Phylicia Rashad, an award-winning actress famous for her role on The Cosby Show, plans to step down as dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University at the end of the 2023–24 academic year, several news and entertainment outlets reported.
“We deeply appreciate Dean Rashad’s selfless contributions and commitment to our alma mater during her leadership of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and the many contributions she has made to Howard University’s students, graduates, and global community,” Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University, wrote in an email message to students and employees Monday, according to HBCU Gameday.
Frederick noted that significant donations to the fine arts programming at Howard were made during her tenure, including a $5.4 million gift from Netflix to fund scholarships for theater students.
Rashad, a Howard alumna, assumed the dean's position in 2021 and sparked controversy in her first year. Students and alumni called for her resignation after she posted a tweet celebrating the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to release Bill Cosby from prison. She apologized twice for her remarks about Cosby, who was accused of multiple sexual assaults. She also faced criticism after she suggested in an interview that Howard students protesting poor housing conditions already had their concerns addressed.