No Progress in Increasing Black Faculty at Harvard University

At a 2007 reception on the Harvard campus held for the Association of Black Faculty, Administrators, and Fellows, Drew Gilpin Faust, then the new president of Harvard University, called for the creation of “a different Harvard,” one with far greater numbers of black faculty members. Speaking of the scope of the African-American hirings that she planned, Faust said, “One of our goals is, maybe three years from now, we can’t have this party here anymore,” Faust said. “It’s going to be so big. First, we’re going to move up to Annenberg [one of the largest buildings on the Harvard campus]. Next, we’re going to have to go to the stadium.”

President Faust’s hope in 2007 that in three years the university would need a bigger facility to fit all of Harvard’s black faculty is not going to come to pass. Since President Faust has come to Harvard, the number of black faculty has not increased at all. There are 45 black nonmedical faculty members at Harvard this year, the same number as when Dr. Faust was appointed. And due to an overall increase in the number of faculty, the percentage of blacks on the Harvard faculty has actually decreased from 3.5 percent to 3.0 percent during Faust’s tenure.

There are some fields at Harvard where blacks are well represented in faculty positions and others where blacks have no presence. There are 19 blacks among the 242 tenured or tenure-track faculty in the social sciences. Therefore, they make up 7.9 percent of the total social sciences faculty. A large number of these teach in the department of African and African-American studies. In contrast, there are no blacks among the 99 faculty in the physical sciences at Harvard. There is only one black among the 203 tenured or tenure-track faculty in the humanities.



An Impending Crisis for Blacks in the California State University System

The latest data shows that there are 26,193 African Americans enrolled on the 23 campuses of the California State University system. They make up 6 percent of all students.

But the university system is now facing a $564 million budget shortfall. One measure being taken to close the budget gap is to reduce systemwide enrollments by 40,000 students.

Coupled with this planned reduction in total enrollments is the fact that there has been a whopping 53 percent increase in applications to the CalState system this year compared to the level from a year ago. As a result, the competition for places at the 23 CalState campuses has become intense.

And we remind the reader that because of California law, race cannot be considered a factor in the admissions process at state universities in California. Therefore, blacks who tend to have lower SAT scores and high school grade point averages than whites will have more difficulty securing a place at these universities.

Another factor working against African Americans is that comprehensive fees at these schools were raised 30 percent this year. Another 10 percent hike may be in the offing for the 2010-11 academic year. Thus, many blacks, who are more likely than whites to come from low-income families, will be unable to afford to enroll at CalState universities.


Test-Drive a Ford Car and Generate a Donation to HBCUs

In a new marketing campaign, the Ford Motor Company is encouraging students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other supporters of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities to test-drive a Ford car or truck. As an incentive to get people into its showrooms, Ford will donate $25 to the Tom Joyner Foundation for the first 10,000 people who register for the “Drive One for Your HBCU” program and complete a test drive at a local dealer. The Tom Joyner Foundation supports the work of many of the nation’s HBCUs. The program runs until January 4.

Readers who are interested in the program can register by clicking here.


Black Students Mount Protest at the University of Maryland

In what was one of the largest protests since the Vietnam War, hundreds of students on the campus of the University of Maryland College Park demonstrated against the elimination of the position of associate provost for equity and diversity. The position was eliminated in a budget cutting move. A part-time administrator will now take over the duties of the office.

While blacks are 13 percent of the total enrollments at the College Park campus, student protesters noted that the number of black freshmen has declined in recent years. This year there was a 28 percent decline in black freshman enrollments.

The associate provost for equity and diversity post has been held since 1999 by Cordell Black. Dr. Black will remain at the university as a tenured professor of seventeenth-century French literature.


53.4%  Percentage of all non-Hispanic white children ages 3 and 4 who were enrolled in nursery school in October 2008.

46.4%  Percentage of all African-American children ages 3 and 4 who were enrolled in nursery school in October 2008.

source: U.S. Department of Education


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Virginia Hardy was promoted to vice provost for student affairs at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She has been serving as senior associate dean for academic affairs at the university’s medical school.

Dr. Hardy is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a master’s degree in counselor education from East Carolina University and a doctorate in counselor education from North Carolina State University.

