Fisk Alumnus Maurice D. Edington Named the 10th President of the University of the District of Columbia

Washington, D.C.–  Maurice D. Edington, Ph.D., an accomplished scientist, educator, and university administrator with a proven track record of success in improving student retention and graduation rates, has been named the 10th president of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC).

The University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Edington as president during the Board’s regular meeting of the Board of Trustees on June 8.

He succeeds Ronald Mason Jr., J.D., the University’s longest-serving president, who announced that he would be stepping down as President in July 2022. Mason will end his tenure on July 31, 2023, but will remain a faculty member at the David A. Clarke School of Law, ensuring a seamless leadership transition.

Edington will take the helm on August 1, bringing more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience to UDC—an HBCU, the only public university in the nation’s capital, and the only exclusively urban land-grant university in the United States.

He most recently served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Florida A&M University (FAMU), where he guided strategy for vice presidents and other senior administrators to improve institutional outcomes on key performance indicators and sustain operational excellence.

Edington’s tenure at FAMU includes roles as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, where he oversaw academic programs, activities, and services for 14 colleges/schools, and all institutional and specialized accreditation activities. He also served as Vice President for Strategic Planning, Analysis, and Institutional Effectiveness, where he was responsible for overseeing the University’s assessment, accreditation, academic program quality, institutional research, reporting, and strategic planning functions.

He previously served as the founding Dean of the FAMU College of Science and Technology. Edington’s administrative experiences include serving as the Director of the FAMU Quality Enhancement Program (QEP), Chair of the FAMU Department of Chemistry, and Director of the FAMU Office of Engineering and Science Support.

Edington is a physical chemist by training with a research specialty in ultrafast laser spectroscopy. He conducts research and provides training to faculty in STEM education, focusing on using active learning instructional strategies to enhance critical thinking skills.

Under Edington’s leadership, FAMU increased student success outcomes, launched several new degree programs, and experienced its highest performance in 2021 and 2023 on Florida’s Performance-Based Funding Model.

He provided leadership in developing the strategy and vision that resulted in FAMU’s elevation in the U.S. News & World Report rankings for national public universities from 123 to 103 and the first-place ranking for public HBCUs for the past four consecutive years. He spearheaded considerable progress in increasing grant awards by 100 percent, boosting enrollment of first-time college students by 13 percent, and increasing graduate enrollment by 10 percent. Further, as an accomplished researcher, Edington helped secure over $12 million in research funding from various federal and state agencies.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be selected as the next president of the University of the District of Columbia,” Edington said. “The UDC mission aligns perfectly with my personal passion and commitment to serve students, transform lives and uplift communities. The University has made tremendous progress under the leadership of President Ronald Mason, and I look forward to working with the Board, University community, district government, and external stakeholders to enhance UDC’s status as the nation’s only exclusively urban land-grant university. Areas of focus will include increasing student success, increasing support for faculty, expanding academic program offerings, increasing research productivity, enrollment and degree production, fundraising, external relations, and economic development. My vision is that UDC will be recognized as a leading HBCU, a first-choice institution for students, a top destination for employers and funding agencies, and an economic driver for the district and surrounding areas.”

Edington’s presidential appointment results from an extensive seven-month search, guided by the Board of Trustees-appointed Presidential Search Committee and assisted by the executive search firm Greenwood Asher & Associates Executive Search. The UDC community engaged in this process through listening sessions and opportunities to provide input and feedback, including recommending potential candidates. The top finalists visited the UDC campuses in May for stakeholder meetings and public, University-wide town halls, where they presented their vision and engaged with members of the UDC community.

“We are excited to have someone of President-Elect Edington’s caliber to continue UDC’s trajectory of educational excellence, enrollment enhancement and expanded research opportunities,” said Board of Trustees Chair Christopher D. Bell, Esq. “Dr. Edington’s academic and leadership acumen, fundraising abilities, and passion for supporting students and faculty make him uniquely qualified to guide the University of the District of Columbia to the next level. He will inherit an exceptional foundation that will grow the University into an even greater, more successful educational environment that will have a lasting impact on students, faculty, staff and the greater District community. He possesses the qualifications and expertise to advance UDC as the only public institution of higher learning in and for the nation’s capital. He will join the University on the tailwind of several successful accreditation reviews of our academic programs and the conclusion of a comprehensive strategic planning process culminating in an update of the current strategic plan. Edington’s strong spirit and structure for collaboration and proven success will be instrumental in achieving UDC’s goals as we strengthen and expand the Firebird family.”

“We know that a vibrant and successful UDC is essential to the District’s comeback and our city’s long-term strength,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “As we continue our work to make UDC the first choice two-year and four-year institution for DC’s best and brightest, we are excited to welcome Dr. Edington as the university’s next leader. His remarkable story is one of true perseverance, and one that so many Firebirds can identify with. We look forward to welcoming him to Washington, DC and working together to strengthen pathways for UDC students while expanding the partnership between UDC and our K-12 education system. I also want to thank President Mason for his steadfast and visionary leadership. Thanks to his tireless efforts, including leading the school through a global pandemic, thousands of DC residents have gotten their fair shot right here in our hometown at UDC.”

Edington received his B.A. in chemistry from Fisk University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Vanderbilt University. He completed his postdoctoral studies at Duke University, where he was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow.

He is married to Tonya Edington and is the father of Gabriella Edington, M.D.