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Executive Leadership Appointments

University Announces Executive Leadership Appointments

Members of the Spartan Community:

I would like to express deep gratitude to Dr. Deborah Fontaine, Dr. Michael Shackleford, Mr. Marty Miller, and Dr. Leroy Hamilton, for their years of dedicated service as members of the University’s executive leadership team. NSU is a better place because of their leadership and commitment to our students. Please join me in wishing them well as they begin the next chapter of their lives.

As Norfolk State University continues its rich legacy of access and educational excellence, I am pleased to announce the appointment of four exceptionally well qualified higher education executives that will play a pivotal role in leading NSU’s future growth. Each of these seasoned executives join NSU after competing in nationwide searches. The search processes included stakeholders from across the University community, guided by nationally recognized search firms.


The new executive leadership team hires are as follows:

Dr. DoVeanna FultonUpdated Version
Dr. DoVeanna Fulton will serve as NSU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As the University’s Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Fulton will lead the transformation of NSU’s academic enterprise into a nationally recognized center for teaching excellence that advances student success, research, and community service. Dr. Fulton brings 20 years of experience as a higher education administrator and scholar to NSU. For the past 8 years, she has served as Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of History, Humanities, and Languages at the University of Houston – Downtown (UHD). The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is UHD’s largest college serving over 2,500 students and employing more than 200 faculty and staff.  

Dr. Fulton is a tested transformational leader. At UHD, she led the College’s strategic planning and successfully reorganized its administrative units, which included creating a fourth unit to support academic programs and interdisciplinary research. Dr. Fulton also increased student enrollment at UHD by spearheading the establishment of graduate and undergraduate programs, to include the Bachelor of Science Program in Health and Behavioral Sciences, the Master of Arts Program in Nonprofit Management, and the Master of Arts Program in Rhetoric and Composition. She also established the Center for Latino Studies. Dr. Fulton’s leadership at UHD yielded collaborative partnerships such as the 4 +1 program with Brazosport College, which allows Brazosport students to take graduate level coursework at UHD. She also led a delegation of UHD students, staff, and faculty on an exchange to Ghana to develop partnerships and collaborative projects with universities and healthcare organizations throughout Ghana. 

Prior to her tenure at UHD, Dr. Fulton served as the Founding Chair of the Department of Gender and Race Studies at the University of Alabama where she was also an Associate Professor for Gender and Race Studies. She also served as the Director of the University of Alabama’s African American Studies Program. Dr. Fulton has held tenured professorships at the University of Houston - Downtown, and the University of Alabama. She has also taught at Arizona State University, the University of Memphis, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and at Jimma University in Ethiopia. Dr. Fulton is a prolific writer and researcher, and has published widely in the areas of feminism and African American women’s history.

Dr. Fulton received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wayne State University. She was a CIC traveling scholar at the University of Michigan. Dr. Fulton will join the University on July 1, 2020.


Dr. Leonard BrownDr. Leonard Brown will serve as NSU’s Vice President for Student Affairs. As the University’s Chief Student Affairs Officer, Dr. Brown will have responsibility for continuing to elevate student life at NSU to deliver a fully immersive student experience that compliments the University’s academic mission.

Dr. Brown brings more than 20 years of student affairs experience to NSU. He currently serves as Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. As a member of St. Mary’s executive leadership team, Dr. Brown oversees 10 individual departments to include Residence Life, Public Safety, Health Services, and Retention and Student Success. At St. Mary’s College, Dr. Brown has led several initiatives including the development of St. Mary’s Learning through Experiential and Applied Discovery (LEAD) Curriculum, which was a joint venture with the Division of Academic Affairs.  Dr. Brown has also led retention efforts that have resulted in the establishment of a two-tiered retention committee that employed a data-driven approach, which resulted in a 95% retention rate for first year students for the fall to spring semester. Dr. Brown also chaired the Title IX Presidential Work-Group that developed the infrastructure and systems that serve as the foundation for St. Mary’s Title IX program.

