At the Black Colleges, Pell Grant Students Are the Norm

In past weeks JBHE has reported that there are very few low-income students at the vast majority of leading colleges and universities. But at most of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, the majority of all students receive federal Pell Grants, which are reserved for students who come from low-income families.

In 2008 more than 155,000 students at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities received federal Pell Grants for low-income students. In fact, at a majority of all black colleges, two thirds or more of all enrolled students receive federal Pell Grants. There are eight HBCUs at which more than 90 percent of all students receive Pell Grants. At Arkansas Baptist College 96.8 percent of all undergraduate students qualify for federal Pell Grants, the highest percentage among the black colleges and universities. Lane College, Morris College, Mississippi Valley State University, Miles College, Texas College, Benedict College, and Allen University each have a student body of which 90 percent or more receive Pell Grant awards.

There are another nine black colleges and universities where more than 80 percent of the students are Pell Grant recipients. There are only 13 HBCUs at which low-income students are not a majority of all students. Among these schools are many of the nation’s more selective black colleges and universities. Spelman College and Morehouse College in Atlanta have less than 40 percent of their undergraduate students who qualify for Pell Grant awards. Hampton University in Virginia has the lowest percentage of Pell Grant recipients among the HBCUs. Hampton is the only HBCU where low-income students make up less than one third of the undergraduate student body. Howard University, the highly regarded historically black university in the nation’s capital, has the second-lowest percentage of Pell Grant recipients among the HBCUs. At Howard University, only 35.3 percent of all undergraduates received federal Pell Grants in the 2008-09 academic year.


Black Enrollments Surge at Oregon State Universities

The Oregon University system reports there are now 91,580 students enrolled, the highest level ever recorded. Enrollments are up 5.8 percent from a year ago.

The enrollments of minority students outpaced the overall gains. Minority enrollments are up by 7 percent from a year ago and African-American enrollments increased by 7.5 percent.


The Rebranding of Historically Black Central State University

This fall, historically black Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, has launched a rebranding campaign in an effort to attract more students to the university. A new slogan, “Change Is Central,” and a new logo were developed by Carnegie Communications of Massachusetts. The new slogan replaces the old motto, “Where Dreams Become Careers.”

The consulting firm interviewed more than 1,000 Central State students, prospective students, and those who considered Central State before enrolling elsewhere before coming up with the new marketing plan.


Administrators at Jackson State Take on Additional Duties to Help the University’s Bottom Line

Historically black Jackson State University in Mississippi, along with all other state universities in Mississippi, are facing a reduction in state appropriations of about 3 percent. For Jackson State, this could create an $11 million budget shortfall.

As a result, the university has called off searches for the vacant positions of provost and vice president for finance. Felix Okojie, vice president for research at Jackson State, will take on the additional duties of the provost’s office. Willie G. Brown, who now serves as vice president for information management, will also oversee the finance office. The consolidation of duties is expected to save the university more than $300,000 a year.


Dr. Frank Pogue Named Interim President of Grambling State University

Frank G. Pogue has been appointed interim president of Grambling State University in Louisiana. Dr. Pogue has 47 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator in higher education. Most recently he was president of Chicago State University. Previously he served for 11 years as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

A graduate of Alabama State University, Dr. Pogue holds a master’s degree from Atlanta University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh.


49,000  Total number of whites ages 20 to 24 in 2008 who were still enrolled in high school.

54,000  Total number of African Americans ages 20 to 24 in 2008 who were still enrolled in high school.

source: U.S. Census Bureau


Marketing Mentoring Award Named After Three African-American Scholars

The American Marketing Association Foundation has established a new award that will be given to scholars who have performed outstanding mentoring services to graduate students in marketing. The Williams-Qualls-Spratlen Multicultural Mentoring Award of Excellence honors three African-American scholars who have excelled in helping marketing students succeed. Here are brief biographies of the three men for whom the award has been named:

Jerome D. Williams is the F.J. Heyne Centennial Professor in Communication at the University of Texas. Dr. Williams is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a master’s degree from Union College, an MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

William Qualls is a professor of business administration at the University of Illinois. He previously taught at MIT and the University of Michigan. Dr. Qualls is a graduate of the University of Texas. He holds a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a doctorate from Indiana University.

