Michelle R. Howard-Vital, Ph.D.

Interim President, Florida Memorial University

Dr. Howard VitalDr. Michelle Howard-Vital is Interim President at Florida Memorial University. She has over 35 years in higher education and has served in a range of roles including Senior Fellow for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and a member of the College Registry for College Presidents offering her services in transition times for colleges and universities.

Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital is also the former President of Cheyney University (2007-2014), Interim Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University (2006-2007), Associate Vice President for the University of North Carolina System at its General Administration in Chapel Hill (2003-2006), and Vice Chancellor for Public Service /Associate Provost at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (1993-2003).

Michelle Howard-Vital was born and educated in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Language and her Masters of Arts in Teaching English from the University of Chicago, and earned her doctorate in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Howard-Vital has worked in four states—Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

In addition to the positions stated previously, Dr. Howard-Vital served in a range of positions in higher education, including: Coordinator of the Biomedical Sciences Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dean of Continuing Education at Harold Washington College, Dean of Continuing Education and Non-Traditional Degree Programs at Chicago State University, Associate Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean of University College at Edinboro University, and English Instructor at Central YMCA Community College. Dr. Howard-Vital has been tenured twice–at the community college level and at The University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she earned the rank of tenured professor. Further, she served as a member of the State Board of Education for the State of North Carolina from 2001-2007. Moreover, she successfully led two institutions to reaffirmation of accreditation granted by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Because she believes that many have helped in her career, Dr. Howard-Vital believes in honoring her supporters by “paying it forward” in the form of contributions to scholarship funds. Dr. Howard-Vital has co-authored a text, and she has authored or co-authored book chapters, articles, reviews, and various professional papers. Some of the titles of her works include, “Entrepreneurship Education: A Cautious Ray of Hope in Instructional Reform for Disadvantaged Youth” (Rasheed & Howard-Vital, 2006); “Listening to Students: The Appeal of For-Profit Institutions” (2006); “Structuring a Supportive Environment for Women in Higher Education” (2006); and “Precollege Bridge Programs: Lessons learned in preparing students to pursue study and careers in the health sciences” (2007). Dr. Howard-Vital is a frequent blogger, and has published numerous articles in electronic journals, as well. (Her blog site is michellehowardvital-phd.com).

Dr. Howard-Vital has received numerous awards and recognitions for her service in higher education, including: The Women of Distinction Award by the Philadelphia Business Journal (2012); the Women Cultivating Women Award in honor of Mary McLeod Bethune (2010); the Association for Black Women in Higher Education Award for Leadership for founding its Chicago Chapter (2002); the Million Dollar Club Award for her grants at The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (2001); being recognized by the University of Chicago as one of its outstanding graduates; and being given the Distinguished Alumni Award, by the University of Illinois for her contributions to education in the areas of scholarship, teaching, service, and administration (2000).