Franklyn G. Jenifer Joins Fairleigh Dickinson University Board of Trustees

Franklyn G. Jenifer, a nationally respected leader in the field of higher education and President Emeritus of the University of Texas at Dallas, has been elected to the FDU Board of Trustees for a three-year term. 

“We look forward to Franklyn Jenifer’s contributions to the Board of Trustees,” said FDU President J. Michael Adams. “Dr. Jenifer is a leader in the field of higher education whose skills will be a great asset to the board.” 

Dr. Jenifer has served as the chief executive of public, private and statewide institutions, leaving a legacy of enhanced academic strength and integrity at each university. Before serving for over a decade at U.T. Dallas, Franklyn Jenifer was president of prestigious Howard University in Washington, D.C.  He was the first Howard alumnus to serve in the capacity.  

Dr. Jenifer joined Howard after serving as chancellor of the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education, where he had responsibility for 27 public colleges and universities with a total enrollment of approximately 180,000 students.  “Excellence” and “access” became the system’s watchwords during his tenure.  Dr. Jenifer previously had served as vice chancellor of the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, a system encompassing 32 public higher education institutions with an enrollment of nearly a quarter-million students. 

Before that, he served as associate provost at Rutgers University’s Newark campus and, indeed, it was at Rutgers that Dr. Jenifer began his career in academia.  He started as an assistant professor of biology at the Livingston College campus in New Brunswick in 1970, becoming an associate professor the following year, and a full professor in 1976.  He also served as chairperson of the biology department and as chairperson of the university senate.

Dr. Jenifer’s background is rooted in scientific research.  He received his Ph.D. in plant virology from the University of Maryland in 1970. He worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pioneering Laboratory in Plant Virology in Beltsville, Md.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1962, and his Master of Science degree in 1965, both in microbiology from Howard University.

Through the years, he has been a member of many distinguished educational, scientific, civic and corporate organizations.

Dr. Jenifer’s contributions to society have brought him numerous honors and awards.  Among them are honorary degrees from Babson College, Boston College, Mount Holyoke College, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Bowdoin College, Kean College of New Jersey, Wheelock College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Essex County (N.J.) Community College. Also, he was named “Man of the Year” by the Dallas Historical Society and was honored with the “Distinguished Alumnus Award” from the University of Maryland.

His publications range from articles in scientific journals on plant viruses to newspaper commentaries on such topics as Afrocentricity; residential schools for at-risk youngsters; black entrepreneurship; “political correctness;” the academic preparation of student athletes; the enduring value of predominantly black colleges and universities; the aftermath of the Rodney King incident; and UTD poised to become research power.

Dr. Jenifer and his wife, Alfleda, have three adult children.




For Immediate Release

FDU Public Relations
   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper
Director, University Public Relations

Melissa Payton

FDU Public Relations
   (College at Florham Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

Scott Giglio
Assistant Director, Public Relations