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Lacrosse Scandal Has Little Impact on Duke University’s Black Enrollments

This past spring, the campus of Duke University was rocked by charges that three white members of the lacrosse team raped a black student from nearby North Carolina Central University. The woman, who had been hired as an exotic dancer for a party off-campus hosted by a lacrosse team member, was allegedly subjected to slurs and other racist comments prior to the reported assault.

As a result of the incident, race relations on the Duke campus and the relationship of Duke University to the historically black North Carolina Central University were placed under a microscope by the nation’s press and media outlets.

But all of this adverse publicity appears to have had almost no impact on black first-year enrollments at Duke University. There are 160 black freshmen at Duke this year, only three fewer than in the fall of 2005. Blacks make up 9.5 percent of the entering class at Duke this year, exactly the same as a year ago.

In past years Duke had declined to report to JBHE its black student acceptance rates or black student yield. But this year Duke was willing to report this information. Just over 27 percent of all black students who applied to Duke this year were accepted for admission. This is only slightly higher than the acceptance rate for whites. So it appears that Duke did not accept a higher number of blacks in anticipation of difficulty in attracting black students because of the lacrosse team scandal. Duke’s black student yield of 33.3 percent is lower than those of Ivy League institutions but is in line with the black student yield at such institutions as Northwestern, Emory, Wake Forest, and the University of Chicago.

“This is a 24-hour job, so I often have no time for my family or friends. You wouldn’t believe the amount of horrible messages I get from people telling me what a lousy friend I am.”

Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, in the London Guardian, 10-3-06

How Racial Differences in High School Curriculum Affect the SAT Scoring Gap Between Blacks and Whites

Clearly, one of the main factors in explaining the SAT racial gap is that black students almost across the board are not being adequately schooled to perform well on the SAT and similar tests. In 2006, 47 percent of white SAT test takers had taken trigonometry in high school compared to 36 percent of black test takers. Some 30 percent of white test takers had taken calculus in high school. Only 15 percent of black students had taken calculus, one half as many as whites.

Similar discrepancies appear in the level of instruction in English, the other major component of the SAT. Some 90 percent of white test takers had completed coursework in American literature compared to 80 percent of black test takers. For whites, 67 percent had taken high school courses in composition compared to 52 percent of blacks. Some 71 percent of whites and 61 percent of blacks had completed coursework in grammar. A full 41 percent of all white test takers had completed honors courses in English compared to 29 percent of black test takers.

A Tale of Two Technology Titans and Their Black Enrollments

CalTech and MIT are the nation’s two most prestigious universities where the main academic focus is on various fields of science and technology. In academic rankings CalTech and MIT are tied in fourth place among all national universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report survey. Only Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford received higher rankings than these two institutes of technology.

Located on opposite coasts of the United States, MIT and CalTech couldn’t be further apart in terms of black enrollments. According to the latest Department of Education data, blacks make up 5.8 percent of the total enrollments at MIT but only 0.8 percent of all undergraduates at CalTech.

In this year’s entering class, the annual JBHE survey of black freshmen shows 81 blacks among the first-year students at MIT but there are only three black freshmen at CalTech. Blacks make up over 8 percent of all first-year students at MIT. At CalTech, blacks make up 1.4 percent of the entering class.

Over the past 13 years since JBHE began its annual survey of black freshmen at the nation’s leading universities, on four occasions there have been no blacks at all in the entering class at CalTech.

South Carolina State University Working to Develop Science and Mathematics Curriculum for Tanzanian Children

Researchers at South Carolina State University, the historically black education institution in Orangeburg, are working with officials of Tanzania to develop textbooks and other reading materials for schoolchildren in Africa. The goal is to develop a science and mathematics curriculum geared toward youth in Tanzania and to produce 600,000 textbooks for use in the country’s schools. Funding for the project is provided by the U.S. government’s African Aid Initiative.

Surprise! A Black College With an Equestrian Team

When one hears the word “equestrian,” images of the English aristocracy usually come to mind. But Delaware State University, the historically black educational institution in Dover, is now well into its first full season of intercollegiate equestrian competition. Delaware State is the only HBCU among the 23 colleges and universities currently fielding a varsity equestrian team.

