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Are Black Colleges Becoming Whiter?

Enrollments at the nation's historically black colleges and universities remain at the highest level in history. According to U.S. Department of Education data, there were 322,789 students enrolled at HBCUs in 2009, the latest year complete data is available. Enrollments increased 3 percent from 2008 to 2009 and are up 17 percent since the turn of the century.

In 2009 women made up 61 percent of all enrollments at HBCUs. In 2000, women were 60.7 percent of total enrollments. So there was only a miniscule increase in the gender gap in HBCU enrollments during the first decade of the century.

Of the 322,789 students enrolled in HBCUs, 264,090, or 81.8 percent, are black. In 2000, blacks made up 82.4 percent of the total enrollments at HBCUs. As far back at 1980, blacks were 81.8 percent of the total enrollments at HBCUs, the same percentage that exists today. Yes, there are HBCUs which have significantly increased their white enrollments. But, despite numerous press reports to the contrary, in general the "whitening of black colleges" is simply a myth.

Yale School of Medicine Honors Its First Three Black Women Graduates

Recently, the Yale University School of Medicine honored the first three African-American women graduates of the school.

Cortlandt Van Rensselaer, a black man, graduated from Yale Medical School in 1857. Twelve other black men earned medical degrees at Yale over the next 40 years. But afterwards, Jim Crow ruled the day. There were no black graduates of the Yale medical school between 1903 and 1947.

Beatrice Ann Hamburg was the first black woman to graduate from the medical school in 1948. This was 91 years after the first black man earned a medical degree at Yale.

Dr. Hamburg had already been a pioneer. She was the first self-identified African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College. Dr. Hamburg has taught at the Stanford, Harvard, and Mount Sinai medical schools and is now the Dewitt Wallace Distinguished Scholar of Psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Following in Dr. Hamburg's footsteps at Yale were Yvette Fay Francis-McBarnette who graduated in 1950 and Doris Louise Wethers who earned her medical degree in 1952. Both women became active in research on sickle cell disease.

University of Wisconsin Study Shows That Blacks and Other Minorities at High Risk for Diabetes Are Not Being Sufficiently Screened for the Disease

A study published in the journal Diabetes Care, led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, finds that blacks and other ethnic groups with a high risk for diabetes are not being sufficiently screened for the disease.

Using data on 15,000 patient visits between 2003 and 2007, the research showed that up to 40 percent of the minority patients who should have been screened for diabetes given their medical histories, were not. And income was not a factor. All patients in the study were insured and were eligible for diabetes screening under their policies.

Florida A&M Moving Forward With Plans for a Dental School

James H. Ammons, president of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, is moving forward with plans for the university to establish a College of Dental Medicine. His goal is to have a plan ready for approval by the Florida Board of Governors and the state legislature early next year.

Ammons notes that only 24 percent of the children on Medicaid in Florida receive adequate dental care. This is one of the lowest rates in the nation.

The University of Central Florida is also planning to submit a proposal for a new dental school next year. At the current time, the only state-run dental school is at the University of Florida.

If the Florida A&M dental school moves forward, it will be the first new dental school at a historically black university in 130 years.

Chicago City Colleges Name Two African Americans to Leadership Posts

Two black scholars were named presidents in the City Colleges of Chicago system, a group of seven publicly operated community colleges.

Anthony E. Monroe is the new president of Malcolm X College. He has been serving as the executive director of the Ross University School of Medicine campus in the Bahamas.

Dr. Monroe is a graduate of Regents College. He went on to earn an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, a master of public health degree from Columbia University, and an educational doctorate from Teachers College of Columbia University.

Craig T. Follins will be the new president of Olive-Harvey College. He was executive vice president of workforce and economic development at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.

Dr. Follins earned his GED while in the U.S. Army. He then went on to graduate from Brooklyn College. He holds a master's degree in clinical sociology from Texas Southern University and a doctorate in community college leadership from the University of Texas.

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

The JBHE Weekly Bulletin regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. Here are the latest selections.

