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Almost No Progress in Number of Black Students Admitted to the Most Prestigious Campuses of the University of California

Prior to the enactment of Proposition 209 in 1996, blacks routinely made up more than 7 percent of the students in the entering class at the University of California at Berkeley. When voters approved Proposition 209, Berkeley and the other campuses of the University of California were prohibited from considering race in admissions decisions. Black enrollments plummeted, particularly at UCLA and Berkeley, the two most prestigious campuses of the University of California system.

New admissions data for 2010 shows that despite considerable efforts to increase diversity, there has been little progress in increasing the number of blacks admitted to the state’s most prestigious campuses. This year there were 392 black students admitted to Berkeley, up slightly from the 382 black students admitted last year. At UCLA there were 435 black students accepted for admission, up slightly from last year but identical to the number from 2008.

Blacks are 3.3 percent of all admitted students at UCLA and 3.0 percent of all admitted students at Berkeley. Blacks are more than 8 percent of the college-age population in California.

Southern University Boosts Admission Standards: Faculty Senate Strongly Opposes New Requirements

The faculty senate at Southern University, the historically black educational institution in Baton Rouge, has gone on record in opposition to proposed increases in admission standards.

The university’s board of supervisors approved new standards that raise the minimum grade point average from 2.0 to 2.5 on a 0-to-4.0 scale. By 2012 students will need to score a 22 on the ACT college entrance examination. The national average for black students is 16.9 on a 1-to-36 scale. Students would qualify for admission if they meet either of the new standards.

The faculty senate stated that the higher admission standards will make it more difficult for African Americans in Louisiana to enroll in higher education. The faculty noted that the community college system is already near capacity and little is being done to improve K-12 education in predominantly black schools so that African Americans will be able to achieve the higher admission standards.

Duquesne University Offers New Scholarship Program for Minority Students at Its Law School

The School of Law at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh is sponsoring two scholarships for minority students in honor of Charles Hamilton Houston Jr., the architect of the legal strategy which led to the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Two minority students will receive $10,000 for books, travel, and living expenses in addition to full-tuition scholarships offered by the university. The $10,000 awards can be renewed for subsequent years of legal study, provided the recipient remains in good academic standing.

African-American Woman Named Valedictorian at Notre Dame

Katie Washington, a biological sciences major from Gary, Indiana, was named valedictorian of the Class of 2010 at the University of Notre Dame. It is believed that Washington is the first African American to be named valedictorian at the university.

Washington maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout her four-year college career. During her college years she interned at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Notre Dame’s Institute for Global Health. Washington minored in Catholic social teaching and directed the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir.

Later this year, Washington plans to enroll in the joint M.D./Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins University.

Professor at Ball State University Publishes Newly Discovered Photos of Negro League Ballpark

Greenlee Field in Pittsburgh was the home of the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro League from 1932 to 1938. The 7,500-seat stadium was the first black-owned baseball stadium. Because the mainstream press rarely covered Negro League Baseball, there were very few photographs of Greenlee Field.

Geri Strecker, an assistant professor of English at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, is a historian of the Negro Leagues. She contacted the archivist of Carnegie Mellon University. The university archives include documents from the architectural firm that designed a public housing development that was built on the site of Greenlee Field. Among the archives was a folder that contained photographs of the old stadium that were taken by the architects of the housing project before the stadium was demolished.

Black Parents Are Increasingly Taking Advantage of School Choice Opportunities

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education offers demographic data on the type of K-12 schools where black students are enrolled. In 2007, 69 percent of  black students enrolled in grades K-12 were in schools where they had been assigned by their local school district. Twenty-four percent of all black students were enrolled in publicly operated charter or magnet schools where their parents had determined they should enroll. The percentage of all black K-12 students in schools where their parents had made the decision on where they enrolled has increased from 19 percent in 1993 to 24 percent today.

Six percent of all black K-12 students attend private religious schools. This is up from 4 percent in 1999. Two percent of all black K-12 students attend private, nonreligious schools.

The report, Trends in the Use of School Choice: 1993-2007, can be downloaded by clicking here.

44.2%  College graduation rate for black students matriculating in 2002 at private, not-for-profit educational institutions.

67.3%  College graduation rate for white students matriculating in 2002 at private, not-for-profit educational institutions.

source:U.S. Department of Education

The New President of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. has been selected as the new president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The fund provides scholarships for students who are enrolled at 47 publicly operated historically black colleges and universities and for students at six historically black law schools.

Taylor is a graduate of the University of Miami. He holds master’s and law degrees from Drake University. He was the president and CEO of InterActiveCorp’s identity search engine,

In Memoriam

Nelwyn Garrett England (1914-2010)

Nelwyn England, who served for a quarter-century as a student counselor at Sacramento City College, died last month at the age of 96.

England was a native of Longview, Texas, and graduated from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. She later earned a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

In addition to her work at Sacramento City College, England founded the city’s Head Start program in 1964. Her son, Morrison, is a federal district court judge.

Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Mary Coleman was named dean of the undergraduate college at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She will take office on July 1. Currently she is associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of political science at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

A graduate of Jackson State University, Dr. Coleman holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin.

• Stanley F. Battle was appointed interim president of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Last summer Dr. Battle resigned as chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University after only two years on the job. He previously was president of Coppin State University in Baltimore.

Dr. Battle is a native of Springfield, Massachusetts. He is a 1973 graduate of Springfield College, where he majored in sociology. Battle holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut. He also holds a master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in social welfare policy from the University of Pittsburgh.

The Rev. Walter E. Monroe Jr. was named director of religious life and university chaplain at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Since 2005 he has served as pastor of the Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church in Daytona Beach.

A graduate of Bethune-Cookman University, he holds a master’s degree in divinity from Emory University.

• Shirley Franklin, the former Atlanta mayor who is now William and Camille Cosby Professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, was named senior adviser to the Alliance for Digital Equality. The nonprofit organization seeks to increase access to technology for underserved populations.

• Randolph Brashers was named director of public safety at the Lowell campus of the University of Massachusetts. He was commander of investigations for the campus police department at the University of Virginia. Previously, he was a police officer for Baltimore County in Maryland for 20 years.

• Robert L. Harris Jr., who has been a professor of African-American history at Cornell University since 1975, was named director of the university’s Africana Studies and Research Center. Dr. Harris served as Cornell’s vice provost for diversity and faculty development from 2000 to 2008.

Grants and Gifts

• North Carolina A&T State University received a $50,000 grant from the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium of North Carolina. The grant will help fund the Charles Hamilton Houston Summer Leadership Institute for Adolescent Black Males. The program brings 30 ninth-graders and 30 eleventh-graders to campus for a five-day workshop.

• Spelman College, the historically black educational institution for women in Atlanta, received a $1 million grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation. The grant will fund a scholarship program for women pursuing degrees in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer science.

Five African Americans Win Truman Scholarships

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awarded 60 scholarships this year to college juniors. Each will receive up to $30,000 for graduate study. Among the 60 winners are five African Americans. Here are brief biographies of the five black Truman Scholars:

Stephanie Michelle Baker is a junior at New York University. She is studying sustainable justice through civic engagement at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Baker, a native of Delaware, took a semester off from school in 2008 to work on the Obama presidential campaign. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in human rights.

Eric R. Dailey, a native of Arkansas, is a political science major at the Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He aims to earn a master’s degree in education. His career aspiration is to become a superintendent of a major urban school district. During his college years, he has served as a summer intern for the city of Memphis and for a member of Congress.

Caleb Joshua Gayle is a junior at the University of Oklahoma. He is majoring in international security studies and political science. He will use his Truman funds to pursue a Ph.D. in economic development. He has held internships with the mayor of Tulsa and at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Devon Tyrone Wade is a junior at Louisiana State University. He is majoring in sociology with a concentration in criminology and African-American studies. Wade is chair of the LSU campus chapter of the NAACP. He plans to earn a Ph.D in criminology conducting research on the effect of parental incarceration.

Yasmin Mohammed Yonis was born in Somalia and came to the United States at the age of 3. Now living in Georgia, she is a junior at the University of Georgia. She is majoring in journalism and international affairs. She is the opinions editor of the university’s student newspaper. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in journalism and a law degree.

“My focus is to maintain my family and to encourage my children to complete their education. It’s a must.”

Thomas Hagan, the convicted assassin of Malcolm X, addressing a New York parole board. He was released from prison late last month after serving 44 years.

University Study Finds That Black Schoolchildren in England Are Victimized by Unfair Low Expectations of Their Intellectual Abilities by Their Teachers

A study by researchers at the University of Bristol in England has found that black students in English schools are victimized by racial stereotyping and routinely marked down by their teachers. The study found that black students did much better on standardized tests than their performance in the classroom — based on teacher evaluations — would indicate. The study found that black students are marked down more often and more significantly in districts where there are small numbers of minority students. The authors of the report believe that low expectations by schoolteachers are damaging the educational prospects for many of the nation’s black students. 

New Bachelor’s Degree Program at Historically Black Bowie State University

Bowie State University, the historically black educational institution in Bowie, Maryland, is offering a new bachelor’s degree program in bioinformatics. The new multidisciplinary honors program will introduce students to tools and methodologies for applying computational approaches to facilitate the understanding of biological processes.

Students who major in bioinformatics will be required to take courses in molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry, database management, programming languages, differential equations, crystallography, and artificial intelligence.

University of Texas Releases Soundtrack of Duke Ellington’s Opera

Scholars at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin completed Duke Ellington’s unfinished opera Queenie Pie collaborating with Ellington’s co-composer Betty McGettigan. The opera was performed on the University of Texas campus last spring.

