Dr. Burney J. Hollis, Jr., is a retired Professor of English and Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts at Morgan State University. A native of Maryland's Eastern Shore; a 1968 summa cum laude graduate of Morgan State College; and a former Fulbright Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Ford Foundation Fellow and William Fontaine Doctoral Fellow; he earned the M. A. and Ph.D. degrees in English at the University of Pennsylvania, where he wrote his dissertation on the life and writings of his former Morgan professor, Dr. Waters Edward Turpin.
Dr. Hollis joined the faculty at Morgan in 1970 and rose from the rank of Assistant Professor to Professor by 1983. In addition to being an award-winning teacher, he was also devoted to research and scholarship. As one of the founding members of the Middle-Atlantic Writers Association, Inc., and Founding Editor of the Middle-Atlantic Writers Association Review, which he has edited for nearly 40 years, Dr. Hollis established himself as a widely-published scholar on African-American literature and one of the nation's leading authorities on Maryland authors Waters E. Turpin and Sarah Elizabeth Wright.
During his 48-year tenure at Morgan, Dr. Hollis served in a number of key academic administrative positions: Director of the Honors Program (1973-76); acting Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1979-80), Chair of the Department of English (1980-87), acting Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (1987-88), Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1988-1998), and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts (1998-2010). When appointed dean in 1988, at 42, Dr. Hollis was arguably one of the youngest deans in Morgan's history.
In addition to his administrative leadership, Professor Hollis chaired the Commencement Committee for nearly 20 years, chaired the Convocation Committee for 25 years, chaired Morgan's 125th Anniversary Celebration, chaired the Committee for the Inauguration of President David Wilson in 2010, and chaired Morgan's Sesquicentennial Celebration, which included nearly 80 events.
After returning to the classroom in 2011, Dr. Hollis retired from Morgan on January 1, 2019.