Advisory Committee Recommends Major Increases in Federal Financial Aid for Low-Income Students

A new report from a government committee states that there is insufficient financial aid available for low-income college students. The committee warns that the shortfall in financial aid will result in lower persistence and graduation rates among students from low-income groups.

The report, entitled The Rising Price of Inequality: How Inadequate Grant Aid Limits College Access and Persistence, was prepared by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid Assistance. The committee, which is authorized by the Higher Education Act, advises Congress and the secretary of education on financial aid programs.

The study presents evidence that college costs have outpaced available financial aid. As a result, many college-bound students are opting to enroll at community colleges instead of four-year institutions. But the committee presents evidence which shows that these shifts in initial enrollment will lead to fewer students who eventually earn bachelor’s degrees. The authors of the report conclude that “need-based federal financial aid must be greatly intensified and broadened. Shielding academically qualified low- and moderate-income students from rising public college prices is a national imperative.”


Possible Fee Increases at British Universities May Result in Less Racial Diversity

Currently, fees for attending a university in Britain are £3,225 per year. But the British government is conducting a review to determine whether fees should be raised, and, if so, by how much.

A new study at the Sutton Trust asked 2,700 British teenagers if they would attend a university if tuition and other fees were raised. About two thirds of the students reported that they would enroll if the annual fee were raised to £5,000. Only 45 percent would go to a university if the fee increased to £7,000. But only 26 percent of students would enroll if the fee were increased to £10,000.

The study found that blacks and low-income students would be less likely than their white peers to enroll at a university if costs increased.


Memorial to Coretta Scott King Will Be Built on the Campus of Sojourner-Douglass College in Maryland

Sojourner-Douglass College in Edgewater, Maryland, will be the site of a memorial for Coretta Scott King, the wife of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Coretta Scott King died in 2006.

The memorial will be built with a $200,000 grant from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, an organization based in Annapolis, Maryland.

The memorial will include a half-acre garden with a fountain or water sculpture in the center. Construction of the memorial is scheduled to begin in September and a dedication ceremony is planned for April 27, 2011, which would have been Mrs. King’s 84th birthday.

Sojourner-Douglass College opened in 1980 and therefore is not eligible for designation as a historically black educational institution. But about 95 percent of the 1,200 undergraduates at the college are black.


New High School Planned on the Campus of Historically Black Johnson C. Smith University

Johnson C. Smith University, the historically black educational institution in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced plans to open a private high school on its campus. The university will partner with the Regent Schools of the Carolinas, a private organization of Christian schools, to operate the new high school.

The school, which will not open until the fall of 2012 at the earliest, will create what university officials describe as a “learning village.” High school students will be able to use university facilities, and college students in an education curriculum will be able to fulfill student teaching requirements and to conduct research at the high school. The high school will also act as a recruiting tool for the university.

Officials at the university stated that initially the number of high school students enrolled will be small, but the goal is eventually to enroll 400 to 500 students.



Black Enrollments Increase at the University of California San Diego Despite a Series of Racial Incidents on Campus

Last year several racial incidents occurred on the campus of the University of California at San Diego. The most publicized incident was the “Compton Cookout,” a campus party that mocked African Americans.

But the racial tension on the university campus does not seem to have adversely affected the recruiting of black students. The university reports that there will be 68 black freshmen on campus this year, an increase from 50 last fall. There will be 87 blacks among the 2,943 transfer students on campus this fall. Last year there were 46 black transfer students.

Despite these gains, blacks will still make up less than 2 percent of the student body at the University of California at San Diego.


In Memoriam

Teshome H. Gabriel (1939-2010)

Teshome H. Gabriel, a longtime professor of theater, film, and television studies at the University of California at Los Angeles and one of the world’s leading experts on Third World cinema, died last month at a hospital in Pasadena after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 70 years old.

Gabriel was born in the small town of Ticho, Ethiopia. He came to the United States in 1962 to study political science at the University of Utah. He joined the faculty at UCLA as a lecturer in 1974. He earned a master’s degree in 1976 and a Ph.D. from UCLA in 1979. He became a tenured full professor in 1995.

At the time of his death Professor Gabriel was completing a book entitled Third Cinema: Exploration of Nomadic Aesthetics and Narrative Communities.

Wilfred John Daniel Foster (1936-2010)

Wilfred Foster, a member of the chemistry department faculty at historically black Virginia State University for 33 years, died last month in a Richmond-area hospital after battling cancer. He was 73 years old.

Dr. Foster earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Virginia State before joining the Army. He remained in the military reserve for 30 years, retiring in 1997 with the rank of colonel.

Foster held a master’s degree in physical chemistry and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Georgetown University.

