African-American Law School Enrollments Reach an All-Time High

In the 2008-09 academic year there were 9,822 black students attending the 197 U.S. law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. This is the largest number of African Americans ever enrolled in U.S. law schools.

Total black law school enrollments in law schools increased by 3.5 percent from the 2007-08 academic year. Blacks now make up 6.5 percent of all law school enrollments. This is up from 6.3 percent a year earlier. But blacks are still shy of their all-time high in their percentage of all law school students. In the year 2000 blacks were 7.1 percent of all law school enrollments.


Two Blacks Win MacArthur Genius Awards

The winners of MacArthur Foundation genius awards are scholars and artists — individuals generally not well known to the American public — who have accomplished much in their chosen fields. The grants are designed to reward the recipients for their past work, to free them of financial obligations, and to enable them to take on new projects.

Each awardee receives $500,000 distributed in quarterly installments of $25,000 over a five-year period.

This year, of the 24 recipients, two blacks won MacArthur grants. Both are college graduates and both have graduate degrees. 

Mark Bradford is an artist who has worked in a large number of media. He is best known for his oversized abstract collages that he creates using materials he finds on the streets near his home in South Central Los Angeles. Bradford holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the California Institute of the Arts.

Edwidge Danticat is a novelist whose works explore the Haitian immigrant experience. Her most well known work is the collection of stories entitled Krik? Krak! (1995). Danticat is a graduate of Barnard College. She holds a master of fine arts degree from Brown University. Danticat has served as a visiting professor of creative writing at New York University and the University of Miami.



Three Black Scholars Win Awards for Promoting Diversity in Business School

Ernst & Young, one of the nation’s largest accounting firms, has awarded three African-American scholars with its initial Inclusive Excellence Award for Accounting and Business School Faculty. The award is given to faculty members for their outstanding work in increasing diversity on their campus through innovative teaching, research, or program development.

The following are the three African-American scholars who won the award:

Mark C. Dawkins is associate dean for academic programs and a professor of accounting at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Dawkins is a graduate of Georgia Tech. He holds an MBA from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in accounting from Florida State University.

Matthew J. Anderson is an associate professor of accounting and information systems at Michigan State University. He earned an MBA and a Ph.D. in accounting from Michigan State University.

Michael Clement is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a graduate of Baruch College of the City University of New York. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.


Black Enrollments in Higher Education Expected to Surge by More Than 21 Percent Over the Next Decade

The U.S. Department of Education has issued its annual report estimating student enrollments a decade down the road. This year’s report projects that in 2018 total enrollments in higher education will be about 20.6 million. In 2018 there will be nearly 3 million African Americans enrolled in higher education.

Black enrollments are expected to increase 21.6 percent over the next decade. Enrollments of students of all races are expected to increase by only 10.3 percent.

Today blacks make up close to 13 percent of total enrollments in higher education. By 2018 the black percentage of total enrollments is expected to be 14.5 percent.

Record Enrollments at Historically Black Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M University, the historically black educational institution northwest of the Houston metropolitan area, has the largest incoming class in the school’s 133-year history. There are 1,648 freshmen at the university this fall, an increase of 27 percent from a year ago.


In Memoriam

Hayden Bentley Renwick (1935-2009)

Hayden Renwick, a longtime dean and administrator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, died last month from heart disease. He was 74 years old.

A native of Statesville, North Carolina, in 1956 Renwick graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. After serving in the Army he took a position as a physical education instructor at North Carolina A&T State University. He later earned a master’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

During his career at Chapel Hill he served as assistant director of undergraduate admissions, assistant dean, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. From 1988 to 1991 he was associate chancellor at Fayetteville State University.

Norrece T. Jones Sr. (1920-2009)

Norrece T. Jones Sr., a longtime administrator at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, died from pneumonia last month at a retirement community in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He was 89 years old.

