Campus Call for Free Expression Participating President:

Benedict College

Roslyn Clark Artis, President & CEO

Roslyn Clark Artis

We are committed to developing critical thinkers who will question, challenge, engage, and serve their communities in a meaningful and equitable way. Students are inclined to speak in sound bites, so we have to ask: What do you base that on? Where did you read that or hear that? Is it a person that you know or value? Is that your closely held opinion or is that something you saw or heard? And so really helping students unpack the sources and uses of information and be thoughtful about how they share and how they distribute that across our community is important.” — Roslyn Clark Artis


Campus Call for Free Expression Planned Activities

  • Free expression will be the focus of President Artis’s new student convocation speech for the 2023-24 academic year.  
  • A yearlong campaign on free expression and inquiry called “#perspective” will begin at fall 2023’s freshman orientation. Plans include key messages, programming, and T-shirts (“All perspectives matter here”). 

About the President

Dr. Artis was unanimously appointed by the Board of Trustees as the 14th and first woman President of Benedict College on June 30, 2017. Previously, Dr. Artis served as the 13th and first woman President of Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Florida. 

Intentional, professional, and thoroughly committed to the proliferation and transformation of colleges and universities that serve underrepresented men and women of color, Dr. Artis’ leadership has been recognized locally and nationally.  In 2018, she was named “Female HBCU President of the Year” by HBCU Digest.  In 2019, Dr. Artis was named to Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s “Top 35 Leading Women in Higher Education.” In 2020, Dr. Artis was named “President of the Year” by Higher Ed Dive for her leadership in navigating the unprecedented challenges of 2020. 

Under Dr. Artis’ leadership, Benedict College was awarded the 2019 American Council on Education (ACE) Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation.  The award recognizes institutions that have responded to higher education challenges in innovative and creative ways and achieved dramatic results in a short period of time. Benedict was also named 2019 HBCU of the Year by the HBCU Digest. 

Dr. Artis is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she earned a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University College of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political science from sister HBCU, West Virginia State University. The consummate professional, Dr. Artis also holds a Certificate of fundraising Management from Indiana University and a Certificate of Mastery in Prior Learning Assessment from DePaul University. 

Dr. Artis is a Member of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC). She is the Chair of the Presidents’ Advisory Board for Title III Administrators; a member of the President’s Council for the NCAA (Division II); and is a member of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Presidents’ Advisory Council. She also serves as an Advisory Board Member for the University of South Carolina’s National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and is a Board Member for the Forum on Education Abroad.  She is Vice-Chair for the “Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) HBCU/MSI Collaboration,” and has been named an “Equity in Energy Ambassador” for the United States Department of Energy. She previously served on the Education Advisory Committee to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, during the Obama Administration. 

Most recently, in 2021, President Artis was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI).  NACIQI advises the U.S. Secretary of Education on matters concerning accreditation, the Secretary’s recognition process for accrediting agencies, and institutional eligibility for federal student aid, through the Committee’s public meetings. 

A prolific speaker, critical thinker and fierce advocate for educational access, Dr. Artis is frequently engaged as a mentor, lecturer, and catalyst for strategic transformation.  She is a widely respected innovator and thought leader on issues of higher education, specifically as it relates to underserved and vulnerable populations, having published countless articles and editorials on topics related to higher education equity and inclusion as well as the complexities associated with leading minority serving institutions.  Artis is the founding Co-Chair for the Historically Black College and University Annual Sustainability Summit, which is in its 4th year.  She has received more than 300 awards and recognitions locally and nationally for her work. 

The Campus Call for Free Expression is a commitment by a diverse group of college presidents to urgently spotlight, uplift, and re-emphasize the principles of critical inquiry and civic discourse on their campuses. The Campus Call is centered on a coordinated set of presidential and campus activities focused on free expression that collectively amplify higher education’s role in preparing young people to be the empowered citizens our democracy needs.