African-American/Afro-Canadian Schooling: From the Colonial Period to the Present by Charles L. Glenn (Palgrave Macmillan)

America’s Historically Black Colleges: A Narrative History, 1837-2009 by Bobby L. Lovett (Mercer University Press)

Black Womanist Leadership: Tracing the Motherline edited by Toni C. King and S. Alease Ferguson (State University of New York Press)

Crusade Against Slavery: Edward Coles, Pioneer of Freedom by Kurt E. Leichtle and Bruce C. Carveth (Southern Illinois University Press)

Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America by Douglas R. Egerton (Oxford University Press)

Diversity in American Higher Education by Lisa M. Stulberg and Sharon Lawner Weinberg (Routledge)

From David Walker to Barack Obama: Ethiopianists as Keepers of the African Dream by Emma S. Etuk (iUniverse)

Holy Harlots: Femininity, Sexuality, and Black Magic in Brazil by Kelly E. Hayes (University of California Press)

Howard Zinn on Race by Howard Zinn (Seven Stories Press)

Intercultural Couples: Crossing Boundaries, Negotiating Difference by Jill M. Bystydzienski (New York University Press)

Kids Don’t Want to Fail: Oppositional Culture and the Black-White Achievement Gap by Angel L. Harris (Harvard University Press)

Looking South: Race, Gender, and the Transformation of Labor from Reconstruction to Globalization by Mary E. Frederickson (University Press of Florida)

People Wasn’t Made to Burn: A True Story of Housing, Race, and Murder in Chicago by Joe Allen (Haymarket Books)

Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism by Erik S. McDuffie (Duke University Press)

The African American Roots of Modernism: From Reconstruction to the Harlem Renaissance by James Smethurst (University of North Carolina Press)

The New CEOs: Women, African American, Latino, and Asian American Leaders of Fortune 500 Companies by Richard Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers)

Women and Slavery in America: A Documentary History edited by Catherine M. Lewis and J. Richard Lewis (University of Arkansas Press)

Honors and Awards

• Gwendolyn Highsmith-Quick, an associate professor of accounting at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, was named the 2010-11 Outstanding Faculty Advisor by Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary organization for students and professionals who are involved with financial information.

A graduate of North Carolina A&T, Dr. Highsmith-Quick earned an MBA at the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston.

• Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, received the Charles J. Truck Global Citizen Award from Macalester College for providing inspirational leadership and promoting global understanding.

Annan is a 1961 graduate of Macalester College.

• Chad Williams, an associate professor of history at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, was named a 2011 Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. The fellowship award will allow Professor Williams to complete work on his project titled, "The Black Man and the Wounded World: W.E. B. Du Bois, African-American Soldiers, and the History of World War I."

Professor Williams is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. Dr. Williams is the author of Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2010).


At this early stage, Mitt Romney appears to be the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination. If there is a Romney/Obama matchup, what do you predict will be the outcome?
Obama in a landslide
Obama in a nail-biter
Romney in a nail-biter
Romney in a landslide

Black Students in the Nation's Private Elementary and Secondary Schools

Black students make up about 17 percent of all students in the nation's public schools. But a new report from the U.S. Department of Education finds that blacks make up only 9.2 percent of the students in the nation's private elementary and secondary schools.

Blacks are 7.5 percent of the students in Catholic schools and make up 12.2 percent of the students in so-called "Christian conservative" schools.

In the southern states where blacks are 25 percent of the public school students or more, blacks are 11 percent of the students enrolled in private schools.

In private schools established for special education students, blacks are 22 percent of the total enrollments.

Claude Steele Returns to Stanford

After a brief two-year stint as provost at Columbia University, social psychologist Claude Steele is returning to Stanford University as dean of the School of Education. Steele was a member of the Stanford faculty from 1991 to 2009.

Professor Steele is a graduate of Hiram College and earned a Ph.D. at Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 1991, he taught at the University of Utah, the University of Washington, and the University of Michigan.

The Persisting Racial Digital Divide

In the early days of the computer revolution, the racial digital divide was huge. Due to the high cost of computers, software, and other technology equipment, blacks were slow to join the digital age.
Great progress has been made. But a significant digital divide remains. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2009, 85.3 percent of all whites over the age of 3 used the Internet. For blacks, the figure was 73.6 percent.

For those who used the Internet, 92.9 percent of whites had Internet access at home, whereas only 81.0 percent of blacks had home Internet access.

For those with Internet access at home, whites are slightly more likely than whites to have broadband services allowing for faster and more efficient use of the Web.

College-bound students with Internet access in the home can use the vast resources of the Web to find the college that best suits their needs. They can access practice tests for the SAT or ACT college entrance admission examinations. They can seek out college scholarships through the great number of databases that are maintained online. They can apply to colleges on the Internet, saving themselves time and money. And perhaps most important, as the Internet is a huge online library at one's fingertips, it can be used to enhance learning that will better prepare a student for the rigors of a college education.
Thus, any racial disparity in access to the Internet is extremely important.

Black Males Show Significant Progress in the Pittsburgh Promise College Scholarship Program

The Pittsburgh Promise provides up to $10,000 annually for college to students who graduate from the Pittsburgh public schools. Students need a grade point average of 2.5 and an attendance record of at least 90 percent to qualify for the awards, which apply only to those students who enroll at an accredited college or university in Pennsylvania. Students need to maintain a 2.0 grade point average in college to be eligible for the awards to continue after their freshman year.