Jones was born in South Carolina but went to high school in Ocean City, New Jersey. While an undergraduate at Hampton University in Virginia, he was a champion boxer. After graduation from Hampton he studied business administration at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1948 he was hired as a bookkeeper at Cheyney University. After a career of 35 years at Cheyney he retired in 1983 as vice president for fiscal affairs.


Honors and Awards

• Beverly H. Wright received a 2009 Heinz Award in environmental studies from the Heinz Family Philanthropies. Dr. Wright is professor of sociology and director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans. The award comes with a cash stipend of $100,000.

• Joseph J. Russell, former chair of the Department of Afro-American Affairs at Indiana University and a founding member of the National Council for Black Studies, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University where he earned both master’s and doctoral degrees.

• David Lloyd Briscoe, professor of sociology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

• Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor at New York Law School who also teaches on the Newark campus of Rutgers University, won the 2009 Frederick Douglass Book Prize from the Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University for her book The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. Professor Gordon-Reed had previously won the National Book Award, the George Washington Book Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for the same work.

Professor Gordon-Reed is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.


Grants and Gifts

The U.S. Department of Education made grants of between $97,000 and $200,000 to seven historically black colleges and universities under its Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program. The grants will fund programs to increase the number of students pursuing degrees in scientific disciplines. The seven HBCUs that received grants are Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Florida A&M University, Jackson State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Winston-Salem State University, Allen University, and Prairie View A&M University.

• DePaul University in Chicago received a $100,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The grant will be used to fund scholarships for minority students.

• The University of Kansas received a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund a two-week institute for secondary school teachers on teaching the literary works of black author Richard Wright.

• Essex County College in New Jersey was awarded a $467,946 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish the Stay-in-Step Academy. The program is aimed at increasing the college retention rates of black males.

• Winston-Salem State University, the historically black educational institution in North Carolina, received a two-year, $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a program to increase the number of black students studying science and mathematics and to help them prepare for graduate school.

• The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco received a three-year, $210,000 grant from the California Wellness Foundation. The money is earmarked for minority students in the institute’s master’s degree program in community mental health.

• Butler University in Indianapolis received a $150,000 grant from the Eli Lilly & Co. Foundation to fund a lecture series that will bring minority scholars to campus.

For breaking news and previews of upcoming articles


A Statistical Portrait of Publicly Operated Black Colleges and Universities

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc., named for the late U.S. Supreme Court justice, was established in 1987. It represents 47 public historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) located in 22 states and the United States Virgin Islands.

A new report from the organization offers a valuable picture of the demographics of the students who attend these 47 state-operated universities. Here are some of the highlights of the report:

• There are 233,683 students of all races enrolled at these 47 state-operated universities. Of these, about 34,000 are graduate students.

• About 84 percent of the total undergraduate enrollments at these 47 colleges and universities are African Americans. For graduate students, 74 percent are black.

• In 2007, 24,103 bachelor’s degrees were awarded at these universities, an increase of more than 80 percent since the turn of the century. One in every seven bachelor’s degrees earned by African Americans is awarded by a member institution of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

• In 2007 these 47 institutions of higher learning granted 6,865 master’s degrees, 1,102 professional degrees, and 496 doctoral degrees.


“Diversity isn’t a program or policy. It is a state of being.”

Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, in announcing a new initiative to diversify the work force which includes a partnership offering scholarships and internships to students at historically black universities


Black Universities in New Orleans Participate in City’s Renewal

For the first time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, colleges and universities in New Orleans report higher enrollments than was the case prior to the storm. And the city’s black colleges and universities are participating in the enrollment growth.

At Dillard University, total enrollments are up 20 percent this fall. New student enrollments are up a whopping 63 percent. Dillard used a beefed-up marketing and recruitment campaign in large cities throughout the nation to produce higher enrollments.

At Xavier University, the historically black Catholic institution in New Orleans, total enrollments this fall are 3,320. This is an increase of 4 percent from a year ago. University officials tell JBHE that the campus is abuzz with activity.

