Black Medical School Enrollments Need a Booster Shot

In 2009 there were 5,522 African Americans enrolled in U.S. medical schools. Since 2002 the number of blacks enrolled in medical school has increased each year. But during this period, total black enrollments have increased by only 6.6 percent. Overall medical school enrollments have increased by 11.1 percent in the same period. As a result, the black percentage of total medical school enrollments declined from 7.4 percent in 2002 to 7.1 percent in 2009.

As in almost all other areas of higher education, black women hold a large lead over black men in medical school enrollments. In 2009 there were 3,480 black women enrolled in medical school. They made up 63 percent of all African-American enrollments. In contrast, white women made up just 45.3 percent of all white enrollments in medical school.


Obama Administration Defends the Use of Race in University Admissions Decisions

The Obama administration has filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by two white students against the University of Texas. The students were denied admission and are claiming racial discrimination. The plaintiffs lost the case at the district court level and the case is now before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The students argue that the University of Texas did not exhaust all race-neutral methods to increase student diversity, as stipulated by the 2003 Supreme Court Grutter decision, before resorting to a race-sensitive admissions formula. But the district court ruled that the University of Texas affirmative action plan was “narrowly tailored” and met the guidelines set down in Grutter.

The case may eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Since the 5-4 decision in Grutter, the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor and the appointment of Samuel Alito leave the court with a more conservative bent on affirmative action issues. This case, Fisher v. University of Texas, could give the Supreme Court the opportunity to place further restrictions on the use of race in college admissions.


Georgia NAACP Files Lawsuit That Claims State’s Black Universities Remain Underfunded

The Georgia chapter of the NAACP has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia claiming that the state’s publicly operated historically black universities remain underfunded compared to predominantly white public universities in Georgia. Students at historically black Fort Valley State University and Savannah State University joined the suit as plaintiffs.

The suit alleges that the state has not provided sufficient funds to these universities to permit them to establish professional degree programs on par with state-run predominantly white institutions. The suit also charges that the state’s historically black institutions have not received adequate funding for capital improvement projects.


Emory University Begins New Effort to Trace the African Origins of Black Slaves Transported to the New World

Emory University in Atlanta maintains a vast online database containing information on nearly 35,000 voyages made during the African slave trade. Included in this research are the names of 67,000 Africans from the manifests of slave ships and in other documents relating to the slave trade.

Now researchers at Emory have begun a new project to trace the African origins of the 67,000 people identified in the Emory database. David Eltis, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History at Emory, says that the names provide valuable clues as to the language or dialect spoken by the individual, which helps to narrow down where he or she lived prior to being captured for sale as a slave. Emory is seeking volunteers who are familiar with African dialects and naming practices to offer their views on the possible geographic origin of the people named on the ships’ manifests and in other documents relating to the slave trade.


Tarrant County College District Appoints First Black Chancellor

Erma Johnson Hadley was named chancellor of the Tarrant County College District in Fort Worth, Texas. The community college system enrolls more than 45,000 students, about 15 percent of whom are black.

Chancellor Hadley has been a faculty member and administrator for the college for the past 41 years. She is the first African American and the first woman to be named chancellor.

Hadley is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University in Texas and holds a master’s degree in business education from Bowling Green State University.


31%  Percentage of the American population over the age of 20 who are members of minority groups.

47%  Percentage of the American population under the age of 5 who are members of minority groups.

source: Population and Development Review, March 2010


One African American Among the Four Finalists for Provost at Eastern Kentucky University

The Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, where blacks make up 5 percent of the undergraduate student body, has announced four finalists for the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Among the four finalists is Aaron Thompson, an African American who currently serves as interim vice president for academic affairs with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Dr. Thompson has an advantage in that he has a long history at Eastern Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the university and previously served as associate vice president for academic affairs. He has also been a faculty member in the university’s department of anthropology, sociology, and social work and in the department of educational leadership and policy studies.

Dr. Thompson holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Kentucky.


