JBHE’s Annual Citation Ranking of Black Scholars in the Social Sciences

As we have done since 1993, JBHE recently conducted a database search of Thomson Scientific’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Index for the citation counts of dozens of black scholars in the social sciences.

In each of the past 13 surveys JBHE conducted on black academics in the social sciences, we determined that the leader in citation rankings was Professor William Julius Wilson, the sociologist formerly at the University of Chicago who now is University Professor at Harvard University. The results this year are unchanged. Once more, the citation count leader is Professor Wilson with a total of 281 citations in academic journals.

But in 2007 the social science citation competition among black scholars was the most competitive it has been since we began conducting the count 14 years ago. It now appears that Professor Wilson has some serious challengers.

David R. Williams, Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, ranks just behind Professor Wilson with 274 citations.

Claude M. Steele, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, finished in a tie with Professor Williams for second place this year, also with 274 citations.


Black African Nations Sending the Most Students to Study at U.S. Colleges and Universities

All told, 48 black African nations had college students studying in the U.S. during the 2006-07 academic year. Kenya sent the most students to American colleges and universities. In that period, 6,349 Kenyans were studying here.

Nigeria ranked second, sending 5,943 students to the United States. Nigerian enrollments are up by more than one third over the past four years.

Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Ethiopia each had more than 1,000 students studying in this nation. Zambia, Senegal, Uganda, and Cote d’Ivoire all sent at least 500 students to study at U.S. colleges and universities.


The Revival of Arkansas Baptist College

In 2006 Arkansas Baptist College, the historically black educational institution in Little Rock, took the bold step of hiring Fitz Hill as its new president. Hill’s previous position was head football coach at predominantly white San Jose State University in California.

Hill, a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, holds an educational doctorate from the University of Arkansas. He served in the first Gulf War and earned the Bronze Star.

Hill has called on the motivation skills he used as a football coach to revitalize Arkansas Baptist. In just two years enrollments have tripled and the operating budget has grown from $2 million to $6.5 million. He has raised millions of dollars to renovate the 115-year-old Old Main Hall, the central building on campus. The college purchased a car wash near campus that is currently being managed by business students at the college.

While many on campus credit Hill for giving the college a new sense of purpose, he is not willing to take the credit. “It is God’s doing,” he says.

The board of trustees appears to disagree. Hill was recently awarded a contract extension through 2013.


University of Southern California Seeks to Increase the Number of Black and Minority Students Pursuing Careers in the Pharmaceutical Sciences

The University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy has established the Dean’s Initiative for Diversity to increase the number of minority students pursuing careers in the pharmaceutical sciences. The initiative will begin educational programs with middle school students, hoping to interest them in careers in pharmacy. Undergraduate students at the university who have expressed interest in pharmacy will be paired with graduate students who will serve as mentors. The program will emphasize that there are many possible career paths for pharmacy majors including working as a community pharmacist, conducting research for pharmaceutical firms, managing a hospital pharmacy, working as a government health official, or teaching.

Walter Cathey has been hired as special assistant to the dean to oversee the diversity initiative. Cathey, who was the only African American in his class at the USC graduate school of pharmacy, has worked in and owned community pharmacies and held marketing positions with major pharmaceutical manufacturers. Most recently he has served as CEO of the Institute for Community Pharmacy, a nonprofit organization that promotes the industry.


Virginia Union University Offers Scholarship Grants for Up to 100 High School Seniors in Richmond

Virginia Union University, the private, historically black educational institution in Richmond, has announced its Brighter Future Initiative. Under the program, up to 100 high school seniors in the Richmond public schools will receive grants of $1,400 to offset tuition and fees at Virginia Union. The grants will be renewable throughout the four-year undergraduate program.

To qualify for the grants, students must have maintained a 2.2 grade point average in high school and are required to participate in a community service program.


The Luster Is Off Daytona Beach’s Black College Reunion

In 1994 an estimated 125,000 people attended Black College Reunion in Daytona Beach, Florida. But the annual spring break ritual in Daytona Beach, initiated in the mid-1980s by students and alumni of Bethune-Cookman University and Florida A&M University, appears to have lost its appeal. This year, there were only 10,000 attendees.

While competing events in other cities are one reason for the drop in attendance at Black College Reunion, a major factor is that concerts and other promotional events sponsored by Black Entertainment Television were moved to South Florida.

Also, Black College Reunion always had an uneasy relationship with the city of Daytona Beach. In the early years of the event, many white-owned businesses shut down their establishment during Black College Reunion. There was a heavy police presence and there were many incidents of violence. Although in recent years the Daytona Beach business community has welcomed the black students, many residents of the predominantly white Daytona Beach community are not sad to see the black college students go elsewhere for spring break.