At the Southern University campus in New Orleans, total enrollments are up 2 percent from last year. But new student enrollments have increased by more than 20 percent.


The Huge Gender Gap in African-American Graduate School Enrollments

Last week we reported on a new study which shows that blacks have made huge gains in graduate school enrollments. But the news is somewhat tempered by the fact that black women are making most of the gains. In the fall of 2008, there were 121,113 black women enrolled in graduate school compared to 45,738 black men. Thus, black women accounted for a whopping 72.6 percent of all African-American graduate school enrollments. In contrast, women make up 60.9 percent of white graduate school enrollments.


Racial Diversity of Rutgers University Faculty Trails Far Behind That of Its Student Body

The flagship campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is one of the most racially diverse in the nation. Whites make up 51 percent of the student body. There are large groups of blacks, Hispanics, and Asian-American students. But an analysis by the student newspaper finds that the racial diversity of the faculty does not match that of the student body.

The study found that whites make up 71.4 percent of the full-time faculty of 2,002. There are 67 black full-time faculty members. They constitute 3.3 percent of the full-time faculty. This is less than the national average for black faculty, which currently stands at 5.3 percent.


New Program in Intelligence Studies at Historically Black Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University, the historically black educational institution in North Carolina, has established a minor degree program in intelligence studies. The new program will be attractive to students in several different majors who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of national security, international business, or law enforcement.

The new program will be housed within the university’s department of government and history.



80.7%  Married couple families as a percentage of all white families in the United States in 2007.

44.7%  Married couple families as a percentage of all African-American families in the United States in 2007.

source: U.S. Census Bureau


New Video Game Features Black College Football

Legendary football coach John Madden has given up his position as an announcer for National Football League telecasts but his name continues to adorn the nation's top-selling video game. Madden NFL 10 is the latest installment of a 21-year success story that has sold more than 75 million units and produced revenues of more than $2 billion.

Now Nerjyzed Entertainment is hoping to cash in on this video football game craze with its Black College Football Experience for the Xbox 360 game system. The video game features competitive football games between teams from black colleges and universities and interactive halftime shows that feature battles of the marching bands. The game also includes a Legacy Museum where users can learn the history of black college football and its legendary players.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Carmen Gillespie was promoted to full professor of English at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She is also executive director of the Toni Morrison Society, which is based at Bucknell.

• Kendrick Brown was appointed associate dean of the faculty at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has been on the psychology department faculty at the college since 1998.

Dean Brown is a graduate of Mount Union College. He holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan.

• Sylvia Spears was named acting dean of Dartmouth College for a two-year term. She came to Dartmouth in 2007 as director of the Office of Pluralism and Leadership and associate dean of student life.

Dr. Spears holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, all from the University of Rhode Island.

• Esther L. Jones was named assistant professor of English at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She was a visiting assistant professor of English and women’s studies at Emory University.

• Gale Sayers, who was an All-American running back for the University of Kansas and is a member of the National Football League’s Hall of Fame, was named director of fundraising for special projects at the University of Kansas.

• Elon A. Kulii was named interim chair of the English department at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. He has been serving as a professor in the department.

Dr. Kulii is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University. He holds a master’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University and a doctorate from Indiana University.

• Richard Green was named to a one-year term as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alcorn State University in Mississippi. He was interim vice president for academic affairs and acting president at Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska.

Dr. Green is a graduate of Concordia College in Minnesota. He holds a master’s degree from North Dakota State University and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Louisville.

• Fanchon Glover was named assistant to the president for diversity and community initiatives at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She was interim vice president at the college and director of multicultural affairs.

• William D. Scott has retired from his position on the chemistry department faculty at the University of Mississippi. He has taught at Ole Miss for 24 years.

Dr. Scott is a graduate of Rust College in Mississippi. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at Ole Miss in 1992.


Copyright © 2009. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.