Black Scholars With the Most Citations in Social Science Journals in 2005

As we have done since 1993, JBHE recently conducted a database search of ISI’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Index for the citation counts of dozens of black scholars in this discipline. In each of the past 11 surveys JBHE conducted on black scholars in the social sciences, we determined that the leader in rankings was Professor William Julius Wilson, the sociologist formerly at the University of Chicago who is now University Professor at Harvard University. The result this year is unchanged. Once more, the citation count leader is Professor Wilson with a total of 306 citations in academic journals. Professor Wilson’s citation count increased by 24 from the previous year’s count.

The biggest gainer on our list of black scholars in the social sciences was David R. Williams, the Harold W. Cruse Collegiate Professor of Sociology and a professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Dr. Williams has conducted groundbreaking research on the determining factors producing racial disparities in health care. Williams had 283 citations in this year’s count, which placed him second among black scholars in the social sciences. The number of citations to Professor Williams’ work nearly doubled from a year ago.


The Racial Scoring Gap on Advanced Placement Tests

The recent increase in black participation in the AP program which JBHE reported last week is encouraging. But even better news is that of the 80,444 AP exams taken by black students in 2005, 22,376 test takers received scores of 3 or above which qualifies them for college credits. It is encouraging that such a large number of black high school students are achieving success in college-level courses.

However, black students’ performance on AP tests still remains far below that of white students.And with a greater pool of black students taking AP examinations in recent years, the racial scoring gap on AP tests has increased.

Nationwide the mean AP score for white students was 2.98; for blacks it was 1.99. This means that the average black score is almost a full letter grade below the average white score. This gap has widened slightly in the past several years.

In 2005, 63.4 percent of the 984,405 white students who took AP exams received a qualifying grade of 3 or above, compared to 27.8 percent of black students. Thus, whites were more than twice as likely as blacks to receive a qualifying grade. Over the past year, the percentage of all black test takers receiving qualifying grades dropped from 29.2 percent to 27.8 percent.

At the very highest level of AP test scores, the black-white scoring gap is even greater. Some 13.5 percent of white test takers received a score of 5, equivalent to a college grade of A. Only 3.0 percent of black test takers received a score of 5.

Blacks, who took 5.2 percent of all AP tests, made up only 2.4 percent of all students who became eligible for college credit and only 1.2 percent of all students with the highest score of 5.


“Those responsible for law school admissions and accreditation practices have created a de facto and racially discriminatory quota system that restricts African-American access to the legal profession.”

John Nussbaumer, associate dean of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan, commenting on what he believes is an overreliance on standardized test scores in the law school admissions process, writing in the St. John’s Law Review, March 2006.


University of Colorado Faces a Conundrum in How to Increase Racial Diversity on Campus

Over the past year the University of Colorado at Boulder has been plagued with a series of racial incidents. Currently blacks make up only 1.6 percent of the student body on the Boulder campus. The university hopes that increasing the number of black students on campus will create an atmosphere in which blacks are more comfortable.

But the demographics of the state of Colorado, coupled with the selective admissions requirements of the university, make it extremely difficult for the institution to significantly increase the number of blacks in its student body. In 2005, in the entire state of Colorado, there were only 289 African-American high school seniors who had achieved the necessary qualifications for admission to the University of Colorado. Of these, only 120 black students applied to the university and only 41 eventually enrolled. Improving the public school system to increase the number of black students who qualify for admission is a long-term process.

With out-of-state tuition currently pegged at $21,000, very few black students from outside the state apply to the University of Colorado. This year blacks make up about 1 percent of the nearly 8,800 out-of-state students on the Boulder campus. In order to attract more black students from out of state, the university would be obligated to significantly increase scholarship money for these students, an effort that would not be popular with in-state taxpayers.

The only other alternative would be to lower admissions standards to the university, an alternative that is not popular with most segments of the campus community. 