The team has six members, only one of whom is an African American. The team stables 14 horses at Magical Acres Farm in Cheswold, Delaware. Coach Leigh Nichol, who holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Georgia, is a two-time member of the national equestrian team.

The Delaware State equestrian team will participate in eight meets this season, all on the road. The team will travel to Texas, South Dakota, Tennessee, New Mexico, California, and Alabama.


Arthur Henderson was named vice president for business and finance at Fort Valley State University in Georgia. Henderson was the interim director for internal auditing at Savannah State University. A native of New Orleans, Henderson is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami.

Humphrey A. Regis was named director of the liberal studies program at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. Previously he was an associate professor of mass communications at the University of South Florida.

Joyce O. Jenkins was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fort Valley State University. Dr. Jenkins has been on the university’s faculty for the past two decades. A native of Glen Allan, Mississippi, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English education from the University of Mississippi. She holds a doctorate in English from Bowling Green State University.

Catherine Adams was named coordinator of multicultural affairs at Mount Holyoke College. She was the interim dean of multicultural affairs at Smith College. Adams is a native of Philadelphia. She is a graduate of John C. Smith University and holds a master’s degree in African-American studies from Temple University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in African-American studies at the University of Massachusetts.


Melvin C. Terrell, vice president for student affairs at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, won the Monarch Award given annually to outstanding African-American men in the Chicago area by the Xi Nu Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The award will be presented at a black-tie gala on November 11.

Robert Hill, vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, will be presented with the Business Communicator of the Year Award from the Pittsburgh chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.

Hill is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University and holds a master’s degree in management from Manhattan College.

Harold W. Hargis, a retired professor at the School of Dentistry at the University of California at Los Angeles, received the 2006 Daniel M. Laskin Award for an Outstanding Predoctoral Educator from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Hargis received his dental training at Howard University.

William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University, received the Ghandi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Award from the Ghandi Institute of Reconciliation. The award is presented annually to people who have championed peace and nonviolence.

Report Finds Huge Gains in Black Expectations for Higher Education

A new Department of Education study finds that over the past two decades young blacks have greatly increased their educational expectations. The research shows that in 1980, 21.8 percent of black high school sophomores said they expected to go on to college and earn a bachelor’s degree. By 2002 nearly 41 percent of all black high school sophomores said they planned to obtain a bachelor’s degree. In 2002 the percentage of black high school sophomores who expected to earn a bachelor’s degree was higher than the percentage of whites who thought they would complete college.

The report also found that in 1980 only 19 percent of black tenth-graders thought they would go on to earn a graduate or professional degree. By 2002 this percentage had increased to 36.1 percent.

University of Alabama Making Strides in the Racial Diversification of Its Student Body

The University of Alabama reports a 4 percent increase in black enrollments this fall. There are currently 2,635 black students on the Tuscaloosa campus, making up 11 percent of total enrollments.

A decade ago the University of Alabama bestowed 354 degrees on black students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In the 2005-06 academic year, 507 degrees were awarded to black students. This is an increase of more than 43 percent.

University officials point to a vastly expanded recruiting program for gains in black enrollments. Admissions officers visit more than three dozen predominantly black high schools in the state each year. Prospective black students are brought to campus for recruitment events. Current black students are used as ambassadors to reach out by telephone to prospective black students across the state.

Among the Nation’s Leading Liberal Arts Institutions, Williams College Has the Highest Percentage of Black Student Enrollments

In the October 5 issue, JBHE reported U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the most racially diverse liberal arts colleges. Now JBHE narrows the focus and ranks the liberal arts colleges by their percentages of black enrollments.

There are currently 206 liberal arts colleges nationwide that draw their students from across the country and are rated in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of U.S. colleges and universities. Eleven historically black colleges and universities are among this group of ranked liberal arts colleges. As expected, in 2005 the 11 black colleges had the highest percentages of black enrollments. All had student bodies that are at least 91 percent black.