Prior to his tenure at St. Mary’s, Dr. Brown served as Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Development at Dickinson College. At Dickinson, he oversaw a robust portfolio of student affairs related departments including Wellness and Health Services, Residential Education, Student Conduct, and Diversity initiatives. Dr. Brown has also held positions as Associate Dean of Students at Loyola University of Maryland, and held administrative positions for Housing and Residential Life systems at Frostburg State University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. 

Dr. Brown received his Doctor of Management from the University of Maryland University College.  He also holds a Master of Arts in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary, and a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. Dr. Brown earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dickinson College.  He will join the University on July 15, 2020.


Mr. Clifford Porter, J.D.Mr. Clifford Porter, J.D. will join NSU in the role of Vice President for University Advancement. As the University’s Chief Giving Officer, Mr. Porter will grow NSU’s private giving portfolio and lead the University’s forthcoming capital campaign.  Mr. Porter comes to NSU from Bethune-Cookman University where he has served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement since 2017. During his tenure at Bethune-Cookman, Mr. Porter has secured more than $12 million dollars through a diversified portfolio of fundraising strategies.

Prior to joining Bethune-Cookman University, Mr. Porter served in several roles at Albany State University including Executive Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff and Vice President for Institutional Advancement.  In these roles, he served as a strategist and advisor to the University President on matters related to alumni engagement, external relations, government relations, media relations, and private giving. During his time at Albany State, he successfully secured more than $20 million dollars in state and federal funding to support university operations and $35 million in private giving to support the construction of student housing and a new Student Center on campus.    

Over the course of his career, Mr. Porter has secured over $100 million dollars through alumni engagement, fundraising efforts, legislative activity, and community support.  Additionally, he has built key relationships with external agencies, organizations, and other entities that have supported the institutions he has served.  Mr. Porter has demonstrated a high acumen in developing the systems that foster positive fundraising efforts such as donor recognition, mass mailing systems, and prospect development.  Mr. Porter received his Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Albany State University.  He will join the University on July 10, 2020.


Ms. Melody WebbMs. Melody Webb has been appointed to the position of University Athletics Director.  Ms. Webb will lead Spartan Athletics to excellence both on and off the field of competition while also increasing NSU’s visibility and competiveness. Ms. Webb is no stranger to the University. Since 2014, she has held the position of Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Women’s Administrator at NSU. In this role, she serves as the deputy to the Athletics Director, and is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Department of Athletics.  Ms. Webb is also responsible for managing revenue generation, fundraising, and development efforts for the

Department, and oversees procurement, human resources, and facility operations. Additionally, Ms. Webb serves as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics and works strategically with the Office of Institutional Equity to ensure Title IX compliance. 

Prior to joining NSU, Ms. Webb served as the Associate Commissioner for Business Operations for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). In this role, she provided leadership and oversight for financial administration for the Conference, which included expenditure analysis, human resources functions, and event management.  From 2010 to 2012, Ms. Webb served as the Assistant Athletics Director for Budget and Finance at George Washington University.  At George Washington, she was responsible for administrative oversight of a $22 million budget.  Ms. Webb was the Athletics Business Manager for the Department of Athletics at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2006-2012.  In this role, she assisted with the financial management of a $55 million budget and oversaw the administrative operations for athletic financial affairs, purchasing, and accounts. From 2004 -2006, Ms. Webb served as the Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator for Elizabeth City State University.  At Elizabeth City, she provided fiscal management and operational oversight of all aspects of the intercollegiate athletics and sports programs.

Ms. Webb is an exceptional administrator and is well respected within the field of intercollegiate athletics and is highly involved and engaged in professional associations including the National Association of Athletic Development Directors, and Women Leaders in College Sports. As a former student athlete at Savannah State University and Head Volleyball Coach at Bowie State University, Ms. Webb understands intercollegiate athletics at every level.

Ms. Webb received her Bachelor in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Savannah State University.  She received a Master of Public Administration with a focus in Public Policy and Management from Bowie State University.  Ms. Webb is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education from the United States Sports Academy.  She will complete the doctorate in December 2020.  Ms. Webb will assume her duties as Athletics Director on July 1, 2020.