23 May 2023

SAU Appoints Ricardo Phipps, Ph.D. as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) has named Dr. Ricardo Phipps, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective June 1, 2023, after an extensive and inclusive national search. As SAU’s chief academic officer, Dr. Phipps will report to SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail and collaborate with the university’s executive leadership, school deans, and other units in all academic affairs.

Dr. Phipps comes to SAU to serve as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs after most recently serving as Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Stevenson University in Owings Mills, MD. Dr. Phipps is highly experienced in new program development, having recently spearheaded the development of a proposal for a new master’s program in counseling at Stevenson University. His experience with accreditation has included support of reaffirmation of accreditation of master’s counseling programs at institutions where he has served. Dr. Phipps has also had great success in building community partnerships for internships and other experiential learning opportunities, particularly securing clinical placements for students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he managed to increase the number of viable placements by 17%, with a 100% placement rate for students.  

“Dr. Phipps is widely respected in his field and brings a wealth of academic and real-world experience to the university,” said SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail. “His leadership will further our institution’s mission to provide our students with the highest quality of education and prepare them for success in their future careers. We are honored to have him join our community.”

Before serving at Stevenson University, Dr. Phipps held faculty positions as Associate Professor of Psychology, Counseling, and Behavioral Health at Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD, where he also served as Department Chair. Before he arrived at Coppin State University, Dr. Phipps served as Director of Clinical Training and Assistant Professor of Counseling at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington, DC. Before coming to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Phipps served as Assistant Professor of Counseling at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA.

“I am honored to be welcomed into the SAU family by President McPhail and the rest of the campus community,” said Dr. Phipps. “I am excited about continuing to learn about the institution’s rich history of excellence and empowerment. We will build upon this foundation to maintain strong momentum in fostering students ready to take on the 21st-century workforce and are prepared to be transformational leaders and advocate for justice in the global community. And coming to SAU as an HBCU feels like coming home.”

Dr. Phipps’ research interests include intergenerational transmission of trauma, immigrant trauma, integration of spirituality and religion in counseling, and stigma reduction. He has authored various peer-reviewed articles and book chapters around these research areas, most recently authoring a book chapter entitled “I Got Your Back: Increasing Engagement for African American Students at College Counseling Centers” (2023).

Dr. Phipps received a B.A. in Mathematics and History from Rice University in Houston, TX, an M.Div. from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, LA, and an M.S. Guidance and Counseling from Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. He also enrolled in the Ph.D. Counseling Psychology program at Howard University in Washington, DC, before completing his doctoral degree at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Phipps’ disciplinary background is in Counselor Education. He earned a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Mississippi.

In addition to his faculty experience, Dr. Phipps has many years of experience as a licensed professional counselor, having served in community mental health, college counseling, and private practice settings. Dr. Phipps is also a Catholic priest, ordained for the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, MS. He has served as Pastor of several parishes in central and north Mississippi. Other higher education experiences include serving as Assistant Director of Student Counseling Services at Marymount University in Arlington, VA, and working as Part-Time Counselor at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. In addition, Dr. Phipps also served as Part-Time Counselor at Cheyney University in Cheyney, PA.

Dr. Phipps is a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, the Maryland Counseling Association, and the Maryland Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (served as President 2021-2022). Dr. Phipps is a 2023 Community Fellow in the HBCU Executive Leadership Institute sponsored by Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA.