Black Colleges Rank Low in Survey of Median Pay of Graduates

A new survey by PayScale Inc. determined the starting median salary and mid-career median salary of the graduates of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges. The survey did not include those graduates who went on to earn advanced degrees.

Harvey Mudd College in California ranked first for both the starting salary and mid-career salary with median pay of $68,900 for graduates entering the work force and $126,000 for graduates in the middle of their careers. Other liberal arts colleges ranking high in both categories included Bucknell University, Lafayette College, and Swarthmore College.

Two historically black liberal arts colleges were included in the PayScale survey. Both were ranked near the bottom. The average starting salary for Morehouse College graduates was $43,000. At mid-career, Morehouse bachelor’s degree holders had a median salary of $74,200. At Spelman College, the median starting salary was $38,800. For Spelman graduates in the middle of their careers, the median salary was $67,000.


Historically Black University Plans Program That Will Bestow Bachelor’s Degrees to Students Two Years After They Complete High School

The University of the District of Columbia, the historically black educational institution in the nation’s capital, has announced plans to offer an expedited bachelor’s degree program in which students would earn their degree only two years after graduating from high school. Under the plan, high-performing students at the city’s top high schools would begin taking college courses in their junior year. These college courses would earn credit toward both their high school diploma and their college degree. Students would receive their high school diploma at the normal time and then continue with two more years of college before earning their bachelor’s degree.

The university hopes to begin the program next fall with 15 to 20 students from two high schools.



Study Finds a Narrowing Racial Gap in Prices for Fine Art

In an interesting paper published in the Journal of Black Studies, researchers at the University of Delaware compared prices paid at auction for paintings done by African-American artists to those painted by white artists. The research found that between 1972 and 2004, paintings by African-American artists sold for significantly less than other paintings. However, the study found that there has been a narrowing of the price gap during the period as paintings by black artists have appreciated at a greater rate than paintings as a whole. Thus, the authors conclude that investing in paintings by African-American artists has provided a better return to investors in recent years.

University of Tennessee Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Racial Integration of Its Undergraduate Programs

The University of Tennessee has begun a yearlong celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the racial integration of undergraduate programs at the Knoxville campus. The celebration will include special events, speakers, and other events for students and members of the surrounding community.

In January 1961, Theotis Robinson Jr., Charles Edgar Blair, and Willie Mae Gillespie were the first three black students to enroll in undergraduate programs at the university. Robinson now serves as vice president for diversity for the University of Tennessee system.

The university’s graduate school had enrolled a black student in 1952. Lillian Jenkins earned a master’s degree in special education in 1954. She was the first black student to earn a graduate degree at the University of Tennessee.


New Institute on Race at the University of Arkansas Little Rock

The trustees of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have approved the establishment of the Institute on Race and Ethnicity on campus. The institute is scheduled to become a reality next fall and will act as an information clearinghouse on racial statistics and the history of blacks and other minorities in Arkansas. Faculty from a wide number of disciplines will be involved in the work of the new center.

The university is currently conducting a search for a director of the institute, which will be housed on the fifth floor of the university’s main library. A $200,000 grant from the Donaghey Foundation provided the seed money for the institute.

Blacks make up about 27 percent of the 10,000 undergraduate students at the Little Rock campus.


Grand Valley State University Launches New Scholarship Program to Bring Haitian Students to Michigan

Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, has established a new scholarship program for students from Haiti. The program was announced on the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010.

Blacks make up about 5 percent of the 21,000 undergraduate students at Grand Valley State.



Recent Books That May Be of Interest to African-American Scholars

The JBHE Weekly Bulletin regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. Here are the latest selections.

Ahead of Her Time in Yesteryear: Geraldyne Pierce Zimmerman Comes of Age in a Southern African American Family by Kibibi V. Mack-Shelton (University of Tennessee Press)

Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech That Transformed a Nation by Clarence B. Jones with Stuart Connelly (Palgrave Macmillan)

Black Faces of War: A Legacy of Honor From the American Revolution to Today by Robert V. Morris (Zenith Press)

Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists Took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama by Wayne Greenshaw (Lawrence Hill Books)

For Labor, Race, and Liberty: George Edwin Taylor, His Historic Run for the White House, and the Making of Independent Black Politics by Bruce L. Mouser (University of Wisconsin Press)