In the first year of the program in 2008, 96 black males and 205 black females received Pittsburgh Promise scholarships. That year 890 African-American students graduated from Pittsburgh high schools.

But despite lower overall enrollments and tougher eligibility standards, black scholarship winners increased in 2010. That year, 124 black males and 200 black females earned Pittsburgh Promise scholarships.

Black males who make up about 26 percent of the total enrollments in the school district accounted for 13.2 percent of all Pittsburgh Promise scholarships in 2008 and 17.6 percent of all scholarships in 2010.

Hampton University Ties the Knot With the Coast Guard

Hampton University, the historically black educational institution in Virginia, has entered into a partnership agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard. Under the program, students at Hampton can participate in internships with the Coast Guard in areas such as intelligence, operations, marketing, publicity, and community relations. Hampton students who qualify for the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative can receive full tuition for college for two years plus a stipend.

In Memoriam

William George Gillespie (1931-2001)

William G. Gillespie, who served for more than a half century as pastor of the Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church in St. Louis and was the longtime chair of the board of regents of Harris-Stowe State University, has died from complications resulting from Alzheimer's disease. He was 80 years old.

Rev. Gillespie was a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and earned a bachelor's degree at Knoxville College. He earned a master of sacred theology and a doctor of ministry degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

Dr. Gillespie served on the faculty at Lindenwood College and Johnson C. Smith Seminary in Charlotte before becoming pastor of Cote Brillante in 1956. He served on the Harris-Stowe State University board for more than 30 years. A residence hall on campus is named in his honor.

Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Gail L. Thompson has been appointed to the Wachovia Endowed Chair of Education at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.

Dr. Thompson is a graduate of the University of Southern California. She holds master's and doctoral degrees from Claremont Graduate University. Professor Thompson is the author of six books, including her latest work, The Power of One: How You Can Help or Harm African American Students.

• Bonnie Thornton Dill, chair of the women's studies department at the University of Maryland, was named dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the university. When she begins her new duties on August 1, she will become the first woman to hold the post.

Professor Dill has taught at the University of Maryland for two decades. She is the founding director of the university's Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. She is the author of three books including her latest work, Emerging Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy and Practice.

Professor Dill is a graduate of the University of Rochester. She holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. from New York University.

Darin Latimore, assistant dean for student and resident diversity at the University of California at Davis Health System, has been elected president of the California Chapter of the American College of Physicians Services. His two-year term as president will being in April 2012.

Dr. Latimore is a 1994 graduate of the UC-Davis School of Medicine.

Marvin E. Green Jr. was appointed director of student activities at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. For the past 10 years, Green has been serving as the university’s men’s golf coach.

Green has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida A&M.

• Shelton Rhodes is the new dean of the College of Business at Delaware State University. He was the founding dean of the Howard S. Brown School of Business and Leadership at Stevenson University in Maryland.

Dr. Rhodes is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Howard University and a Ph.D. in urban services management from Old Dominion University.

• Kimberly Edelin Freeman, was promoted to associate professor of educational psychology at Howard University.

Dr. Freeman holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Michigan.

Aaron J. Hart is the new director of housing and residence life at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. He was serving as general manager of a housing community at Prairie View A&M University in Texas.

Dr. Hart is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Louisville and a doctorate from Arizona State University.

• Jasmine M. Waddell was elected to the board of trustees of Brown University. She is currently a visiting professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Dr. Waddell is a 1999 graduate of Brown University. She was a Rhodes Scholar and earned a Ph.D. in social policy at Oxford.

Grants and Gifts

• Virginia State University, the historically black educational institution near Petersburg, is sharing in a $1.47 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Virginia State along with Virginia Tech and the University of Juba and the Catholic University of Sudan are teaming up to establish food and agricultural research programs at the universities in Southern Sudan.

The historically black University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the predominantly white Salisbury University are the co-recipients of a $1 million Department of Education grant to train high school principals at the new Lower Eastern Shore School Leadership Institute, scheduled to open in August.

Historically black Grambling State University received a $110,583 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents to fund the Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP). Under the program students come to the Grambling campus for weeklong summer camps with an emphasis on improving math, science and reading skills.

The Grambling program is under the direction of professors Loretta Walton Jaggers and Nanthailia McJamerson.

Economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Michigan, and the University of Southern California have received a $360,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study environmental justice in the United States. The researchers will examine the race and class of individuals who are exposed to toxic industrial pollution.

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