He retired from the Virginia State faculty in 2003.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Chad Williams, a member of the history department faculty at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, was granted tenure. Dr. Williams holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees in history from Princeton University.

• Travis Griffin was named director of Office of Engineering Diversity Programs at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He was coordinator of the Multicultural Engineering Program at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

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

• Edward Montgomery was appointed dean and director of the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University. He was executive director of the White House Council for Auto Communities and Workers at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Dr. Montgomery is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

• Lucas Morel, professor of politics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, was appointed to the Lewis G. John Term Professorship. Professor Morel has been on the university’s faculty since 1999.

Dr. Morel is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate School.

• Kurt L. Schmoke, dean of the Howard University School of Law, was elected chair of the board of trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dean Schmoke is a graduate of Yale University, where he won a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School. In 1987, Schmoke was elected mayor of Baltimore and served three four-year terms.

• Harry J. Elam Jr., the Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, was appointed the Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at the university.

Professor Elam, who has been on the Stanford faculty for 20 years, is a graduate of Harvard University. He holds a Ph.D. in dramatic arts from the University of California at Berkeley.

• Keith A. Wailoo was appointed the Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He was Martin Luther King Professor of History and director of the Center for Race and Ethnicity at Rutgers University.

Professor Wailoo is a native of Guyana. He is a graduate of Yale University and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.


Grants and Gifts

• Clemson University in South Carolina received a $90,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation for programs geared toward women and minorities. Part of the grant money will be used to fund a mathematics workshop for 40 incoming freshman students. Another workshop funded in part by the grant is aimed at increasing the number of minority high school students who pursue degrees in engineering.

• Tennessee State University, the historically black educational institution in Nashville, received a $1.6 million grant from the Naval Engineering Education Center. The grant seeks to graduate more minority students in naval engineering programs.

Historically black Hampton University in Virginia received $5.3 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The university will use the funds to buy scientific and laboratory equipment, renovate instructional facilities, and support curriculum development. Some of the funds will be used for tutoring, counseling, and other student services.

• Saint Augustine’s College, the historically black educational institution in Raleigh, North Carolina, received a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The money will be used to recruit students, upgrade campus technology assets, and for faculty development.

• North Carolina A&T State University, the historically black educational institution in Greensboro, received a $927,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The grant money will support a program to train mathematics and science teachers in local public health schools.

Four Blacks Among the “25 Most Famous Professors”

An article published on the website CollegeStats.org lists the “25 Most Famous College Professors Teaching Today.” Leading the list is Madeleine Albright, the Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Also on the list are Bill Ayers, former member of the Weather Underground who teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago; former President Jimmy Carter, University Distinguished Professor at Emory; and Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor at MIT.

There are four African Americans on the list of 25 famous professors. They are:

Maya Angelou, Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina;

Spike Lee, the noted filmmaker who is the artistic director of the graduate film program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University;

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University; and

Dennis Green, former head coach of the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals who now teaches at San Diego State University.



Home Depot Grants to Spruce Up Black College Campuses: Site of the Emancipation Oak to Be Refurbished

Elizabeth City State University, the historically black educational institution in North Carolina, won a $50,000 prize in the Retool Your School competition sponsored by Home Depot. The university will use the prize money to landscape a new baseball complex on campus.

Ten other HBCUs won $10,000 grants as runners-up in the competition. One of the more notable projects will be at Hampton University. There the $10,000 prize money will be used to repair and paint a 287-foot wrought-iron fence that surrounds the historic Emancipation Oak. Benches and lighting will be added, and the area around the tree will be landscaped.

The tree, which reportedly was planted in 1610, is now more than 100 feet in diameter. It is listed as one of the 10 Great Trees of the World by the National Geographic Society. Slaves gathered under its limbs in 1863 to hear a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.


Historically Black University Offers One-of-a-Kind Degree

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents has approved two new degree programs for the historically black University of Maryland Eastern Shore. One of the new degree programs is especially noteworthy. The university will be the first in the nation to offer a degree program in quantitative fisheries science and resource economics. A master’s degree will be offered in this concentration.

Also, the university will offer, for the first time, a bachelor’s degree program in urban forestry.

Scholarships for Minority Students Pursuing Degrees in Health Care Fields

The United Health Foundation is providing $1,225,000 in scholarships to more than 200 minority students who plan to pursue careers in health care fields. The foundation’s Diverse Scholars Initiative provides up to $5,000 towards a student’s tuition. Winners of the scholarships must demonstrate financial need and be either African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, or American Indian.


