MIAMI GARDENS, FL – A veteran of higher education administration has been selected as Florida Memorial University’s interim president on June 22.
Dr. Jaffus Hardrick replaces interim president Dr. Castell V. Bryant, the FMU Board of Trustees announced this past Friday evening, according to The Miami Times. Hardrick, who worked for ten years at Florida International University, begins his tenure on July 16.
Hendrick will be the third interim president since the departure of Roslyn Clark-Artis, who was named the president of Benedict College on July 1, 2017. Michelle Howard-Vital was appointed interim president shortly after and left for medical leave in November. Bryant assumed the role on November 20.
“Dr. Jaffus Hardrick is a visionary and transformational leader with 20 years of higher education experience in academic affairs, student services, human resources and diversity and community relations,” said JoLinda L. Herring, FMU board chairwoman. “He has a strong community presence and involvement, and we look forward to this service to our student, faculty, staff, and community.”
Hardrick was appointed as FIU’s first provost for Student Access and Success in 2014; a role created to showcase the university to “economically disadvantaged students.” Hardrick served as vice president of Human Resources and vice provost simultaneously.
“This appointment recognizes Dr. Hardrick’s commendable efforts in support of our minority student population,” said Douglas Wartzok, FIU provost, and executive vice president.
Hardrick has responsibilities ranging from strategy and innovation in academics, policy development and governance to donor development and community relations. As vice president of Human Resources, he managed an $800 million payroll, as well as a $30 million operations budget. Previous to his 10-year run at FIU, he served as assistant vice president of Human Resources and assistant provost for Academic Affairs at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
While at Baylor, Hardrick earned his doctorate in education, upgrading his education master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University. He earned his bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Hardrick is affiliated with numerous service and civic organizations including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and the 100 Black Men of South Florida.
Hardrick made the shortlist to become the next president of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee in 2015. Friday evening he issued this statement regarding his FMU appointment:
“For over 40 years, FMU has been a key educational institution educating and preparing students to be globally competitive leaders. I am honored to serve FMU in this capacity to help move the university to the next level of excellence.”
The FMU board wished Dr. Bryant well. She said she came out of a nine-year retirement to take the reins of FMU and is heading right back in. She served for almost six months, and she didn’t expect for it to last as long.
“We sincerely appreciate the service of Dr. Bryant during her time with us,” said Herring