Proposal Would Ban Student Groups Based on Race at Arizona Campuses

Russell Pearce, a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives, has introduced legislation that would bar students at state-operated universities from forming groups or associations based in whole or in part on racial classifications.

Under the proposal, groups such as the Black Law Students Association, the Black and African Coalition, the Black Business Student Association, the National Society of Black Engineers, the NAACP, or other groups based on race, would not be permitted on the campuses of the University of Arizona or Arizona State University.

The bill authorizes the state to withhold public funding from colleges and universities that do not comply with the provision.


Five Finalists Named for the Presidency of South Carolina State University

South Carolina State University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg, has announced the five people selected as finalists for the position of university president. All five finalists will be invited to campus to meet with students, faculty, and administrators. The university expects the new president will take office on July 1.

The five finalists are:

Johnson O. Akinleye, associate vice chancellor for academic programs at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington;

Juliette B. Bell, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina;

George E. Cooper, deputy administrator for science and education resources development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture;

Lawrence F. Davenport, interim president of the Paragon Foundation in West Palm Beach, Florida; and

Juanita P. Fain, vice president for planning at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.



• South Carolina State University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg, received a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand its astronomy program. The funds will be used for faculty research, undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, planetarium programs, and Internet projects.

United Negro College Fund to Benefit From U.S. Mint’s Sale of Commemorative Coin Honoring Enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

By a voice vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation which it then sent to the Senate authorizing the U.S. Mint to produce a commemorative $1 coin that will be issued in 2014 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A section of the legislation designates that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this commemorative coin is to be donated to the United Negro College Fund. Coin sales are expected to raise about $2.5 million for the UNCF.


“God removed our college from life support and we were able to breathe on our own for the first time in quite some time. Although we’reoff life support, we remain in intensive care.”

Fitz Hill, president of Arkansas Baptist College, giving his “State of the College” address in Little Rock, April 2, 2008 (See story below.)


Twenty Black Students Named 2008 Ron Brown Scholars

Twenty black high school seniors were recently awarded Ron Brown Scholarships. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic achievement, community service work, and financial need. The selected students receive $40,000 for college. About half of the recipients of these awards enroll at Ivy League institutions. In the 10-year history of the program, the college graduation rate of Ron Brown scholars has been 100 percent.

The program, administered by the CAP Charitable Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia, honors Ronald H. Brown, the first African American to serve as secretary of commerce. Brown, a graduate of Middlebury College and St. John’s University Law School, was killed in a 1996 plane crash.

Here are the 20 high school seniors selected as 2008 Ron Brown Scholars:

Derrick Asiedu
Nanuet, New York

Desiree C. Montgomery
Lakeland, Florida

Jocelyn T. Bell
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Diana A. Ofusu
San Antonio, Texas
Peter A. Boyce II
Bronx, New York
Bradley D. Pough
Deltona, Florida
Dora I. Duru
Lynwood, California
Amanda M. Reid
Flagstaff, Arizona
Raymond D. Grissom
Austell, Georgia
William K. Stone
Jersey City, New Jersey
Kani M. Keita
Miami, Florida
William A. Tarpeh
Alexandria, Virginia
Osha Kondori
Washington, Virginia
Christopher J. Taylor
Blythewood, South Carolina
Christopher M. Lyle
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Kiah C.M. Thorn
Fort Worth, Texas
Daren W. Miller
St. Petersburg, Florida
Ryan O. Williams French
Riverside, California
Ethan G. Monreal-Jackson
Frisco, Texas
Briana L. Wong
Kent, Washington


A Majority of Africans Who Earn Ph.D.s in the United States Remain in This Country

A new study by Michael G. Finn of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education has found that roughly two thirds of all foreign students who earn their doctorates at U.S. colleges and universities remain in this country five years after earning their Ph.D. Finn compared the list of foreign doctoral recipients in 2000 and was able to determine whether individuals filed U.S. federal income tax returns in 2005.

Finn’s data is broken down by the country of origin and shows wide differences. For example, 92 percent of people from China who earned doctorates in 2000 were still in the United States in 2005. But only 4 percent of the Saudi Arabians who earned doctorates in 2000 were still in the United States in 2005.

The data shows that 65 percent of the Nigerians who earned doctorates in the United States remained in this country for five years. For South Africans, only 41 percent of the doctoral recipients stayed in the U.S. There is no data on the racial breakdown of South African doctoral recipients.

