Roslyn Clark Artis, J.D., Ed.D.
President, Benedict College
Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis has earned for the second time in history, the honor of serving as the first female President of a collegiate institution in the United States. On June 30, 2017, Dr. Artis was unanimously appointed by the Board of Trustees as the 14th President of Benedict College. She is the first female President in the 147-year history of the College which was founded by a woman, Mrs. Bathsheba Benedict in 1870 and celebrates its 150th Anniversary this year.
Intentional, professional, and thoroughly committed to the proliferation and transformation of colleges and universities that serve underrepresented men and women of color, Dr. Artis brings to Benedict College a depth of knowledge in higher education and an enthusiasm for students’ success that is unmatched in today’s higher education arena. In March 2019, Dr. Artis was named Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’s Top 35 Leading Women in Higher Education, the annual recognition honors the contributions of women who stand out for their ability to forge solutions to the unprecedented challenges facing the nation’s higher education community.
In June 2019, Dr. Artis was selected the 2019 Educator of the Year by the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. HBCU Digestnamed Dr. Artis the 2018 Female President of the Year, and in August 2019, Benedict received the top honor: HBCU of the Year.
Dr. Artis has also received the Walker Legacy Award which highlights women who champion educational policies and programs to advance economic development. The Columbia Regional Business Reportrecognized Benedict’s first female President as one of the 2018 Women of Influence and she was named Columbia’s Most Influential in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Dr. Artis is a role model for many women in the community and was recently awarded the 2020 Girl Scout Women of Distinction Award and the 2020 Women’s Empowerment~ Pioneering Woman Award.
Under Dr. Artis’ leadership, Benedict College was awarded the 2019 American Council on Education (ACE) Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation. The award recognizes institutions that have responded to higher education challenges in innovative and creative ways and achieved dramatic results in a short period of time. Benedict College was only the 2nd HBCU and the 1st private college to receive this national recognition. Through strategic thinking and measured efforts, Dr. Artis has transformed Benedict’s campus to better prioritize student success, scholarly achievement, and innovation.
Dr. Artis has improved the competitiveness of the college by lowering Benedict’s tuition by 26%; improved the academic profile of Benedict by increasing the College’s admission standards; and shifted the academic focused toward high-demand fields including Cybersecurity, Engineering, Biology, Business Marketing, Music Industry, and Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Artis comes to Benedict College from Florida Memorial University in Miami where she served for four years as the 13th and first female President in that University’s 138-year history. Dr. Artis provided immeasurable leadership and direction to the University family during her tenure. Among her many achievements were the significant technology enhancements on campus, new facility construction, innovative partnerships, as well as increased national exposure and resource development for the institution in the areas of STEM, Cybersecurity, and Social Justice.
Dr. Artis is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she earned a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University College of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from sister HBCU, West Virginia State University. The consummate professional, Dr. Artis also holds a Certificate of Fundraising Management from Indiana University and a Certificate of Mastery in Prior Learning Assessment from DePaul University. Prior to embarking on a career in academia, Dr. Artis enjoyed a robust civil litigation practice. A strong community activist, Dr. Artis is past Chair of the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners and a past president of the Mountain State Bar Association – the oldest minority bar association in the country.
Dr. Artis is a member of the Presidents’ Advisory Board for Title III Administrators, the Educational Testing Service Presidents’ Advisory Council and is a Member of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Board of Directors for the Council of Independent Colleges. She is also a member of the National Black MBA Advisory Council.
Locally, Dr. Artis is a member of the United Way of the Midlands, Board of Directors, and is serving as Co-Chair of the 2020 Campaign, the EngenuitySC Board, and the First Citizen Bank, Greater Columbia Advisory Board. She serves as the secretary for the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission, and the Advisory Council for the South Carolina Philharmonic. Dr. Artis is an active member of the Governor’s COVID-19 AccelerateSC Advisory Team, the South Carolina Commission of Minority Affairs, and the Midlands Business Leadership Group (MBLG).
A prolific speaker, critical thinker and fierce advocate for educational access, Dr. Artis has been recognized for her work locally and nationally and is frequently engaged as a mentor, lecturer, and catalyst for strategic transformation. Her passion for education, youth development, and service to the community is manifested through her work with numerous organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Links, Inc. and Jack & Jill of America.
In her short time at the helm of Benedict College, Dr. Artis has made an indelible impact, coining the phrase #TheBESTofBC!