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President Obama Names NCCU Law Dean to Advisory Board

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Atty. Phyliss Craig-Taylor
Dr. Lillian Lowery
Published: Friday, May 27, 2016

North Carolina Central University Law School Dean Phyliss Craig-Taylor has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The White House announced several key administration postings on May 25, including two with ties to NCCU: Craig-Taylor, J.D., LL.M., and NCCU alumna Lillian Lowery, Ph.D., chief executive officer of FutureReady Columbus.

“I look forward to working with the other members on the advisory board to address the challenges of HBCUs across the country,” said Phylis Craig-Taylor. "I especially appreciate the President’s recognition of the importance of HBCUs and NCCU in educating students of color. This appointment is truly an honor as the advisory board on HBCUs is a critical part of the President’s agenda in providing the opportunity to attain a quality higher education for all students."

Craig-Taylor accepted the deanship of the NCCU School of Law in June 2012. She earned her undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from the University of Alabama and a Master of Laws degree from Columbia University.

After working in private practice for several years, she entered higher education, serving on NCCU’s law school faculty from 2000 to 2006. She has served as a professor at the University of Tennessee and University of Florida law schools. Craig-Taylor is a member of Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Justice for the American Bar Association and served on the North Carolina Commission for the Administration of Law and Justice.

“The President’s nomination of Dean Craig-Taylor to his Board of Advisors on HBCUs is an honor that reflects the high level of knowledge and integrity she brings to her profession and to her position at NCCU’s School of Law,” said Chancellor Debra Saunders-White. “The entire university community is delighted. We have no doubt that she will represent NCCU well and provide valuable observations and insights as a member of the President’s board of advisors.”

Lowery, who earned a bachelor’s degree at NCCU, leads FutureReady Columbus, an economic development organization in Columbus, Ohio, a position she assumed in September 2015. She was a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans from 2014 to 2015 and superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education from 2012 to 2015.

Lowery began her career as a middle school teacher in the North Carolina Public Schools, where she worked from 1978 to 1984. She holds an M.A. from the University of North Carolina and an Ed.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

“I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for their service,” the President said in a news release. “I look forward to working with them.”

A third member named by Obama to the Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities was Marian Wright Edelman, LL.B, president of the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.


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