Finn also has data on 182 doctoral recipients from “other African nations.” These are all doctoral recipients from Africa in 2000 who did not come from Egypt, Nigeria, or South Africa. Of these, 59 percent remained in the United States five years after receiving their doctoral degrees.


A Milestone in African-American Golf

Tiger Woods didn’t win the Master’s golf tournament this year but an equally momentous event occurred this spring as Sam Puryear Jr. took the reins as head coach of the Michigan State University golf team. Puryear is thought to be the first African-American golf coach at a predominantly white university.

Puryear, who played collegiate golf for Tennessee State University, was the assistant coach at Stanford University. Stanford won last year’s collegiate golf championship.


Spelman College to Require All First- and Second-Year Students to Live on its Atlanta Campus

Spelman College, the highly selective college for African-American women in Atlanta, will now require all first- and second-year students to live in campus housing. The new policy will go into effect this coming fall.

In announcing the new policy, a Spelman spokesperson said, “We believe that learning does not begin and end in the classroom, but is a continuous process that extends to other areas of college life. Studies show that living on campus greatly contributes to college students’ success.”

The dean of students will accept requests for exemptions to this rule on a case-by-case basis, but she warns, “Generally, requests to be released from housing and its associated financial obligations will be denied.”


56.8%  Percentage of the total white population ages 3 to 34 in 2006 who were enrolled in school.

58.3%  Percentage of the total black population ages 3 to 34 in 2006 who were enrolled in school.

source: U.S. Department of Education


California Lutheran Gets Serious About Racial Diversity

In 2001 the student body at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks was only one percent black. Administrators then established the InCLUsive Overnight Program in an effort to increase racial diversity on campus. Under the program, 50 minority students from around the United States who have been accepted for admission at California Lutheran are flown to California to visit the campus. All food, travel, and lodging expenses are paid for by the university.

Since the program was established, black enrollments on campus have tripled and there have also been significant increases in Asian and Hispanic students.


Hampton University Making Waves in Collegiate Sailing

African-American athletes make up huge percentages of all college football and basketball players. But there are thousands of young blacks participating in collegiate sports such as golf, hockey, fencing, swimming, volleyball, and other sports where, traditionally, blacks have made up a very small percentage of the participants.

Hampton University, the historically black educational institution in Virginia, is the only HBCU to field a varsity team in the sport of sailing. At many black colleges that field teams in the traditionally white sports of golf, tennis, and even baseball, white athletes make up significant percentages of the teams. But at Hampton the sailing team is made up of black athletes, some of whom are from Caribbean nations.

And the Hampton sailing team is no pushover. Of the 45 colleges and universities that compete in the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, including many of the Ivy League colleges, Hampton was one of 18 schools that qualified to participate in the conference championship regatta held at Hobart and William Smith Colleges last month.



• Charles McClelland was named director of athletics at Texas Southern University in Houston. For the past seven years, Dr. McClelland has been the athletics director at Prairie View A&M University in Texas.

McClelland is a graduate of Prairie View and also holds an MBA from the university. He recently completed an educational doctorate at Texas A&M University.

• Alfred Ashford, professor of clinical medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of medicine at the Harlem Hospital Center, has been appointed senior associate dean of the Harlem Hospital Center affiliation with Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Ashford is a graduate of Rutgers University and the Georgetown University School of Medicine.


Honors and Awards

Barbara Swaby, professor at the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and director of the Graduate Reading Program at the university, will have an endowed chair named in her honor at the school. She has taught at the university for more than three decades. Her son David is an instructor in forensic science and working toward his doctorate at the university.

Professor Swaby, a native of Jamaica, graduated from high school at the age of 14. Earning a music scholarship she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee. She later earned a master’s and a doctorate in reading education from the University of Minnesota.

Doris Marshall, deputy director of the senior services division of the Phoenix Human Services Department, received the A. Wade Smith Community Award for Advancement of Race Relations from Arizona State University.

Marshall has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from Arizona State.

Suzanne Mayo-Theus, CEO of Mynette Management Company and a doctoral student in family studies and human services, received the 2008 Michael C. Holen Outstanding Leadership Award from Kansas State University. A native of New Orleans, she has organized student and corporate groups to help people impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Harvard Law School’s Black Law Students Association was named chapter of the year by the National Black Law Students Association. The award is given to the chapter that is judged the most dedicated to its members’ educational development, academic achievement, professional and career development, political awareness, social consciousness, and community activism.





Copyright © 2008. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.