Yale University Places its Huge Cultural Collections Online: Thousands of Items Relating to African Americans Are Included

Yale University is making its vast art and cultural holdings available to the public over the Internet. Digital images of more than 259,000 items are now available online. In the future, millions of digital versions of items from the university’s museums, libraries, and archives will be accessible. The Peabody Museum of Natural History alone has more than 12 million items in its collection.

The online collections are fully searchable with a collective catalog. A search for “African American” turns up more than 2,700 items. A search for “black Americans” produced nearly 15,000 results.



Chatfield College Offers a New Course on the History of the Underground Railroad and Civil Rights in Cincinnati

In the days of slavery, Cincinnati, Ohio, directly across the river from the slave state of Kentucky, was a key station on the Underground Railroad. Today, the National Underground Railroad Museum is located in Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Bar Foundation has made a grant to Chatfield College to fund a course on the history of the civil rights movement in the greater Cincinnati area. The course will be taught during the fall semester at the Chatfield College campuses in Saint Martin in suburban Cincinnati and at the school’s downtown campus. Blacks make up about one third of the student body at the college. Students enrolled in the course will take several field trips to important civil rights sites in the city.

The course will be taught by Eric R. Jackson, an assistant professor of history at Northern Kentucky University. Dr. Jackson is a graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Cincinnati.


A Light at the End of the Tunnel for Morris Brown College?

The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with historically black Morris Brown College in Atlanta over the college’s $10 million debt with the U.S. Department of Education. The settlement calls for the college to make a $500,000 payment by the end of August.

Morris Brown College has about $20 million in other debt. Its troubling financial situation caused the college to lose its accreditation in 2002. As a result, Morris Brown students could no longer qualify for federal financial aid programs. Enrollments dropped significantly.

The college hopes to have 100 students on campus this fall and has successfully begun an online degree program. It has applied for accreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Morris Brown College is affiliated with the African Methodist-Episcopal Church.

Virginia Tech Expects One of Its Most Diverse Entering Classes This Fall

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that blacks make up 4 percent of the student body at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known at Virginia Tech. But the university, located in Blacksburg, reports that the incoming class will be one of the most diverse in the university's history. Blacks are expected to be 6 percent of first-year students this fall.



Race-Sensitive Admissions Program at the University of Texas Upheld by U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

In a 9-7 ruling the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to rehear a case decided by a three-judge panel that upheld the race-sensitive admissions program at the University of Texas. The plaintiffs in the case had argued that the race-sensitive admissions program was unconstitutional because race-neutral methods were effective in creating a sufficient level of student diversity.

The plaintiffs are considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


The College Board Issues Two Reports on the Educational Status of Young Men of Color

Last week, The College Board Advocacy and Policy Center released two reports on the educational status of young minority men. The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color: A Review of Research, Pathways, and Progress offers a wealth of statistical data and a series of recommendations to improve the educational opportunities for young minority men.

The second report. Capturing the Student Voice, gives true life stories of young minority men and the educational obstacles they face.

Readers interested in downloading the reports, can do so here.


Accrediting Agency Comes Down Hard on Black Colleges

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has placed Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Tougaloo College in Mississippi on probation. Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virginia, had it probation extended for another 12 months. All three colleges were said to fall short of the accrediting body’s standard for financial stability.

Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, was placed on warning status. The university has been trying to sell some of its art collection to bolster the educational institution’s financial outlook.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• James E.K. Hildreth was named dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California at Davis. He has been serving as a professor of immunology and director of the Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research at Meharry Medical College in Nashville.

Dr. Hildreth is a graduate of Harvard University, where he majored in chemistry. He went on to be a Rhodes Scholar where he earned a Ph.D. in immunology. He then completed his medical training at Johns Hopkins University.

• Samuel Griffin, who has served as director of marching bands at Alcorn State University for more than 40 years, was promoted to director of University Bands.

Griffin is a graduate of Jackson State University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.

• Hakizumwami Birali Runesha is the new director of research computing at the University of Chicago. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago he was director of scientific computing and applications at the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.

Dr. Runesha holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Old Dominion University.

• Linda D. Inman was appointed director of housing and residence life at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. She held a similar position at Winston-Salem State University.

Inman holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from North Carolina A&T.

• Clarence D. Armbrister was appointed senior vice president and chief of staff for the president of Johns Hopkins University. He is the former chief of staff for the mayor of Philadelphia and former executive vice president at Temple University.

Armbrister is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan School of Law.

• Larry D. Thompson, the Sibley Professor in Corporate and Business Law at the University of Georgia School of Law, was elected to the board of directors of the Washington Post Company.

Thompson is a former PepsiCo executive and was deputy attorney general of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a graduate of Culver-Stockton College and the University of Michigan School of Law. He also holds a master’s degree from Michigan State University.

• Myron S. McCoo was appointed vice president of human resources at Dartmouth College. His appointment is effective August 1. McCoo was interim vice president of human resources at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

McCoo is a graduate of the University of Texas. He earned a master’s degree at Harvard University and his law degree at Indiana University.


Grants and Gifts

• Alabama State University, the historically black educational institution in Montgomery, received a five-year, $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a program to increase the number students preparing for careers in maternal or child health.

Historically black Hampton University, received a $50,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. Five nursing students will each receive a $10,000 award.

• Elizabeth City State University, the historically black educational institution in North Carolina, received an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for programs to help revitalize neighborhoods surrounding its campus.

The University of Pennsylvania is leading a three-year, $700,000 study funded by the National Institutes of Health that will conduct research on the impact of short films shown on public buses in Los Angeles on HIV/AIDS prevention. Social work students at the University of Southern California will participate by surveying young African-American male riders who view the films.


