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Mission Statement

The mission of the Network is derived from the rich legacy of HBCUs in providing educational opportunities for underrepresented students. Building on this heritage, the Network is committed to promoting effective teaching and student learning through a variety of collaborative activities that focus on faculty enhancement. These collaborative activities are designed to make a connection between teaching, research and service. The Network also facilitates collaboration between faculty and administrators to share individual achievements for collective success in meeting student needs. The main activities of the Network are the annual HBCU Faculty Development Conference and summer institutes.The Network also invites participation in its activities by individuals from minority serving institutions (MSIs) and other institutions of higher education, and seeks working relationships with organizations that share its goals and objectives.


The HBCU Faculty Development Network will empower faculty to promote effective teaching and learning practices to enable students to become engaged, lifelong learners in an ever-changing society. The Network will be recognized as the main organization among the more than 100 HBCUs (for advancing the following strands) to encourage the delivery of effective teaching and learning:

photo of faculty giving high fives in library


The HBCU Faculty Development Network was founded in 1994 on the Tougaloo College campus under the leadership of Dr. Stephen L. Rozman. The roots of the HBCU Faculty Development Network began to form in 1991, when Tougaloo College received a faculty development grant from the Bush Foundation of St. Paul, Minnesota. Although the Bush Foundation's outreach has been mainly to academic institutions in Minnesota and adjacent states, it decided to reach out to Historically Black Colleges and Universities affiliated with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), a group of some thirty-nine private institutions. Dr. Rozman directed the college's first Bush faculty development grant and each subsequent grant until the Bush Foundation ended funding for this program in 2005.

Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, initially the co-director of the organization, and members of Fisk University, LeMonye-Owen College, Xavier University, and Florida Memorial College served with Dr. Rozman on the initial Steering Committee that founded the HBCU Faculty Development Symposium (now called the HBCU Faculty Development Network). Over 100 people attended the first HBCU Faculty Development Symposium, which featured presentations in a variety of areas related to faculty development. The response to the initial Call for Proposals was very positive, with proposals submitted by faculty from several HBCUs and a few non-HBCUs. It became clear that this effort was filling an important gap in professional development by focusing specifically on faculty development at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Since its beginning, the Symposium and Conference has attracted between 150 to 200 participants each year. A large majority of HBCUs have been represented over the past 20 years by faculty as well as faculty developers and chief academic officers. In 2002, with additional funding from the Bush Foundation, the Network added a summer institute to focus on areas of faculty development of particular interest to HBCUs. These focus areas have included learning communities, instructional technology, information literacy, service learning and civic engagement.

Meet Our Leadership Team

Members of the HBCU Faculty Development Network Board of Directors are nominated and selected from HBCU's, MSI's and other institutions of higher education.  The members of the board meet regularly to discuss, plan, and evaluate activities that carry forth the mission of the organization to promote effective teaching and student learning through a variety of collaborative activities that focus on faculty enhancement.

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