Now Longhorn Music, the official record label of the university, has released the soundtrack of the opera. Jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford sings the title role of Queenie Pie. Students from the University of Texas and historically black Huston-Tillotson University completed the ensemble.

All Black Male Students at an Inner-City Charter School in Chicago Are Admitted to a Four-Year College

In Chicago about 40 percent of all African-American males graduate from high school. But there is an entirely different story to tell at Urban Prep, a new publicly operated charter school. All 107 students in the first graduating class of the school this spring are African-American males. All 107 have been admitted to a four-year college or university. Only 4 percent of the students were reading at grade level when they entered the school as freshmen. Students at the school must take two English classes and the school day is significantly longer than at other public schools. They dress in coats and ties and are called on in class by their last name. Faculty members are required to be available by telephone to students on nights and weekends.

New Awards Will Honor Universities That Have Successful Program to Retain Minority Engineering Students

ExxonMobil has established the Diversity in Engineering Impact Award which will honor universities that have developed successful retention programs for black and other minority students in engineering disciplines. Three universities will be honored this coming September as the first recipients of the award. The award program will be conducted through the National Society of Black Engineers.

Ronald Mason Named Head of the Southern University System

Ronald Mason Jr., the current president of Jackson State University in Mississippi, was named president of the Southern University System in Louisiana. Prior to coming to Jackson State University, Mason held several executive positions at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Mason is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Columbia University and the Columbia Law School.

Recent Books That May Be of Interest to African-American Scholars

Each month, the JBHE Weekly Bulletin will publish a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this month’s selections.

Integrating the Gridiron: Black Civil Rights and American College Football by Lane Demas (Rutgers University Press)

King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution by Aram Goudsouzian (University of California Press)

Blue-Ribbon Babies and Labors of Love: Race, Class, and Gender in U.S. Adoption Practice by Christine Ward Gailey (University of Texas Press)

Revolutionizing Romance: Interracial Couples in Contemporary Cuba by Nadine T. Fernandez (Rutgers University Press)

Academically Gifted African-American Male College Students by Fred A. Bonner II (Praeger Publishers)

Black Arts West: Culture and Struggle in Postwar Los Angeles by Daniel Widener (Duke University Press)

Practicing Medicine in a Black Regiment: The Civil War Diary of Burt G. Wilder, 55th Massachusetts edited by Richard M. Reid (University of Massachusetts Press)

Afro Greeks: Dialogues Between Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century by Emily Greenwood (Oxford University Press)

Edna Ferber’s Hollywood: American Fictions of Gender, Race, and History by J.E. Smyth (University of Texas Press)

Ousmane Sembène: The Making of a Militant Artist by Samba Gadjigo (Indiana University Press)

Hilda by Carolyn Dungee Nicholas (AuthorHouse)

Female Subjectivity in African-American Women’s Narratives of Enslavement: Beyond Borders by Lynette D. Myles (Palgrave Macmillan)

Songs in Black and Lavender: Race, Sexual Politics, and Women’s Music by Eileen M. Hayes (University of Illinois Press)

The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Negritude, Vitalism, and Modernity by Donna V. Jones (Columbia University Press)

Beauty Shop Politics: African-American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry by Tiffany M. Gill (University of Illinois Press)

The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South by Alex Heard (HarperCollins)

Nomad: From Islam to America — A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Free Press)

Are We Born Racist? New Insights From Neuroscience and Positive Psychology edited by Jason Marsh et al. (Beacon Press)

Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture by Thomas Chatterton Williams (Penguin Press)

The African American Experience During World War II by Neil A. Wynn (Rowman & Littlefield)

Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburgh, 1790-1890 by Elise A. Guyette (University of Vermont Press)

A Force for Change: Beatrice Morrow Cannady and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Oregon, 1912-1936 by Kimberley Mangun (Oregon State University Press)

Through Our Eyes: African American Men’s Experiences of Race, Gender, and Violence by Gail Garfield (Rutgers University Press)

Honors and Awards

• Robert M. Franklin Jr., president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, was named Alumnus of the Year by the University of Chicago Divinity School. Franklin earned a doctorate in ethics and society from the divinity school in 1985.

• Isaac Crumbly, associate vice president for career and collaborative programs at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, was named a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Crumbly is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

• Jamaica Kincaid, the Josephine Olps Weeks Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College in California, won the 2010 Clifton Fadiman Medal from the Center for Fiction in New York City.

• Christine Johnson McPhail, educational consultant, professor emerita at Morgan State University in Baltimore, and former president of Cypress College in California, received the 2010 National Leadership Award from the American Association of Community Colleges.

• Doris Wilkinson, professor of sociology at the University of Kentucky, was named the recipient of the 2010 Award for Public Understanding of Sociology from the American Sociological Association.

• Conrad Hutchinson Jr., who led the Grambling State University marching band for 37 years before his retirement in 1993, had the new performing arts center on campus named in his honor. Hutchinson is a graduate of Tuskegee University.

The School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina will receive the 2010 Equity and Diversity Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.



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