JACKSONVILLE, FL. (March 23, 2022)Having garnered a superlative record of stellar performance as a distinguished higher education leader and senior administrator, Dr. Sharron T. Burnett has accepted an appointment by Edward Waters University (EWU) President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., as the university’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Dr. Burnett’s tenure at EWU became effective as of March 8, 2022 where she serves as an integral lead member of the President’s Executive Cabinet and the University’s senior administrative team.

Reporting directly to the President & CEO, Dr. Burnett maintains primary responsibility for aiding the President in ensuring maximization of the administrative and operational performance of the university. She will deliver focused leadership on behalf of the President by providing support and direction for the heightened effectiveness of a varied portfolio of university administrative and operational areas including but not limited to the university’s finance, human resources, enrollment management, advancement/development, athletics, strategic planning, and student success and engagement functions. In addition, Dr. Burnett will also lead in bringing greater administrative coordination and refinement to the optimization of organizational processes that are responsive to the needs of the university’s individual internal and external stakeholders as well as its collective units and departments.

“We endeavored to find a vanguard higher educational administrator who possessed a broad array of outcomes based senior level experiences throughout multiple facets of the academy and Dr. Burnett emerged as precisely the kind and caliber of leader for which we were searching,” said EWU President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr.

Towards that end, and under the leadership of President Faison, Dr. Burnett will work in direct partnership with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer (CAO) as the President & CEO’s designated primary co-administrative leads in catalyzing collaborative efforts towards achieving optimal organizational excellence among academic, operational and administrative areas of the university. Further, Dr. Burnett will lead in fostering continuous improvement, supporting a strategic budget model that fosters entrepreneurial and collaborative actions, and implementing a long-term financial plan to provide strong and sustainable resources to finance heightened academic and operational excellence and address university priorities. She will also be succinctly focused upon expanding institutional efforts towards sustaining a dedicated and talented workforce, providing best-in-class technology, enhancing the student living/learning and employee working environment, and leading an expanded acculturation of personal and professional responsibility throughout the university community. 

“I am ecstatic to welcome Dr. Burnett to Edward Waters University and am brimming with anticipation concerning her forthcoming contributions to EWU in support of our transformative and continuous ascendancy as the State of Florida’s “Destination Institution” of Emerging Eminence” President Faison said.  

As an accomplished senior administrator with an impressive higher education career spanning nearly 30 years, Dr. Burnett has served in executive leadership capacities at a multiplicity of colleges and universities from throughout the country including institutions in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. She has twice before served in the role of an Executive Vice President having formerly held the post at both Lane College (LC) and Tuskegee University (TU) where she also dually served as the university’s Chief Financial Officer. Dr. Burnett also previously served as Vice President for Fiscal and Administrative Affairs at Langston University (LU) as well as Assistant Vice President for Administration and Finance at Meharry Medical College. Having held interim Vice-Presidential appointments in student affairs and institutional advancement/development she has provided executive oversight of accounting, budgeting, human resources, business office services, physical plant services, bookstore, student activities/services, housing, sponsored programs, advancement, development and alumni affairs.

“I am truly inspired by President Faison’s remarkable and transformative vision for the future as well as the recent remarkable progress achieved by Edward Waters University under his dynamic and distinguished leadership,” said Dr. Burnett. “It is equally thrilling to have the opportunity to serve in partnership with an exceptional and thriving community of Edward Waters’ administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni in support of the outstanding students at EWU,” said Burnett.

Throughout her almost three decades of higher education leadership and experience, Dr. Burnett has served on several college/university standing committees including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) steering committee and chair of the advisory council; SACSCOC committee on institutional capacity; SACSCOC committee on institutional mission and governance; chair of the SACSCOC committee on financial and fiscal resources; quality enhancement plan (QEP) leadership team; board committee on financial affairs; and multiple experiences as a SACSCOC evaluator.

Dr. Burnett earned licensure as a certified public accountant (CPA) from the State of Tennessee; a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Business Administration with an Accounting Concentration from Lane College; a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Tennessee at Martin; and holds a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) degree from the University of Memphis. She is an active member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and a proud initiate of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.


Edward Waters University (EWU), is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and is also a member institution of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The university is a Christian, Historically Black, urban liberal arts institution that offers quality academic programs. The University strives to prepare students holistically to advance in a global society through the provision of intellectually stimulating programs, and an environment that emphasizes high moral and spiritual values in keeping with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Edward Waters University seeks to develop excellence in scholarship, research and service for the betterment of humanity. Founded in 1866, it is the first private and independent institution of higher education and first historically black college or university in the State of Florida.