Thaddeus H. Spratlen is professor emeritus of marketing at the University of Washington. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees from Ohio State University.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Alberta Wilson was named chief equity and diversity officer at Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Florida. She is the president of the Brevard County chapter of the NAACP.

• John L. Graham was named interim dean at the School of Business at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. For the past year he has been a Franklin fellow at the U.S. Department of State. Previously, he served as assistant vice president for international affairs at Delaware State University.

Dr. Graham holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He earned a doctorate in agricultural and extension education at Michigan State University.

• Michael Owens, an associate professor of political science at Emory University in Atlanta, was granted tenure. Dr. Owens holds a Ph.D. in urban politics from the State University of New York at Albany.

• Karen Eley Sanders was named acting vice president for equity and inclusion at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She has been serving as associate vice president for academic support services.

Dr. Sanders holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia State University. She earned an educational doctorate at the University of Arkansas.

• Gary Bennett has been appointed associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. He was on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Bennett is a graduate of Morehouse College and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Duke University.

• Roderick Morgan, a partner in the Indianapolis law firm Bingham McHale, was named president of the Indiana State Bar Association. He is the first African American to hold the position.

Morgan is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and the Georgetown University Law Center. He served as a judge advocate general in the U.S. Army for 12 years. He has also served as chair of the board of trustees of Vincennes University.


Grants and Gifts

Historically black Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, received a $4.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop research capabilities in biomedical and behavioral sciences. The research grant is the largest in the university’s history.

• Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received a two-year, $206,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund its Information Systems in the Community summer program. The program brings students from historically black colleges and universities to the Carnegie Mellon campus for a six-week program in custom software development for a community organization or nonprofit group.

• Meharry Medical College, the historically black educational institution in Nashville, Tennessee, received a five-year, $21.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The money will be used for research into preventions and cures for HIV/AIDS, premature labor, and fibroid tumors.

The School of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles received a $5.2 million grant from healthcare plan provider Kaiser Permanente. The grant will fund the Center for Health Equity at the school.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology received a two-year, $1.1 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for a program to provide online laboratory services to several universities in Africa.

• Fisk University, the historically black educational institution in Nashville, Tennessee, was awarded a six-year, $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant money will be used to provide financial aid for graduate students in biology, chemistry, and physics. The grant will also provide funds for laboratory equipment and for research support.

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The “Black 14” Remembered on the Campus of the University of Wyoming

Forty years ago in 1969, 14 African-American football players for the University of Wyoming asked their coach if they could wear black armbands during a game against Brigham Young University. The protest was aimed at the racially exclusionary membership policies of the Mormon Church.

The coach refused to allow the protest and proceeded to kick the 14 black players off the team. The “Black 14” incident did serious harm to the Wyoming football program, which was then ranked 10th in the nation. In the years afterward, recruiting black athletes to play football at the university became difficult. The University of Wyoming did not play in a bowl game for the next 18 seasons, until 1987.

This fall the university brought back members of the “Black 14” for a panel discussion on the Laramie campus.


“We have given 247 years of free labor for this country, 110 to 115 years of the worst kind of discrimination and now you want to put all of our schools under one roof. Not until hell freezes over.”

David Jordan, a Democratic member of the Mississippi state Senate, commenting on Governor Haley Barbour’s plan to merge the state’s three historically black universities into one educational institution, in the Jackson Clarion Ledger, November 21, 2009


The Racial Makeup of the Nation’s Public Schools

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education shows that in the 2007-08 academic year, there were 48,515,020 students in the nation’s K-12 public schools. Of these, 8,267,000, or 17 percent, were African Americans. (Blacks are a larger percentage of the younger U.S. population than the population as a whole. Also, large numbers of white students attend private K-12 schools.)

In the state of Mississippi, over one half of all public school students were black. In Louisiana, 46 percent of all public school children were black. In the states of Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina, more than 30 percent of all students were black.

Montana had the fewest black school students in the 2007-08 academic year. There were 1,365 blacks in Montana’s public schools, making up one percent of the total. Blacks were less than 2 percent of all public school students in Idaho, Utah, New Hampshire, and Vermont.


Older African Americans Are More Likely Than Older Whites to Be Currently Enrolled in College

Whether the student is white or black, the common American vision of an entering college student is that of an 18-year-old who is a recent high school graduate. But this is not always the case, especially for African Americans.

