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Provost Bio

Provost Makola M. Abdullah

Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D, is the Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU). As Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Abdullah oversees all academic and  research programs at the institution.

Prior to his appointment at Bethune-Cookman University, Dr. Abdullah served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florida Memorial University (FMU). At FMU, Dr. Abdullah had several important accomplishments. He oversaw successful reaffirmation of accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in addition to discipline specific accreditations in Social Work, Music (NASM) and the Computer and Technology Programs (ABET). He placed an increased emphasis on research and sponsored program funding that resulted in a 50% increase in both the number of proposals submitted and proposed funding. This increased emphasis also led to the awarding of the largest competitive grant award in FMU history. Dr. Abdullah reorganized the unit formerly known as the Department of Freshmen Studies into The Centers for Academic Support and Retention. The Centers were charged with providing intrusive interventions and working from data driven assessment to give students the best chance at success.. He also assisted in securing over $300,000 for scholarships and support for the first Airplane for the Aviation programs.

Prior to his FMU appointment, Dr. Abdullah enjoyed a distinguished 15-year tenure at Florida A&M University where he most recently served as the Dean and Director of 1890 Land Grant Programs in the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture. Under his leadership, the college increased its overall enrollment by 20%, increased external research dollars to fund research and academic programs by 10% to $9.5 million and made the college the leader at FAMU for faculty/staff contributions to the endowment. He also started the CESTA Scholars program to provide more meaningful opportunities for students to be involved in the research and extension programs at FAMU. Dr. Abdullah also served as the Associate Vice-President for Research and had direct responsibility for the legislative priorities for the institution. During his tenure as the Associate Vice President for Research, research expenditures at FAMU exceeded $50 million dollars.

An internationally renowned researcher and educator, Abdullah has been recognized for his outstanding research and funding. Throughout his career, he has been committed to increasing the number of African-Americans in the professional fields of science, mathematics and engineering. His record of success includes graduating four Ph.D.s and six M.S. scholars in addition to publishing over 25 technical publications in research areas related to Earthquake and Wind Engineering. His work has been funded by NSF, NASA, Boeing, FEMA and others. He is a former NSF CAREER Awardee. 

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Abdullah received his B.S. from Howard University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Upon graduation from Northwestern University, he was recognized as the youngest African American to ever receive a Ph. D. in engineering. Dr. Abdullah is a strong advocate of historically black colleges and universities and other land-grant institutions.

He is the husband of Ahkinyala Abdullah. They are the parents of one son, Mikaili, and one daughter, Sefiyetu.

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