• Dovetta McKee is the new director of the Office of Special Programs/College Prep at the University of Chicago. She was the director of special initiatives at Prevention First, a Chicago non-profit organization concerned with halting drug abuse.

• Judith S. Casselberry was named assistant professor of Africana studies at Bowdoin College in Maine. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.

Dr. Casselberry, who is an accomplished folk music recording artist, is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. She holds a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in African-American studies and anthropology from Yale University.

• Kiron K. Skinner, associate professor and director of the International Relations and Politics Program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, was reappointed to the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel for a second four-year term. The panel of scholars advises the Chief of Naval Operations on international relations and foreign policy issues.

• Lawrence Sledge, an instructor of English at Jackson State University in Mississippi, was named president of the Mississippi Council of Teachers of English.

Sledge is a graduate of Tougaloo College and holds a master’s degree from the University of Memphis.

• A. Eugene Washington was named dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine and vice chancellor of health sciences at the University of California at Los Angeles. He was executive vice chancellor, provost, and professor of gynecology, epidemiology, and health policy at the University of California at San Francisco.

Dean Washington is a graduate of Howard University. He received his medical training at the University of California at San Francisco. He also holds master’s degrees from Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley.



Grants and Gifts

Historically black Jackson State University received a $500,000 grant from the Entergy Charitable Foundation to fund a power systems laboratory for the College of Engineering. Part of the grant money will be used to fund scholarships for engineering students.

Kentucky State University in Frankfort received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a youth center serving African-American and Hispanic youth.

Hampton University, the historically black educational institution in Virginia, received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service for a research project investigating the pollination of blueberry plants by bees.

Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, received a $200,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that will be used for scholarships for minority students in its accelerated nursing program. The program is for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree program in another field.

Historically black Bowie State University in Maryland received a four-year, $559,994 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the establishment of a genomic training laboratory.

Florida A&M University, the historically black educational institution in Tallahassee, received a $2.5 million grant from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to establish and fund a Center of Academic Excellence on campus. The center will conduct research on national security issues with the hope of increasing diversity in the field of intelligence-related fields.

South Carolina State University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg, received a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for research, student development, curriculum development, and training in the field of nuclear security.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $3.6 million to 12 universities to support programs to reduce racial disparities in healthcare. The programs study ways to address unhealthy behaviors of at-risk minority youth.

The 12 universities receiving $300,000 grants are: Towson University, California State University San Marcos, Chicago State University, the University of Utah, Stone Child College, and Columbus State Community College. Also receiving grants are California State University Long Beach, Oregon Health and Science University, Swarthmore College, Marquette University, Hunter College, and Kentucky State University.

For breaking news and previews of upcoming articles


All of us at JBHE wish you and your family
a very Happy Thanksgiving!


The Flagship State Universities Doing the Best Job in Enrolling Low-Income Students

New data obtained by JBHE from the U.S. Department of Education shows a very large disparity in performance among the flagship state universities in enrolling low-income students. Among the large flagship state universities, the best performance was at the University of New Mexico. There, 9,550 students received Pell Grants in the 2008-09 academic year. They made up 35.8 percent of the undergraduate student body at the flagship university and its satellite campuses.

There are three other flagship state universities where at least 30 percent of all students qualify for federal Pell Grants. They are the University of Montana, the University of Idaho, and the University of California at Berkeley.

The large majority of flagship state universities fall into a range where between 15 and 23 percent of all undergraduate students come from low-income families. There are only 10 flagship universities where the Pell Grant percentage falls below 15 percent.

The University of Delaware has the lowest percentage of Pell Grant recipients of any of the flagship universities. Only 8.1 percent of all undergraduate students at the university qualify for Pell Grant awards.


“Sometimes you have to look your friends in the eyes and tell them something they don't want to hear.”

Mississippi GOP Governor Haley Barbour, commenting on his proposal to merge the state’s three historically black universities into one institution. (See story below.)


Shirley Ann Jackson Is the Highest-Paid University President

According to a survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Shirley Ann Jackson, the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, was the highest-paid university president during the 2007-08 academic year. Jackson, who is an African American, had a salary of $1,051,122 and benefits of $547,125.

Dr. Jackson, who has led RPI since 1999, formerly served as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She was the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. at MIT.

Other black university presidents also made the list of top earners. Ruth Simmons at Brown University had total compensation of $818,462. Patrick Swygert, who has since retired as president of Howard University, earned nearly $560,000. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president of Spelman College, had total compensation of $438,557.


MIT Debuts a New Web Site Dedicated to Diversity

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has launched a new Web site dedicated to inclusion and diversity. Entitled “Inventing Our Future,” the new Web site provides a forum for members of the MIT community to engage in dialogue on issues of race, gender, and other diversity matters. The site acts as an information clearinghouse for events on campus that address diversity issues. The site includes blogs written by members of the MIT community, videos, and a timeline relating to the history of diversity at MIT.

To visit the new MIT diversity Web site, click here.



Black Scholars Named to Important Museum Posts

The DuSable Museum of African and African-American History in Chicago announced that Carol L. Adams has taken over as chief executive officer of the institution. Most recently Dr. Adams served as secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services. Previously she was chair of the African-American studies department at Loyola University and director of the Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University.

Dr. Adams is a graduate of Fisk University. She holds a master’s degree from Boston University and a Ph.D. from The Union Graduate School.

Also, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, which is scheduled to open in February, announced that Bamidele Demerson has been named curator. The museum is located in the city’s old Woolworth’s building. Fifty years ago, students from historically black North Carolina A&T State University began the lunch counter sit-in movement at the site, a protest that spread throughout the South.

Demerson, who was trained as an anthropologist at the University of Michigan, was the director of the Harrison Museum of African-American Culture in Roanoke, Virginia. Previously he was curator of education and director of exhibitions and research at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit, Michigan.

Mississippi Governor Looks to Consolidate the State’s Three Historically Black Universities

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has proposed that to help close the state’s budget shortfall, the state’s three historically black universities be merged into one institution. Under the proposal Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University would be merged into Jackson State University. All three campuses would remain open. Savings would be produced by reducing duplicative academic programs, eliminating administrative positions, and by combining purchasing to produce efficiencies.

The Barbour proposal would also merge two predominantly white state universities. In making the announcement, Barbour stated, “I think mergers are preferable to closures.”


In Memoriam

Leonard H. Billups (1939-2009)

Leonard H. Billups, director of Diagnostic Laboratory Services at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University, died late last month at the age of 70.

A native of Newport News, Virginia, Dr. Billups was a 1961 graduate of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. Four years later in 1965 he graduated from the Tuskegee College of Veterinary Medicine. He began teaching at Tuskegee in 1995 after a long career in the military. A decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Billups rose to the rank of colonel. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Henrietta E. Hestick (1943-2009)

Henrietta E. Hestick, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at Baltimore City Community College, died late last month after suffering a stroke. She was 66 years old.

A native of Guyana, her parents were both ministers in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She moved to the United States at the age of 27. Four years later she earned a bachelor’s degree at Morgan State University. She held a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in psychology from George Washington University.

In 1993 she began her teaching career as an assistant professor of psychology at Morgan State University. She joined the faculty at Baltimore City Community College in 2001.


Honors and Awards

• Maurice Eldridge, vice president for community and college relations at Swarthmore College in suburban Philadelphia, received the Jeffrey Lawrence Award for lifetime devotion and commitment to arts education from the Arts Schools Network.

• Dwayne Smith, vice president for academic affairs at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, received the 2009 Dr. Richard Caple Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Missouri College Personnel Association.

Dr. Smith holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Truman State University. He earned his doctorate at the University of Missouri.

• Ezell Brown, chair of Education Online Services Corporation, received the 2009 Steward Wiley/Wesley John Gaines President’s Leadership Award from Morris Brown College, the historically black educational institution in Atlanta.

• Patrick Awuah, founder of Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana, received the John P. McNulty Prize from Aspen Institute for his “commitment to civics and ethics.” The prize comes with a $100,000 award. Awuah is a 1989 graduate of Swarthmore College.

• Dickson A.M. Idusuyi was the recipient of the 2009 Humanities Teacher Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council. He is an associate professor of social sciences at Alcorn State University.

Dr. Idusuyi holds a master’s degree from Southern University and a Ph.D. in public policy and administration from Jackson State University.

• Eddie N. Moore Jr., retiring president of Virginia State University, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.



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