In October 2008, according to a new Census Bureau report, there were nearly 1.1 million African Americans ages 25 and over who were then enrolled in higher education. This older group was 44.2 percent of all black students who were enrolled in college or graduate school.

In 2008 some 11 percent of the entire African-American population in the 30 to 34 age group was enrolled in higher education. In contrast, only 6.9 percent of the entire white population in the 30 to 34 age group was enrolled in college or graduate school.

If we look at the 35 to 44 age group, here, too, we find that blacks are more likely to be enrolled in higher education than whites.

In 2008, 279,000 African Americans ages 35 to 44 were enrolled in higher education. They made up 11.2 percent of all African-American college students.


Historically Black Kentucky State University Offers New Master’s Program

Historically black Kentucky State University in Frankfort has announced the establishment of a master’s degree program in environmental studies. The program, which will begin next semester, will include core courses in ecology, biostatistics, energy, and environmental studies. Possible electives include courses in resource economics, sustainable agriculture, bioremediation and aquatic ecology. Students in the program will also complete a capstone project on their own and a team project.


New President Named at Delaware State University

Harry L. Williams was named the tenth president of Delaware State University in Dover. Since July 2008 he has served as provost and vice president of academic affairs of the historically black university.

The presidential search has lasted for more than a year. An initial list of three finalists was made but the board of trustees decided that none of the candidates was a “good fit” for the university.

Dr. Williams holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He earned an educational doctorate at East Tennessee State University. Prior to accepting the provost position at Delaware State, Williams was associate vice president for academic and student affairs for the University of North Carolina system.


In Memoriam

Andre D. Hammonds (1936-2009)

Andre D. Hammonds, a longtime professor of sociology at Indiana State University, died last month in Indianapolis at the age of 73.

Hammonds was a graduate of Morehouse College. After studying French at the University of Grenoble, he enrolled in the graduate school of the University of Tennessee. He was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in sociology at Tennessee’s flagship state university.

Hammonds joined the faculty of Winston-Salem State University. In 1964 he was one of the first African-American faculty members at Indiana State University. He remained on the faculty there until his retirement in 1997.

An award in Hammonds’ name is given to a graduating senior each year at Indiana State University.

Roy Rudolph DeCarava (1919-2009)

Roy DeCarava, a celebrated photographer and a Distinguished Professor of Art at Hunter College in New York City, died in late October after a brief illness. He was 89 years old.

DeCarava was born in New York City and attended racially segregated schools. After completing high school he won admission to Cooper Union but dropped out after two years to pursue his love of photography. In 1952 he became the first African-American photographer to win a Guggenheim fellowship. In 1955 he published The Sweet Flypaper of Life, a book of his photographs accompanied by a fictional account of a Harlem family written by Langston Hughes.

DeCarava joined the faculty at Hunter College in 1975 and remained there until his death. In 2006 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.


Honors and Awards

• Jeanne C. Sinkford was named the recipient of the 2009 Herbert W. Nickens Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. She was honored for outstanding contributions to promoting justice in medical education. Dr. Sinkford is the director of the American Dental Education Association’s Center for Equity and Diversity. She formerly served as dean of the Howard University College of Dentistry. In addition to her dental degree from Howard University, Dr. Sinkford holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University.

• Terrell L. Strayhorn, associate professor of higher education at the University of Tennessee, received the Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Dr. Strayhorn holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia and a doctorate from Virginia Tech.

• Johnnetta B. Cole, former president of Spelman and Bennett colleges and now director of the National Museum of African Art, will receive an honorary degree later this month at the fall commencement ceremonies of North Carolina A&T State University.

Dr. Cole is a graduate of Oberlin College and holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology from Northwestern University.

• Joseph N. Green Jr., who served for 30 years as rector of the Grace Episcopal Church in Norfolk, Virginia, received the 2009 DuBose Award for Service from the School of Theology at Sewanee-The University of the South. A graduate of St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1965 Reverend Green was the first African American to earn a degree from the School of Theology at Sewanee.

• Allison Jackson was inducted into the African-American Alumni Alliance Hall of Fame at Rutgers University. Jackson graduated from high school at age 14 and from college at age 18. Three of her five advanced degrees were earned at Rutgers.

Jackson had a distinguished career as a city planner for Somerset County, New Jersey, and as a vice president for RCA Corporation. She also served as dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University.

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