Grinnell College Honors Its First Black Graduate

Hannibal B. Kershaw originally enrolled at the University of South Carolina, the only flagship state university in the southern states that accepted black students during the Reconstruction period. But when his favorite professor left to take a teaching post at what was then Iowa College, Kershaw went with him. In 1879 Kershaw became the first black graduate of what is now Grinnell College.

After graduation he returned to South Carolina to start a teaching career. He fell into alcoholism and ill health and died only four years after his college graduation.

Last week Grinnell College renamed a residence hall on campus in honor of Kershaw.


Huge Surge in Applications From Blacks at the University of Georgia

Blacks are nearly 30 percent of the population in the state of Georgia. Yet only 5 percent of the students at the state’s flagship university in Athens are black.

But intensified recruiting efforts are showing signs of progress. More than 10 percent of the applicants to the University of Georgia this year are black. The university reports that it received more than 1,600 applications from blacks this year. This is a whopping 38 percent increase from a year ago. Overall applications to the university were up 28 percent, due in large part to a new early action admissions program. 


Allen University Drops Football

Allen University, the historically black educational institution in Columbia, South Carolina, has decided to discontinue its football program and use the money saved for academic purposes. The college has been spending about $1.4 million annually on its football program. In 2005 total revenues generated from football were $30,000.

University president Charles E. Young admitted that discontinuing the football program was a difficult one, but he noted, “The National Football League does not come here to recruit. But the FBI, BellSouth, Merrill Lynch, and other corporations are coming here to recruit.” He added, “With that football money, I could do so much.” 


In Memoriam

Manuel H. Pierson (1930-2006)

Manuel H. Pierson, a longtime college professor and administrator, died from kidney and liver failure late last month at a hospital in Detroit. He was 75 years old.

Pierson served as an administrator at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan, for 28 years. During his tenure he served as dean of student services, a role in which he developed several programs to increase racial diversity on campus. He also established a program of higher education for prison inmates in Michigan.

Pierson, who retired in 1993, was a graduate of Alabama State University. He held a master’s degree from Western Michigan University and a doctorate from Wayne State University.


Gerald Jackson was named executive director of the Male Development and Empowerment Center at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, a division of the City University of New York. Jackson was a professor of Africana studies at Cornell University. He is the author of the book We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore: Educational and Psychological Practices From an Africentric Paradigm of Helping. Professor Jackson is a graduate of Howard University. He holds a master’s degree in educational counseling from the University of Maine and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Rutgers University.

Kofi Lomotey was named executive vice president and provost at Fisk University in Nashville. The author of more than 20 books, Dr. Lomotey stepped down as president of Fort Valley State University in 2005. A graduate of Oberlin College, Lomotey holds two master’s degrees, one from Stanford University and the other from Cleveland State University. He also earned an educational doctorate from Stanford University.

Don Wycliff was appointed associate vice president for news and information at the University of Notre Dame. An alumnus of the university, Wycliff was the public editor at the Chicago Tribune.

Stephen Watson was named associate vice president for information services, instructional and information technology at Morehouse College in Atlanta. A 1986 graduate of Morehouse with a degree in mathematics and computer science, Watson has spent two decades in the corporate world including stints at GE Aircraft Engines, Northrop Grumman, and AOL Time Warner.

Colleges and Universities With the Nation’s Highest Black Student Graduation Rates

The latest data from the Department of Education states that Harvard University now has the highest graduation rates for black students. This year Harvard’s black student graduation rate has increased from 93 percent to 95 percent. Amherst College, a small liberal arts college in western Massachusetts, currently has a black student graduation rate of 94 percent, the second highest in the nation. Last year Amherst had bested Harvard by two percentage points. Princeton University ranks third in the nation with a black student graduation rate of 93 percent. Six other highly ranked colleges and universities in the United States posted a black student graduation rate of 90 percent or above. They are Wellesley College, Washington University, Brown University, Northwestern University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.

