Cecil Howard, the recently appointed associate provost for the College of Law at historically Black Florida A&M University, will be the temporary acting dean of the college following the resignation of current dean, Deidre Keller, who retains her faculty position with the university.
Keller’s resignation follows the College of Law’s performance in last year’s bar exam, where only 41.7 percent of Florida A&M University students passed the test, making the college the lowest performing law school in Florida for 2023. This was a decline from 2022 where Florida A&M University law students had a 52.6 percent passing rate.
Howard will take on the dean’s responsibilities until an interim dean is appointed. Prior to joining the faculty at Florida A&M University, Howard held academic and leadership appointments at the University of South Florida, the University of California, Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, and Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. He also serves as a licensed attorney in the state of Florida.
“As a longtime supporter of Florida A&M and its College of Law, I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the College during a time of many challenges,” Howard said. “I envision my leadership cohesively moving the College of Law forward as its faculty, students, and staff continue to endeavor making strides that complement the excellent academic standing of the University.”
Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Florida State University and a juris doctorate from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston.