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Among the Nation’s 30 Top-Rated Law Schools, Harvard Has the Highest Percentage of Black Students

Of the 30 highest-ranked law schools in academic standing, the largest percentage of black students occurs at Harvard University. Blacks are 11.1 percent of the student body at Harvard Law School. The only other high-ranking law school at which blacks make up at least 10 percent of the student body is Duke University. 

Blacks make up more than 9 percent of the student bodies at the law schools at Georgetown University and Emory University.

Blacks are less than 5 percent of the students at six high-ranking law schools. They are the University of Notre Dame, Washington and Lee University, the University of Iowa, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Washington. The latter three law schools are prohibited by state law from using race as a factor in their admissions decisions.

“Students want to come. They don’t have the money.”

Stanley Battle, chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University, announcing his hope to give every incoming freshman student in 2008 some level of scholarship grant

ACT Results Show a Huge Racial Gap in Preparedness for College

The ACT scoring statistics that JBHE has reported in recent weeks also record the percentage of ACT test takers who meet benchmark scores for college readiness. These statistics show what percentage of all test takers are adequately prepared for college-level study. Unfortunately, this data shows a huge racial gap in college readiness.

Some 37 percent of all blacks who took the ACT were rated as being adequately prepared for college English courses. For whites, the figure is 78 percent. In mathematics, only 12 percent of all black test takers achieved the benchmark score for college readiness. For whites, nearly half of all students were deemed prepared for college-level study in mathematics. This is four times the rate for blacks.

The largest racial gap in college readiness is in science. Only 5 percent of black ACT test takers achieved the benchmark score for preparedness in science. In contrast, 33 percent of white students, more than six times as many, were deemed capable of handling a college-level science curriculum.

End of Race-Based Scholarships Did Not Do Serious Damage to Black Enrollments at the University of Tennessee

In 2006 the federal courts ruled that the state of Tennessee had complied with a mandated desegregation order for its higher education system and was no longer under federal oversight. Prior to this ruling, under what was called the Geier Consent Decree, the University of Tennessee had established a scholarship program whose sole purpose was to increase black enrollments at its flagship Knoxville campus. In 2006 there were 1,000 students on the Knoxville campus who were Geier scholars.

As a result of the ending of a federal mandate calling for efforts to increase racial integration at Tennessee’s colleges and universities, legal authorities in the state came to a consensus that scholarship programs set aside solely for black students at the University of Tennessee and other state-operated educational institutions were no longer constitutional.

Fearing that the end of race-based scholarships would cause a severe decline in black applicants and black enrollees, administrators at the University of Tennessee came up with an alternative plan. The Tennessee Promise scholarship program was established. Under this program, students of any race from 35 different high schools could qualify for full-tuition scholarships at the University of Tennessee. Of the 35 high schools, 21 were in the Memphis school district, where 85 percent of the students are black.

The University of Tennessee also established the Pledge Scholarship program which offers full tuition and room and board to all students whose families earn below 150 percent of the federal poverty line.

Preliminary enrollment numbers for 2007 show that blacks make up 9 percent of the incoming class at the University of Tennessee. This is equivalent to the overall black enrollments at the university when the Geier Scholars program was in effect.

The Higher Education of the Newest Black Congressional Representative

Laura Richardson recently won a special election to the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s Thirty-Seventh Congressional District. The seat was left vacant following the death from cancer of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald.

Representative Richardson is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles. She spent 14 years at Xerox Corporation and earned an MBA at the University of Southern California. In 2001 she was elected to the Long Beach City Council. Five years later in 2006, she was elected to the California State Assembly.

Professor David Dinkins Fails to Convince West Harlem Community Groups of the Benefits in Columbia University’s Plans to Expand Its Campus

Since leaving office as mayor of New York City, David Dinkins has been a professor of public affairs at Columbia University. So when the university was obliged to present its plan for a $5.8 billion expansion of its campus into West Harlem, Professor Dinkins was assigned the task of soothing community relations and putting forth the university’s case for the expansion plan.

But Dinkins, who is the only African American to have been mayor of New York, was loudly booed while appearing at the community board meeting. The community board subsequently voted 17-1 against the Columbia plan.

Over the next 25 years, Columbia wants to expand its campus into the Manhattanville neighborhood of West Harlem in a wide swath of blocks stretching from 125th Street to 133rd Street, west of Broadway. Although Columbia has stated that it will not do so, some residents fear that the university, in collaboration with the Empire State Development Corporation, will use the power of eminent domain to take over properties from landlords.

Several groups, including one on campus, have formed to organize opposition to the expansion plan.

How the University of Brasilia Determines Who Is Black

The University of Brasilia in the capital city of Brazil is one of that country’s elite institutions of higher learning. In the past, Afro-Brazilians made up about 2 percent of the student body despite the fact that 50 percent of the country’s population has African heritage.

Now the government of Brazil is reserving 20 percent of all spaces in the incoming class for Afro-Brazilians. The tricky part is determining who will qualify for admission under the quota system. In a multiracial society where there has been a great deal of race mixing, determining who is, and who is not, black is being left to a special admissions committee. All applicants will be required to submit photographs with their applications. The committee will look over the photographs taking particular note of skin tone, lip thickness, and hair texture before making its decision.

The television show Wide Angle will examine the university admissions process and overall race relations in Brazil in a documentary premiering this week on the Public Broadcasting Network.


Mark Kiel was appointed vice chancellor for development and university relations at North Carolina A&T State University. He has been serving in the post on an interim basis since the beginning of the year.

Dr. Kiel is a graduate of Alabama State University. He holds an MBA from Atlanta University and a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Georgia.

Marcelle Christian Holmes was named interim associate dean of students and dean of women at Pomona College. Since 2001 Dr. Holmes has been an assistant professor of psychology and black studies at Pomona.

Professor Holmes is a graduate of Vassar College and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan.

Karen Jackson-Weaver was appointed associate dean of academic affairs and diversity for the graduate school at Princeton University. She was the executive director of the New Jersey Amistad Commission.

Dr. Jackson-Weaver is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. She also earned master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University.

Benjamin O. Uwakweh was named dean of the School of Technology at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. He was an associate professor and chair of the department of construction science at the University of Cincinnati.

Dean Uwakweh is a graduate of the University of Portland. He holds a master’s degree from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Michigan.


Johnson C. Smith University, the historically black educational institution in Charlotte, received a 10-year, $500,000 grant from the BB&T Corporation, a banking company based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The money will be used to create the BB&T Endowed Professorship in Free Market Capitalism.

• The Cambridge Academic Group in Boston, Massachusetts, is awarding $30,000 grants to four historically black colleges and universities. The grants, which will be in the form of consulting fees, will enable the black colleges to take advantage of the consultants’ expertise in organization structure, technology planning, and operational processes.

The four HBCUs that will receive the grants are:

• Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas
• Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
• North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro
• Southern University in Shreveport, Louisiana

How Gender Impacts the Racial Scoring Gap on the SAT

Last week JBHE reported that the racial gap in SAT scores remained virtually unchanged this year and is significantly wider than was the case two years ago.

Contrary to the common stereotype, black men actually outperform black women on the SAT. The mean combined score on the critical reading and mathematics sections of the SAT for black men in 2007 was 866. For black women, the mean combined score was 859. Black women outperformed black men on the critical reading section of the test but trailed black men by a wide margin on the mathematics section of the SAT.

However, when we compare African-American scores to white scores, we find a large racial gap among men. The black-white scoring gap for men on the combined SAT this year is 216 points. The racial scoring gap for women is significantly lower at 186 points.

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop: Fears of Further Declines in Black Enrollments at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas

In 2005 students who sought admission to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas were required to have posted a 2.5 grade point average or above while in high school. At that time, blacks made up about 8 percent of the 22,000 undergraduate students at the university.

In the fall of 2006, the admission threshold was raised to 2.75. Students who had not achieved a 2.75 grade point average in high school were no longer eligible for admission to UNLV. As a result, black freshman enrollments plummeted 30 percent in 2006 compared to a year earlier.

Now the regents of the University of Nevada have decided to go ahead with a plan to raise the admission threshold to 3.0 for next year’s entering class. Many proponents of increasing higher educational opportunities for African Americans believe that the new threshold will result in further reductions in black enrollments at the university.

The new admissions standards will also be enforced at the University of Nevada at Reno. However, the impact is not expected to do much damage. Blacks make up a very small 2 percent of the total enrollments at the Reno campus.

Record Enrollments Causing Housing Crisis at Some Black Colleges

This year more than 11,000 students applied to Clark Atlanta University, the historically black educational institution in Georgia. The university accepted slightly more than half of its applicants. But a much higher than expected student yield caused a housing crunch on campus.

The high yield produced an incoming class that was 400 students larger than expected. Some 500 students arrived on campus without room assignments. Clark Atlanta scrambled to find dormitory space off campus at nearby educational institutions and in residential apartment complexes.

At Kentucky State University in Frankfort, the university stopped taking housing applications in July because it no longer had space to house any more students on campus. The university has made resident assistants double up in one room to make other rooms available for students. Computer lounges, conference rooms, and storage facilities have been converted into student rooms. Students in one dorm are being housed in the basement and have to go upstairs to take a shower. Some of these basement rooms house three students each. Students who opt for these converted rooms are given a housing discount. Other students are paying a premium to live in hotel rooms the university has procured off campus.

A similar crisis occurred at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. There, the incoming first-year class was 35 percent larger than expected. Students arrived on campus to find that there was no available housing. More than 100 students were without housing on the first day. The university secured 48 rooms at a local hotel to ease the shortage.

Black Legislators, Too, Can Play Pork Barrel Politics

State Senator Charles Dannelly of North Carolina is a powerful member of the State Assembly. In last-minute negotiations over the $20.7 billion state budget, Dannelly, a retired educator, slipped in a provision granting two state-sponsored athletic scholarships to each of 10 historically black colleges and universities in North Carolina.

Each of the 10 schools will be allocated funds to award two $1,250 scholarships, one to a man and one to a woman. (Bennett College, which is exclusively a women’s college, will be able to give both its scholarships to women.)

The colleges will have wide latitude on who receives the scholarships. The sponsoring bill says that leadership and academic standards are to be considered, but the only definitive requirement is that the student be a varsity athlete. Financial need is not a requirement for the awards.

Five of the colleges that will be able to grant the scholarships are private institutions. The scholarship program, funded from interest of a $500,000 endowment fund, are named for John B. McLendon, a former basketball coach at North Carolina Central University.

Traditionally Black Universities in South Africa Have Hundreds of Students Enrolled in Sociology But Very Few Instructors in the Discipline

A survey by the South African Sociological Association has found vast persisting disparities in the level of sociology faculty at the nation’s traditionally white higher educational institutions compared with the universities that were exclusively for black students during the apartheid era.

The survey found that at the University of Zululand, there are three full-time staff members for 593 students enrolled in sociology courses.

At the University of Venda, there are three full-time staff members for 663 sociology students.

Even more extreme is the situation at the University of Limpopo. At this university there are 910 students taking sociology classes but there is only one full-time instructor and two part-time lecturers.

In Memoriam

Asa Grant Hilliard III (1933-2007)

Asa G. Hilliard III, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University and one of the nation’s leading Afrocentric scholars, died late last month in Egypt from complications of malaria. He was 73 years old.

At the time of his death, Professor Hilliard was in Egypt with a group of students to address the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization, an organization that he co-founded.

Dr. Hilliard had served on the faculty of Georgia State University for more than a quarter of a century. He held a joint appointment in the department of educational policy studies and the department of educational psychology and special education. Prior to coming to Georgia State, he was dean of education at San Francisco State University. Dr. Hilliard was also a founding member of the National Black Child Development Institute and he sat on the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Asa Hilliard was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1933. His father was a school principal and his mother was a minister. When his parents divorced, Hilliard moved with his mother to Denver, Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in counseling, and a doctorate in educational psychology, all from the University of Denver.

The author of hundreds of scholarly articles, Professor Hilliard’s books include The Maroon Within Us: Selected Essays on African American Community Socialization (Black Classic Press 1995) and African Power: Affirming African Indigenous Socialization in the Face of the Culture Wars (Makare Publishing, 2002).

Jeanette Elaine Prince Lockley (1933-2007)

Jeanette Lockley, a long-time professor of mathematics, died last month from pneumonia at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. She was 74 years old.

Dr. Lockley, the great-granddaughter of slaves, attended racially segregated public schools in Dallas. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, where her father was a mathematics teacher, she wanted to enroll at the University of Texas but was barred because of her race. Instead she enrolled at and graduated from historically black Wiley College. She earned a master’s degree at Texas Southern University and then received a scholarship to enter the graduate program at Stanford University. There she earned a second master’s degree in mathematics education and a Ph.D. in statistics.

Over a long academic career, she taught at Texas Southern University and Merritt College in Oakland. She spent the majority of her career at Mountain View College in Dallas, where she chaired the mathematics department.

Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, she retired from teaching in 1999.

Mildred William Glover (1935-2007)

Mildred Glover, a former professor and assistant dean at the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University, died of a heart attack at her home in Baltimore. She was 72 years old.

Dr. Glover ran a long-shot campaign for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004, focusing mainly on ending the war in Iraq. She received 11 votes in the New Hampshire primary, which was won by John Kerry. In Maryland, where she lived at the time, she received more than 4,000 votes in the presidential primary. Glover was not a political neophyte. She served for eight years in the Georgia state legislature.

Mildred Glover was a native of Savannah and graduated from what is now Savannah State University. She held a master’s degree from New York University and a doctorate in education from the University of Georgia.

She began her academic career at Savannah State and also taught at Atlanta University. In 1989 she joined the faculty at Morgan State University in Baltimore and remained there until her retirement in 2005.

70.0%  Percentage of whites who received a bachelor’s degree in 1993 and went on to teaching careers and, in 2003, said that they planned to continue teaching for the rest of their working lives.

37.0%  Percentage of blacks who received a bachelor’s degree in 1993 and went on to teaching careers and, in 2003, said that they planned to continue teaching for the rest of their working lives.

source: U.S. Department of Education


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