Eleven other high-ranking institutions have a black student graduation above 85 percent. They are Stanford University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, Davidson College, Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Smith College, Swarthmore College, the University of Virginia, and Wake Forest University.



Drop in Dental School Enrollments at Public Universities Where Affirmative Action in Admissions Has Been Banned

As reported in last week’s JBHE Weekly Bulletin, nationwide black enrollments in dental schools in the United States are up more than 30 percent over the past five years. But there has been a noticeable drop in black enrollments at publicly operated dental schools in states that have banned affirmative action in their admissions programs. At state-operated dental schools in Florida, California, and Washington, enrollments of black students are down since 1995 when race-sensitive admissions were still practiced in each state.

The most dramatic decreases in black enrollments have occurred at the University of Florida and UCLA. In 1995 there were 21 black students enrolled at the dental school at the University of Florida. In 2006 this figure has dropped to nine. This is a reduction of 52 percent. At UCLA, there were 12 students enrolled in the dental school in 1995 prior to the ban on race-sensitive admissions. The latest figures show that there are four blacks enrolled at the UCLA dental school. This is a decrease of two thirds since 1995.


Number of Blacks Applying to Berkeley Up Sharply

Overall applications to the University of California at Berkeley were up nearly 11 percent this year. But the number of blacks applying to Berkeley rose from 1,424 to 1,694, an increase of 19 percent.

University officials say that concentrated outreach and recruiting efforts directed toward black and other minority students have resulted in an increased number of applications from targeted groups. A larger admissions staff at Berkeley is visiting more high schools in minority areas and attending college fairs throughout California.


The First Black Editor in Chief of the California Law Review

The latest data from the American Bar Association reports that there are 46 black students at the Boalt Hall law school at the University of California at Berkeley. They make up 5.2 percent of all students at this prestigious law school.

A black student at Boalt Hall was recently named editor in chief of the California Law Review. Robert Boone is believed to be the first African American to ever be named editor in chief of the prestigious law journal. Boone is one of three African Americans on the 50-member editorial board of the review.


University of Kentucky Takes Steps to Recruit More Black Students

This past fall 151 black first-year students enrolled at the University of Kentucky. This enrollment figure was down a whopping 41 percent from the fall of 2004.

Now the University of Kentucky is taking steps to avoid a second bad year in recruiting black students. Six new admissions officers were hired. Three of the new hires are African Americans. The university is adding $500,000 to the Parker Scholarship program that was created to increase racial diversity on campus. A mentoring program has been established where current African-American students at the university are assigned black high school students to help them with all aspects of the admissions process.


Blacks Are Being Pushed Down Into Second-Tier Law Schools in Florida

Under Jeb Bush’s One Florida plan, state-operated universities and graduate schools are not permitted to use race as a factor in admissions decisions. Since the plan went into effect four years ago, the black percentage of all law school students at state-operated schools in Florida has increased from 11.1 percent to 12.3 percent. Overall there are 153 more black students in law school in Florida than in 1999.

But these statistics are highly misleading. One of the main reasons for the increase in black students at state-operated law schools is the opening in 2002 of the law school at Florida A&M University, a historically black educational institution. Today 44 percent of all enrollments at the school are black.

As might be expected, black enrollments have plummeted at the state’s two most prestigious public law schools. Black enrollments at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida at Gainesville are down by nearly 50 percent since 2001. Blacks now make up 6.9 percent of the students at the law school.

At the Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, black enrollments have dropped by one third since 2001. Blacks are now 5.5 percent of the students at the Florida State law school.

61%  The black student graduation rate at the University of Texas at Austin.

31%  The college graduation rate for black players on the national championship football team at the University of Texas at Austin.

source: National Collegiate Athletic Association


Déjà Vu! George Wallace Running for High State Office in Alabama

More than four decades ago George Corley Wallace vowed to hold the line on racial integration. In his January 1963 inaugural address as governor of Alabama, Wallace promised, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” But only a few months later Wallace was forced to make a symbolic “stand in the schoolhouse door” and then step aside as federal marshals escorted two black students into the registration hall at the University of Alabama.