In Memoriam

Edwin W. Turner (1913-2010)

Edwin W. Turner, the longtime director of athletics at Roosevelt University in Chicago, died from complications of dementia at an assisted living facility in Highland Park, Illinois. He was 96 years old.

Turner joined the Roosevelt faculty in 1948, just three years after the university opened. Turner coached many of the university’s sports teams including the golf team despite the fact that he was not able to accompany his athletes when they competed on courses that were closed to blacks.

Turner was a graduate of Texas College and held a master’s degree from DePaul University. He served as director of athletics until his retirement in 1981.

Charles Moore (1931-2010)

Charles Moore, the white photographer who covered the civil rights movement for Life magazine, has died in Alabama at the age of 79.

Moore was a native of Hackleburg, Alabama. After serving in the Marines, he used the GI Bill to study photography in California with the hope of becoming a fashion photographer. Instead he returned home in 1957 and took a job at the Montgomery Advertiser. Here he found himself in the midst of the civil rights movement, where he chronicled the protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1962 he joined the staff of Life magazine. His photographs of police brutality against civil rights protesters helped galvanize massive public support for King’s movement.


Honors and Awards

• Mac A. Stewart, who recently retired as vice provost for minority affairs at Ohio State University, received the Frank W. Hale Honorary Leadership Award from the Ohio State University Alumni Association.

Dr. Stewart is a graduate of Morehouse College. He holds a master’s degree from Atlanta University and a doctorate from Ohio State.

• Harold L. Martin Sr., chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Virginia Tech College of Engineering.

Dr. Martin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from North Carolina A&T State University and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.

• Natalie McCarter, an admissions recruiter at Bowie State University in Maryland, received the 2010 Distinguished Thesis Award from the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools. McCarter was honored for her master’s thesis at Bowie State which was entitled, “High School Counselor’s Perceptions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Maryland.”

• Adriel A. Hilton, executive assistant to the president and assistant secretary of the board of trustees at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, was honored with the Dr. Carlos Vallejo Memorial Award for Exemplary Scholarship from the American Educational Research Association.

Dr. Hilton is a graduate of Morehouse College. He holds a master’s degree from Florida A&M University and a doctorate from Morgan State University.

College of William and Mary to Investigate Its Racial History

The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has announced plans to investigate the university’s ties to slavery. Research has shown that the college owned five to 10 slaves and may have rented other slaves for construction projects.

The committee will also investigate race relations at the college since the end of slavery to the present day. Kimberley Phillips and Robert Vinson, two African-American faculty members in the college’s history department, have been named to head the investigation.

Blacks now make up 7 percent of the student body at the college.


“Americans of color have undoubtedly done some things of note, but their ‘encounters’ and ‘experiences’ are not of paramount importance to a university education. The ethnic studies movement is motivated by an attempt to direct more attention to a topic that deserves no more attention than it already gets, and probably a good deal less.”

Patrick T. Brennan, a junior at Harvard University, writing in the student-operated journal of political thought, the Harvard Salient, where he serves as managing editor


University Study Finds That Higher Education Does Little to Close the Racial Economic Gap in Montreal

The city of Montreal is home to about 200,000 blacks. They make up about 20 percent of the entire black population of Canada. A study by researchers at McGill University in Montreal finds wide-ranging racial inequality in several demographic areas.

The study found that for residents in the 25 to 44 age group, 25 percent of blacks were university graduates compared to 33 percent of nonblacks. Blacks in Montreal had average incomes that were 66 percent of the average white income. More than 13 percent of blacks in Montreal were unemployed, a rate more than double that of whites.

The study found that half of all black children in Montreal live in poverty. For black women ages 45 to 64, 33 percent are single parents. This is more than triple the rate of white women in the same age group.

One third of all blacks in Montreal own their home compared to two thirds of whites.

The study found that higher education does little to alleviate the racial economic gap. Data shows that 30 percent of blacks with a graduate degree earn more than $45,000 a year. The comparable figure for whites is 54 percent. Only 23 percent of blacks with a bachelor’s degree earned more than $45,000. This was about half the rate for whites with a bachelor’s degree.