Alabama A&M University Tightens Its Belt

Alabama A&M University, the historically black educational institution in Normal, has been forced to make some tough decisions to keep its financial house in order. The board of trustees recently approved a whopping 23 percent increase in tuition for the coming academic year. The board estimates that the increased tuition will bring in an additional $8.8 million.

There are about 4,300 undergraduate students at the university and almost all of them are black. More than 90 percent of the students at the university receive some level of financial aid. Therefore, the steep rise in tuition costs will undoubtedly be a huge blow to the college aspirations of many African-American students.

In addition, the trustees also approved nonpaid furloughs for faculty and staff, a move that will save about $2.2 million.


Milestone Appointment at Suffolk University School of Law in Boston

This September, Camille A. Nelson will become the first woman and the first African American to serve as dean in the 104-year history of the Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Nelson has been serving as a professor at the Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, New York. From 2000 to 2009 she was a professor at the Saint Louis University School of Law.

Professor Nelson is a graduate of the University of Toronto. She earned a law degree at the University of Ottawa and later earned a master of laws degree from Columbia Law School in New York City.

She served as a clerk for Justice Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada.

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.

A Black Soldier’s Story: The Narrative of Ricardo Batrell and the Cuban War of Independence edited by Mark A. Sanders (University of Minnesota Press)

African American Writers and Classical Tradition by William W. Cook and James Tatum (University of Chicago Press)

Claiming Others: Transracial Adoption and National Belonging by Mark C. Jerng (University of Minnesota Press)

Color Blind: A Memoir by Precious Williams (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Cultural Hegemony and African American Patriotism: An Analysis of the Song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by Timothy Askew (Linus Books)

Duvalier’s Ghosts: Race, Diaspora, and U.S. Imperialism in Haitian Literatures by Jana Evans Braziel (University Press of Florida)

Embodiment and the New Shape of Black Theological Thought by Anthony B. Pinn (New York University Press)

Fly Away: The Great African American Cultural Migrations by Peter M. Rutkoff and William B. Scott (Johns Hopkins University Press)

From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti, and Pan Americanism, 1870-1964 by Millery Polyné (University Press of Florida)

I Belong to South Carolina: South Carolina Slave Narratives edited by Susanna Ashton (University of South Carolina Press)

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

Killing Time: An 18-Year Odyssey From Death Row to Freedom by John Hollway and Ronald Gauthier (Skyhorse Publishing)

Langston Hughes and American Lynching Culture by W. Jason Miller (University Press of Florida)

Multiculturalism on Campus: Theory, Models, and Practices for Understanding Diversity and Creating Inclusion edited by Michael Cuyjet et al., (Stylus Books)

Natives, Europeans, and Africans in Colonial Campeche: History and Archaeology edited by Vera Tiesler et al. (University Press of Florida)

Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal, America’s Racial Obsession by Erik Rush (WND Books)

Power, Protest, and the Public Schools: Jewish and African American Struggles in New York City by Melissa F. Weiner (Rutgers University Press)

Race and Renaissance: African Americans in Pittsburgh Since World War II by Joe W. Trotter and Jared N. Day (University of Pittsburgh Press)

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner (W.W. Norton)

The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah (W.W. Norton)

The Measure of Injury: Race, Gender, and Tort Law by Martha Chamallas and Jennifer B. Wriggins (New York University Press)

The Quarters and the Fields: Slave Families in the Non-Cotton South by Damian Alan Pargas (University Press of Florida)

What Can You Say? America’s National Conversation on Race by John Hartigan Jr. (Stanford University Press)


Honors and Awards

• The CHEER Scholar program at historically black Fayetteville State University received the 2010 Lee Noel-Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award. The summer bridge program is for students who have not achieved the academic requirements for admission to the university.

• Cheryl A. Davis-Robinson, an adviser to students in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware, received the Ujima Award from the university’s department of black American studies.

• Robin D.G. Kelley, professor of American studies and ethnicity and history at the University of Southern California, won the 2009 Best Book Award from the Jazz Journalists Association for his work, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original.

• Otis A. Thomas, dean of the business school at Morgan State University in Baltimore, received the Milton Wilson Award at the Annual National HBCU Business School Deans’ Roundtable Summit in Houston.

Dean Thomas is a graduate of Indiana University. He holds a Ph.D. in the technology of management from American University.

• Mary Evans Sias, president of Kentucky State University in Frankfort, received the HBCU Legacy Showcase of Honor award from the Education First Foundation.

• Keith Whitfield, professor of geriatrics, professor of psychology and neuroscience and director of the Center on Biobehavioral and Social Aspects of Health Disparities at Duke University, will receive the Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award given by the Gerontological Society of America.

Dr. Whitfield is a graduate of Santa Fe College. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.


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