(Fort Valley, Georgia) – Fort Valley State University Provost and Academic Vice President Olufunke Fontenot announced that Keith M. Howard, Ph.D., has been named the next dean of the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences, and Technology, effective January 9, 2023.
Dr. Howard’s extensive educational career spans three decades and includes experiences in government service (USDA-ARS/Cooperative Extension Service) and higher education as a professor and administrator. He joins FVSU from Morehouse College, where he has served as Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Dean of Faculty, chair of the Department of Biology, and director of Academic Technology.
Dr. Fontenot said Dr. Howard brings a rich and broad experience as a faculty, university administrator, and government service. “I look forward to his leadership in advancing the college’s work and promoting the University’s land grant mission, including promoting diversity in agricultural and allied careers and fostering collaboration with the community and other academic units to develop untapped synergies and improve efficiencies and FVSU footprint in the community.”
Dr. Howard said he was humbled and excited to join the FVSU family to continue building on FVSU’s culture and tradition of excellence.
“The university motto, ‘Empowering the Possible,’ affirms that students can exceed their expectations with an FVSU education,” Dr. Howard said. “I believe it is also a clarion call that reminds us that ensuring the success of our undergraduate and graduate students is paramount to what we do every day.”
Dr. Howard said he was equally excited to partner and collaborate with the University’s “dedicated and dynamic faculty, staff, and extension members in CAFST who have a shared vision of increasing minority student participation in careers encompassing agriculture, family sciences, and technology. In this regard, I view myself as a servant-leader who will champion support to assist them in this effort.”
As Dean of the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences, and Technology, Dr. Howard said he would focus on high-touch, high-impact student success practices that positively impact retention, persistence, and graduation rates. He also cited the development of interdisciplinary courses and programs and the adoption of a continuous faculty and staff development model and critical goals.
Dr. Howard earned his B.S. in Plant Sciences from Delaware State University. In addition, he has a Master of Science in Plant Pathology from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Ohio State University.