Study Finds That for Black High School Students, Boosting Science Requirements May Have a Detrimental Effect on College Enrollment Rates

The Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago has issued a new report which questions the usefulness of increasing science requirements in the predominantly black public school system in Chicago in an effort to better prepare students for college.

The study found that students who were required to take college prep science courses did not improve their overall performance in science classes. In fact, five of six students who took the college prep classes received grades of C or lower. In addition, high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates declined, and for those who did go on to college, persistence rates remained constant.

The report, Passing Through Science: The Effects of Raising Graduation Requirements in Science on Course-Taking and Academic Achievement in Chicago, can be downloaded by clicking here.


State and Local Governments Come Up Short on Pledges to Support the New Proton Therapy Center at Historically Black Hampton University

Proton therapy is the most precise form of radiation treatment for cancer patients. Proton therapy targets a tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissue, causing far fewer side effects than traditional therapy. There are currently five proton therapy treatment centers operating in the United States.

The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute is scheduled to open later this year. The 98,000-square-foot facility will have five treatment rooms and will be the only proton therapy cancer treatment center in Virginia. The institute, on the campus of the historically black university, hopes to treat over 2,000 patients per year with breast, lung, prostate, pediatric, and other cancers and plans to be an important research center for cancer treatments.

But the nation’s severe economic recession is causing budget headaches for the institute before it even opens its doors. The Virginia legislature cut $510,000 in funding to the institute. In 2007 the city of Hampton had pledged $10 million to Hampton University for scientific research, the bulk of which would have gone to the Proton Therapy Institute. But now Molly Joseph Ward, mayor of Hampton, says, “I can’t see us being able to fulfill that pledge.” Mayor Ward said that the $1.3 million already allocated may be all the money the university receives.


Library of Congress Receives the Dexter Gordon Collection of Jazz

The Library of Congress has announced that it has received the Dexter Gordon Collection of Jazz. Gordon, who died in 1990, was considered one of the world’s best tenor saxophonists. Most of the collection includes sound recordings but there are also documents, videos, and films.

Gordon’s wife, Maxine, is senior interviewer and jazz researcher at the Bronx African-American History Project at Fordham University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in history at New York University and is writing a biography on her husband.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Tiffany Wilson Ardley, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Florida A&M University, was elected to the board of directors of the PACE Leon Center for Girls.

• Sharon D. Raynor was named the Johnson C. Smith Mott University Professor for the 2010-13 term at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Raynor, a member of the English department faculty, will receive time off from teaching and funds for research.

Professor Raynor holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Carolina University and a Ph.D. in literature and criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

• Melanye Price, adjunct associate professor of government at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, was named coordinator of internships for the university’s Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life.

• Kiron K. Skinner, an associate professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, has been appointed to the advisory board of the George W. Bush Oral History Project at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Skinner is a graduate of Spelman College. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science and international relations from Harvard University.

• Elmira Mangum is the new vice president for budget and planning at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She was senior associate provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

• Bobby Donaldson, an associate professor of history and African-American studies at the University of South Carolina, was appointed to a three-year term as principal of Preston College on the university’s Columbia campus. The residential college is home to about 240 undergraduate students.

• William H. Wilson was named associate vice president for development and major gifts at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. He has been an administrator in the university’s division of External Relations and Development since October 2009. Previously he was director of education and outreach for Kentucky Educational Television.

Wilson is a graduate of Kentucky State University and holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Kentucky.


Grants and Gifts

• Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida, received a $50,000 grant from the Florida Department of Health to conduct a study of the cardiac function of African Americans who smoke cigarettes.

• North Carolina Central University, the historically black educational institution in Durham, received a $238,992 grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The university’s Institute for Homeland Security and Workforce Development will develop a plan to help faith-based and community organizations plan for disasters and other emergencies.

Historically black Tennessee State University in Nashville received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the Visible Imaging System for Interferometric Observations (VISION), a new camera for viewing stars in three dimensions.

Copyright © 2010. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.