MIAMI GARDENS — Roslyn Clark Artis, who has served for six months as interim president of Florida Memorial University, was given the job permanently, according to an announcement Tuesday. The appointment makes Artis the first female head of the 135-year-old historically black university.

“I am impressed with her adept administrative and people skills,” said Charles George, chairman of the FMU Board of Trustees, at a news conference on the campus of the Miami-Gardens-based school.  “She has hit the ground running and brings superb qualifications and leadership skills to FMU.”

George said Artis completed or “made significant progress” on goals the board set for her. “She is an asset to our students, faculty and administration and the South Florida communities,” he said.

Artis earned a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from West Virginia State College Institute in West Virginia. She has a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown, W. Va.

 “I am honored to have been chosen by the Board of Trustees to lead Florida Memorial University at such a critical point in its history,” Artis said. “This University has been a key component of Florida’s educational system for 135 years. The university has provided access to a quality education for generations of students, many of whom would not have had the opportunity were it not for FMU.  Its history is indeed rich and its future is bright.  I am confident that the best is yet to come.”

A university statement said since arriving on campus Artis has spearheaded a series of new and innovative programs for students and is working to improve corporate and community relations and endowment initiatives. 

“We have assembled a knowledgeable, experienced and highly competent administrative team to work with our strong faculty and committed staff to create an environment that prepares our special young people with a well-rounded, holistic, educational experience.  Florida Memorial University is well positioned for the future,” Artis said.

The new FMU president will replace Henry Lewis III, who served in the top spot from early 2011 to November 2012. She brings to the job experience in both academia and in the legal field.

For nearly a decade, she served in a variety of positions at Mountain State University, including faculty member, senior academic officer, vice president for advancement, chief academic officer and provost. 

In the corporate world, she served as a partner at Assessment by Design LLC, a consulting firm specializing in the development and implementation of comprehensive assessment strategies for academic and co-curricular programs in higher education, as an attorney at the Wooton Law Firm and as an associate attorney at Brown & Levicoff PLLC.

Her appointment came as Florida Memorial is getting set for its annual homecoming celebration. Rapper/DJ Doug E Fresh and Grammy award-winning recording artist Melanie Fiona will headline a step show and concert starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the A. Chester Robinson Athletic Center on the university campus, 15800 NW 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens.

The duo will be joined by Rico Love, a hip-hop producer who lives in Miami and is a singer, rapper and artist in his own right. Accompanying Love will be a trio of female DJs called “Addicted to Love.” They are DJ Miss Saigon, DJ Mia and DJ Syn City.

The program will begin with a step show competition featuring teams from the Divine 9 fraternal organizations and other community groups. Tickets are $35 each and may be purchased at the FMU Bursar’s Office.

For more information, call Florida Memorial University Alumni Affairs at 305- 626-3658.