Among the predominantly white liberal arts colleges, Pine Manor College in Chesnut Hill, Massachusetts, had the largest percentage of blacks in its student body with 42.2 percent. Pine Manor is a women’s college. Wesleyan College in Georgia and Rosemont College in Pennsylvania are the only other liberal arts colleges where black enrollments were 25 percent or more of the total student body. Four other liberal arts colleges had a student body that was more than 20 percent black.

Among the nation’s highest academically ranked liberal arts colleges, in 2004 Williams College in Massachusetts had the highest percentage of black enrollments at 9.6 percent. Amherst College is the only other top-ranking liberal arts college at which blacks made up at least 9 percent of the student body.

Of the 206 liberal arts colleges on this list, 36 had a student body that was less than 2 percent black. Blacks were less than 1 percent of all students at eight nationally ranked liberal arts colleges.

Among the most academically selective liberal arts colleges, Harvey Mudd College had the lowest percentage of black students.

White Men’s Club Forms at Arizona State University

A group of white students at Arizona State University in Tempe has formed the Caucasian Men’s Club. The group, which has a faculty adviser, claims to be open to membership of any race or gender. The Caucasian Men’s Club says that it does not support white supremacy or white separatism but only wants to celebrate the culture and history of Caucasian Americans. About 40 students have signed up to be members in the club and apparently dozens more have made inquiries about joining.

Blacks make up 3.7 percent of the 41,000 undergraduates at Arizona State University.

37.9%  Percentage of all black high school sophomores in 1980 who participated in music-related activities in high school

21.6%  Percentage of all black high school sophomores in 2002 who participated in music-related activities in high school.

source: U.S. Department of Education

University of Maryland Researchers Find Racial Bias Among White Children in Predominantly White Schools

A new study by the Society for Research in Child Development finds that white children who attend primarily white schools are more likely to have negative stereotypes about African Americans than do white children who attend racially diverse schools.

In the study, researchers from the University of Maryland showed picture cards of incidents of bad behavior at school such as cheating on a test or pushing a child on the playground. Each picture had two versions, one with a white child as the perpetrator of the bad behavior and one with a black child. White children were then asked to give their interpretations of what the images depicted. White children from predominantly white schools were more likely than their peers at racially diverse schools to affix negative attributes to the black children shown in the pictures.

University of Missouri Names the Director of Its New Minority Student Recruitment Initiative

Jeffrey R. Williams, an assistant professor of English at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has been named director of the university’s Access and Urban Outreach Program. The program’s goal is to increase the number of black and low-income students who enroll at the University of Missouri’s flagship campus. At the current time, blacks make up about 6 percent of the 28,000 undergraduate students at the University of Missouri. Blacks are more than 11 percent of the Missouri population.

Among the components of the program are efforts to send counselors to urban high schools in Kansas City and St. Louis to recruit students and help them through the college application process. A unique program called the Early Promise Initiative would offer money for college to families with talented elementary school students. Students would have to achieve at certain levels to receive the funds once they reach college age.

New Institute for Study of Southern African Americans Established at Claflin University

Brian L. Johnson has been named to head the new Jonathan Jasper Wright Institute for the Study of Southern African-American Culture and Policy at Claflin University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The institute is thought to be the only one of its kind with a unique focus on southern African Americans.

Johnson, an associate professor of English at Claflin, plans to hire 12 academics over the next several years to staff the center. Johnson hopes to hire young scholars who will mature at Claflin. He is looking for academics with interests in economics, history, politics, language, and education.

Professor Johnson is a 1995 graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, the historically black educational institution in Charlotte, North Carolina. He went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina.

Professor Johnson is currently writing his second book, a biography of W.E.B. Du Bois.


Four historically black colleges and universities in South Carolina will receive grants from the U.S. Department of Energy for programs to increase the number of minority students pursuing careers in science and technology.

Allen University will receive $4 million in grant money. Claflin University will receive $2 million and both Voorhees College and South Carolina State University will be awarded $1 million grants.

Meharry Medical College, the historically black educational institution in Nashville, Tennessee, received a $288,352 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meharry will work with researchers at Jackson State University in Mississippi to implement a program to encourage seat belt use among students in the city’s public school system.


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