A Quartet of African American Scholars Who Have Been Appointed to Dean Posts

Harris Smith was appointed dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico, effective August 1, 2020. Smith has been serving as the chair for the department of theatre at the University of Utah, a position he’s held since July 2018. Previously, he was director of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Smith is a graduate of Montana State University, where he majored in theatre arts and was a member of the national championship football team. He holds a master of fine arts degree in acting from the University of Washington.

Shelley Johnson is the new dean of the School of Nursing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. Dr. Johnson served as the founding director and chair of nursing and health science at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. She is the owner and senior consultant for Kairos Solutions, a firm dedicated to assisting educational organizations with program creation, accreditation, and regulatory guidance.

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in nursing. She holds a master’s degree in community health nursing from Pennsylvania State University and an educational doctorate from the University of Phoenix.

Amanda Bryant-Friedrich has been selected to serve as the next dean of the Wayne State University Graduate School. She will begin her new duties on August 1. Since 2016, Dr. Bryant-Friedrich has been serving as dean of the College of Graduate Studies at the University of Toledo. In 2018, she was given the added role of vice provost for graduate affairs.

Dr. Bryant-Friedrich earned a master’s degree in chemistry from Duke University and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical chemistry from Ruprecht-Karls Universität in Heidelberg, Germany.

E. Patrick Johnson has been named dean of the School of Communication at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois. He also will have the title of Annenberg University Professor. Dr. Johnson joined the faculty two decades ago and has been serving as the Carlos Montezuma Professor of African American Studies and Performance Studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Johnson received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received a Ph.D. in speech communication from Louisiana State University.


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