Do you believe accrediting agencies treat historically black colleges and universities unfairly?


Emory University Researchers Premier New AIDSVu Web Site

It was 30 years ago when the federal government first published data on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Since that time the government has spent billions of dollars in AIDS research resulting in new drugs, treatments, and prevention programs.

Yet, more than 1 million Americans are living with the HIV virus. And a large, disproportionate percentage of new HIV cases involve African Americans.

Researchers at Emory University have launched a new Web site called AIDSVu that shows a map indicating the number of people living with HIV in each county of the United States. The map shows large numbers of AIDS cases throughout the heavily black counties of the South.

Emory researchers hope that the interactive map will serve as a public health education tool.



Educator Forms New Society for Diversity Professionals

Cassandra D. Caldwell, a faculty member with the School of Public Service Leadership at Capella University, has founded the International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals. Membership is not restricted to professionals from higher education and they can be from any industry so long as their job duties involve diversity concerns.

Dr. Caldwell is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a master’s degree from North Carolina Central University and a Ph.D. in human and community resource development from Ohio State University.


Cornell University Provost Refuses to Reconsider His Controversial Plan Regarding the Administration of the Africana Studies and Research Center

Recently, Kent Fuchs, provost at Cornell University, issued a statement affirming a decision he made last December that the leaders of the Africana Studies and Research Center would report to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, rather than directly to the office of the provost. At the time, faculty at the center vehemently opposed the decision. In a statement, the faculty of the center said they were “surprised and appalled” that they had not been consulted before the decision was announced. They further said that the decision by Provost Fuchs was “was patronizing, autocratic, and non-negotiable.”

This past April, Cornell announced that Africana’s Studies and Research Center’s permanent annual budget would be increased from $2.3 million to $3.5 million. This is a hefty increase of over 50 percent.

In addition, the center will receive a one-time allocation of $2 million to “recruit new faculty, support research, and develop a new Ph.D. program.”

But Robert L. Harris Jr., professor of history who resigned as director of the center in protest of Fuchs' decision, remains opposed to the new arrangement. Dr. Harris told JBHE, “ The provost has promised more financial resources for the Africana Center over the next five years, but there is no agreement on how those resources will be deployed. The faculty of the Africana Center and the advice of experts in the field of Africana Studies have been ignored.  There has been no effort on the part of the administration to reach a consensus on change to which we are not unalterably opposed, but we expect the courtesy and dignity of consultation with our faculty and students and not just a few selected individuals."


Historically Black Claflin University Offers New Seven-Year Cooperative Pharmacy Doctoral Degree Program With Presbyterian College

Claflin University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg, South Carolina, has entered into a cooperative pharmacy degree program with Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.

Under the program, students will spend three years at Claflin University studying biochemistry. They will then spend the next four years at Presbyterian College. Students who complete the program will receive a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Claflin University and a doctorate in pharmacy from Presbyterian College.


UCLA Receives Extensive Collection of Christian Manuscripts From Ethiopia

The library at the University of California at Los Angeles has acquired the largest private collection of Ethiopic manuscripts and scrolls. Ethiopic is a Semitic language used by the Christian church in Ethiopia. The collection, which includes 137 bound manuscripts and 102 scrolls, was donated by Gerald and Barbara Weiner. Some of the items date back to the 18th century.

The new additions will supplement the university’s extensive collection in Ethiopic manuscripts dating from the 16th century.

In Memoriam

Edythe Scott Bagley 1924-2011

Edythe Scott Bagley, the older sister of Coretta Scott King and longtime professor at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, died at her home in Thornbury Township, Pennsylvania. She was 86 years old.

A native of Marion, Alabama, in 1943 Bagley earned a scholarship to Antioch College in Ohio. She later transferred to Ohio State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She later earned a master’s degree in English at Columbia University and a master of fine arts degree from Boston University.

Professor Bagley taught at Cheyney University from 1972 to 1996 and founded a theatre arts degree program at the historically black university.


Honors and Awards

• Dahalia Jackson-O’Brien, assistant professor of animal science at Delaware State University in Dover, received the Faculty Excellence in University and Community Service Award from Delaware State. She was honored for her work to help local farmers maintain the health of their livestock.

• Charlotte Reed, professor of urban education and executive director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, was named an “Influential Woman of Northwest Indiana” by Diversified Marketing Strategies, a marketing and communications firm.

Dr. Reed is retiring from teaching this summer.

• Esther Brown, an assistant professor at the School of Nursing at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, received the 2011 Distinguished New Faculty Award from the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Brown is a graduate of Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. She holds a master's degree in nursing from West Chester University and an educational doctorate from Immaculata.

• Lyrae N. Van Clief-Stefanon, a poet and associate professor of English at Cornell University, received a Robert and Helen Appel Fellowship for Humanists and Social Scientists from the university. The award includes a one-semester sabbatical at full pay in order to conduct research, write, or develop curriculum.

Professor Clief-Stefanon is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and holds a master of fine arts degree from Penn State.

Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina has named its newest academic building in honor of Jacqueline and Willie Gilchrist. Willie Gilchrist is the current chancellor of ECSU. His wife Jacqueline has been an educator for 34 years.

The Willie and Jacqueline Gilchrist Education and Psychology Complex will include 15 classrooms, 53 offices for faculty, two faculty lounges and three conference rooms.

Jacqueline Gilchrist is a graduate of ECSU and holds a master’s degree from Central Michigan University. Willie Gilchrist is a 1973 graduate of ECSU and holds a master’s degree from Brockport State University and an educational doctorate from Nova Southeastern University.




Copyright © 2011. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.