Now George Wallace Jr. has announced plans to run for lieutenant governor of Alabama and no one in state politics believes that he will not one day run for governor. George Wallace Jr. is a Republican but, expectedly, he is openly courting black voters. In announcing his candidacy he was flanked by Johnny Ford, the mayor of Tuskegee who is black. Wallace also pledged to use surplus funds in the state treasury to provide health care for the poor.

George Wallace Jr. has extensive ties to the academic world. He is a graduate of Huntingdon College and did graduate work in political science at Auburn University. For five years he was director of financial aid at Troy State University in Montgomery and went on to serve for an additional five years as vice president for development and alumni affairs.

He served two terms as state treasurer and then joined the faculty of the Center for Government and Public Affairs at Auburn University. He now serves as a member of the Alabama Public Service Commission.

Huge Tuition Increases Approved at the University of the District of Columbia

A few weeks ago JBHE reported that the University of the District of Columbia was considering a proposal to raise tuition by 40 percent. The increases have now been approved by the board of trustees.

Under the plan, tuition for District residents will rise from $75 per credit hour to $90 per credit hour this coming fall. An additional $15 increase will occur in the fall of 2007. Students who live outside Washington will see a tuition increase from $185 per credit hour this year to $215 per credit hour in 2007.

Graduate tuition will also rise sharply from $198 per credit hour for District residents to $225 per credit hour.

The large tuition increases will undoubtedly have a negative impact on black enrollments. Blacks make up about 81 percent of the 5,000 undergraduate students at the university.

Morehouse College Receives a Unique Gift

Morehouse College, the historically black educational institution for black men in Atlanta, received a unique gift. The Ray Charles Foundation donated to the college the late singer’s tour bus. The bus contains 35 customized seats, four televisions, and a kitchen. The college will use the bus for trips by student groups.

Before his death in 2004 Charles gave $1 million to the college. As a result, the new performing arts center at the college will be named in Charles’ honor.


University of Iowa Seeks to Boost Black Enrollments in Graduate Programs

The University of Iowa is making an all-out push to increase the number of black students in its graduate and professional programs. There are currently 169 black students enrolled in graduate education programs at the Iowa City campus, up 19 percent from 2000. In 2005 the university enrolled 25 new black or Latino graduate students in mathematics or science-related graduate programs.

One area where black enrollments have lagged is at the law school. Today there are 31 black students at the University of Iowa College of Law. They make up 4.7 percent of the total enrollments. The number of black students at the law school is down 25 percent from 2000.

But in view of the fact that blacks are only 2 percent of the population in Iowa, the law school’s level of black enrollment is admirable. But the administration and the Black Law Students Association are joining forces to attract more African-American students. Students travel to meet with black students at pre-law programs at universities in nearby states. And efforts are also being made to recruit students from historically black colleges and universities.



Josephine Boyd Bradley, a professor of African-American studies at Clark Atlanta University, will be presented with the key to the city of Greensboro, North Carolina, at a ceremony later this month.

In 1957 Bradley was the first black student to integrate Greensboro High School, which was closer to her home than the all-black high school. She was subjected to racial slurs, had eggs dropped on her from second-story windows, and was given the silent treatment by most of her classmates. Bradley graduated in June 1958. It would be six years before another black student would enter the high school.

Bradley went on to college and wrote her Ph.D. dissertation at Emory University on her experiences at Greensboro High School. 


The Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University received a $194,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for a project to develop a multimedia teaching tool with the title, “The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity.” The textbook, CD, and Web site connected with this project will offer training for students and working journalists to develop writing and reporting skills that take racial sensibilities into account.

North Carolina A&T State University received an $80,000 grant from the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund for a program to reduce cigarette smoking among black college students.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.