in July, after serving as chairman of the Department of Sociology and Criminology since 2014. 

“Throughout his academic career, Dr. Patterson has distinguished himself as a scholar, researcher and educator,” says Provost and Chief Academic Officer Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D. “We are pleased that he will continue to serve his alma mater as the next Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.”

In his new role, Patterson is will oversee all aspects of academic and administrative affairs for COAS, the oldest and largest of the Howard’s 13 colleges and schools. COAS is comprised of four divisions (Fine Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences) and offers dozens of disciplines within its 21 departments.

“Given the fact that the College of Arts and Sciences services all of Howard’s brilliant undergraduate students, and the College is the academic home of over 40 percent of the faculty of this iconic university, I am excited about assuming the COAS Deanship,” Patterson explains. “More specifically, I am eager to work, as dean, with my talented colleagues to increase our graduate rate, improve students’ satisfaction while matriculating, increase external research funding and philanthropic donations, generate more nationally award-winning publications and creative works, and enhance the feel and image of the COAS as a vibrant intellectual community.”

Before earning a Ph.D. in sociology at Howard University, Patterson received a bachelor’s of science in interdisciplinary physics and electrical engineering from Florida State University and a master’s of science in engineering management from George Washington University. His expertise is wide-ranging, including environmental inequity, sustainable development, diversification of environmental leadership, clean technology, social change and environmentally sustainable socioeconomic development in Southern Africa. Patterson has authored, edited and co-edited multiple books, along with being the recipient of externally funded projects supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Park Service. His extensive international experience aligns with a number of programs within COAS, having served as a research associate at the University of Witwatersrand, in South Africa and visiting professor at the University of Ghana. 

“As a proud Howard alumnus, and being incessantly conscious of the extraordinary weight of our legacy and mission, I am humbled by this opportunity to serve the University,” Patterson says. “However, I am especially excited about the opportunity to help advance, in broad terms, recognition of the College as a leader among colleges of arts and sciences nationally, as well as to further enhance the success of our faculty and students as dynamically productive leaders and innovators who transform societies.”

Patterson currently serves as chair of the Howard University Self Study, a campus-wide initiative created in preparation for the 2019-2020 accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Patterson is responsible for implementing a comprehensive academic and administrative review process to maintain academic achievement and financial sustainability. 

Patterson previously served at the University of Toledo in various capacities, including chair of Sociology and Anthropology, director of Africana Studies, director of the Institute for the Study and Economic Engagement of Southern Africa and professor of sociology. He has also served as a visiting fellow at Morehouse College and the University of Maryland.

Edna Greene-Medford, Ph.D., has served as interim dean of COAS since last summer and will remain in her role through July 1, 2019, when Patterson assumes his decanal responsibilities. 


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

Media contact: Ramzey Smith, Office of University Communications, Ramzey.smith@howard.edu