Howard University has created the post of executive vice president to supervise day-to-day operations while President James E. Cheek concentrates more on "external relations," including fund raising, the university has announced.

The new executive president will be Dr. Carlton P. Alexis, 58, the vice president for health affairs since 1969.

Cheek, 54, who has been Howard's president for 18 years, said he created the post to carry out recommendations by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits the university, and by Arthur D. Little & Co., which conducted a management study.

Howard officials refused to give any details about the management study, including when it was conducted.

Cheek said the executive vice president will "function as the chief operating officer responsible for supervising the day-to-day operations of the university." He said Alexis will function "as the senior executive officer . . . and {university} spokesman in lieu of the president as circumstances warrant." All other university vice presidents will report to Cheek through Alexis, his statement said.

Roger D. Estep, the vice president for development and university relations, said the move will "free Dr. Cheek so he can do some more of the things that really need to get done, including spend some more time on fund raising."

Last year, Howard received 68.6 percent of its $382.1 million budget from the federal government. Student tuition and fees covered 18 percent of operating expenses.

In other changes, approved last week by the Howard board of trustees, the post of vice president for administration will be abolished with the retirement Dec. 31 of Owen D. Nichols, whom Cheek appointed in 1971. The post of vice president for legal affairs will be abolished with the resignation of Richard P. Thornell, who has served for three years. Cheek said he expects to hire a new general counsel to fill the university's top legal post.

Alexis, who was born in Trinidad and received a medical degree from Howard, will serve as interim vice president for health affairs until a successor is named, Cheek said. He said the university's radio station, television station and satellite telecommunications office will be supervised by Robert A. Malson, a special assistant to the president.