About Us

In 2018 the HBCU Council of Past Presidents approached Clark Atlanta University about the possibility of establishing a program to prepare future HBCU Presidents. The CAU School of Education in collaboration with the Online Learning and Continuing Education office wrote a planning grant to develop the HBCU Executive Leadership Institute. With the support of our distinguished Advisory Board and the HBCU ELI Team, the program is ready to welcome our Community of Fellows in January 2022.

The HBCU Executive Leadership Institute aims to establish a sustainable model for increasing the quality and supply of qualified candidates to serve as HBCU presidents and other executive level leaders. The Institute will support the design of a leadership development program that will focus on the preparation and development of HBCU presidents and executive leaders. The vision is to develop a performance-based leadership preparation program that will engage aspiring and new HBCU Presidents in an extended learning network that provides opportunities to practice and demonstrate proficiency in real time, in the real HBCU working environment.

The HBCU Executive Leadership Institute will address the following four components:

  1. Well-defined competency model (knowledge, skills, and dispositions) for effective HBCU leadership.
  2. A high-quality performance-based preparation program that engages participants in a combination of face-to-face and online learning experiences.
  3. A well-defined approach for recruitment of potential participants that includes selection criteria and protocols.
  4. A model for ongoing evaluation and support of aspiring and practicing HBCU leaders.

HBCU ELI Advisory Board

Executive Director

Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Past President Bennett College and
Acting President Cheyney University

ELI Team

Dr. J. Fidel Turner, Jr., Dean, CAU School of Education
Dr. Cheryl Dozier Davenport, Program Coordinator & President Emerita, Savannah State University
Dr. Mary A. Hooper, Curriculum Designer, Associate Provost, CAU Online Learning & Continuing Education                                    & Professor of Educational Leadership
Mr. Cameron Randle, Program Manager & Educational Leadership Doctoral Student
Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy, President Emerita, Shaw University & Johnson C. Smith University, Member,
HBCU AB/C-HBCU-PP Curriculum Committee
HBCU AB/C-HBCU-Past Presidents Selection Committee (Lyons, Lomotey, Hatton, Dolinger)
TalentQuest, External Program Evaluator Consultants



Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Ph.D.
HBCU ELI Executive Director



J. Fidel Turner. Jr., Ph.D.
Dean, School of Education


Mary A. Hooper, Ph.D.
Associate Provost, Curriculum Designer, Professor of Educational Leadership, Online Learning and Continuing Education


Barbara Hill, Ed.D.
Associate Dean & Chair, Department of Educational Leadership 


Valerie Bennett, Ph.D.
Graduate Research Assistant


Dr. Cheryl Dozier Davenport, Program Coordinator & President Emerita Savannah State University, cdozier@cau.edu



Dr.Dorothy Cowser Yancy
President Emerita, Shaw University, and Johnson C. Smith University


Cameron Randle, MBA
Program Manager & Educational Leadership Doctoral Student November 2018-August 2023


Owen Walker, MBA PMP
Program Manager August 2023 - Present


Malik Gray
Graduate Assistant


Odette Edwards
Graduate Assistant



HBCU AB/C-HBCU-PP Curriculum Committee
HBCU AB/C-HBCU-Past Presidents Selection Committee (Lyons, Lomotey, Hatton, Dolinger)
TalentQuest, External Program Evaluator Consultants

Dr. Richard Lucas, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Resource Person
Ms. Quisa Foster, Assistant Vice President, Institutional Advancement 
Mrs. Kimberly Sellers-Bates, Prospect Research Manager, ELI Resource
HBCU AB Development Committee
Mr. Robert (Bob) Poole, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Consultant
Mr. Mason Blacher, President, Mason Jay Blacher & Associates, Consultant

Marketing & Communication
Mr. Sam Burston, Vice President, University Relations & External Affairs, Resource Person
Ms. Jolene Butts Freeman, Director of News and Media Relations  
Ms. Mia Walker, Social Media Director
Cecintel PR, NCompass & Per Se, External Marketing & Communication Consultants, Glass Ladder


A Special Thanks to Our HBCU/ELI Supporters


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TalentQuest LLC

Ncompass International

Per Se Media Group

Mason Jay Blacher & Associates

CAU Office of the President

CAU Office of the Provost

CAU Office of Online Learning and Continuing Education (OLCE)

CAU Office of Institutional Advancement

CAU Office of University Relations



Need More Information?
Click here to contact an ELI Representative
HBCU Executive Leadership Institute 
Clark Atlanta University
School of Education 
Rufus E. Clement Hall, Suite 110
223 James P. Brawley Dr., SW
Atlanta, GA 30314
Phone: 404-880-6012
Email: hbcueli@cau.edu