Freedom Readers: The African American Reception of Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy by Dennis Looney (University of Notre Dame Press)

Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters by Donald Bogle (Harper)

Imagining the Black Female Body: Reconciling Image in Print and Visual Culture edited by Carol E. Henderson (Palgrave Macmillan)

Remembrances in Black: Personal Perspectives of the African American Experience at the University of Arkansas, 1940s-2000s edited by Charles F. Robinson and Lonnie R. Williams (University of Arkansas Press)

Seeing Patients: Unconscious Bias in Health Care by Augustus White III (Harvard University Press)

The Opinions of Mankind: Racial Issues, Press, and Propaganda in the Cold War by Richard Lentz and Karla K. Gower (University of Missouri Press)

Wrestling With the Left: The Making of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man by Barbara Foley (Duke University Press)



Honors and Awards

• Henry Givens Jr., president of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Commission. President Givens has served as president of the commission since its founding a quarter of a century ago.

• Oluwatosin O. Dada, research assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, received the Best Paper Award presented by the academic journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

Dr. Dada is a graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University in Nigeria. He holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Utah State University.

• Spencer C. Disher Jr., director of student health at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, was honored by the Orangeburg Regional Medical Center for his “commitment as a professional servant in the healing arts” over the past half-century.

Dr. Disher is a graduate of South Carolina State University and Meharry Medical College. He has established an endowed scholarship program at Meharry for students from South Carolina.

• Shauna M. Cooper, assistant professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina, will receive the inaugural award from the Andrew Billingsley African-American Families Pilot Research Program.

Dr. Cooper is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. on psychology from the University of Michigan.

When black faculty come up for tenure at predominantly white colleges and universities, on average, what level of racial discrimination do they continue to face?
Very High
None at all


The Higher Education of Louisiana’s First Female U.S. Attorney

Stephanie A. Finley is the first woman to serve as a U.S. attorney in the state of Louisiana. She has served for the past 15 years as a federal prosecutor in the western district of Louisiana.

Finley lost her father when she was 9 years old. Her mother raised five children on her own. All five graduated from college and today are successful professionals. Stephanie Finley graduated from Grambling State University in 1988 and the Southern University Law Center in 1991. She began her legal career as a judge advocate in the United States Air Force. She is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve.



Professor at North Carolina Central University Running for President of Liberia

James S. Guseh, a professor of political economy, public administration and law at North Carolina Central University in Durham, has recently taken a one-year leave of absence. During his sabbatical, Professor Guseh is forming a campaign for the presidency of Liberia, the West African nation established by former U.S. slaves.

Guseh is mounting a challenge to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a figure who is hugely popular in the West and in scholarly circles but who, according to Guseh, is vulnerable among Liberian voters.

Guseh’s platform calls for decentralized authority within the African nation, improvement in Liberia’s employment and literacy rates, and a reduction in government corruption.

Professor Guseh came to the United States from Liberia two decades ago. He had served in the country’s government in the 1980s, most notably as assistant minister of justice for economic affairs.

Dr. Guseh is a graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He obtained a master’s degree in economics at the University of Oregon. He then earned a law degree and a master’s in public administration at Syracuse University. He also holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political economy from the University of Texas at Dallas.

The election will be held next October.


MIT’s Emery Brown Hopes to Unlock the Mysteries of Anesthesia

Emery N. Brown, a professor of health sciences and technology and professor of computational neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently coauthored a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine detailing current knowledge on the science of anesthesia.

General anesthesia was first administered by a Boston dentist in 1846. While the process has been refined over the ensuing 165 years, there are still many unknowns about what happens to the brain of patients who are under anesthesia. The process does not produce a state of sleep, as is commonly thought. Rather, Brown says that anesthesia is essentially a “reversible coma.”

Research in this area is important because 60,000 people are anesthetized every day in the United States and one person dies about every four days from causes directly related to anesthesia.

Professor Brown is conducting research recording electrical brain activity of animals and humans given general anesthesia in the hope of understanding how the process affects neurological processes. He hopes his research will lead to more effective and safer drugs for anesthesia.

Dr. Brown is a 1978 graduate of Harvard College and a 1987 graduate of Harvard Medical School. He also holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in statistics from Harvard University.


Ivory Nelson to Step Down as President of Lincoln University

Ivory V. Nelson has announced that he will step down as president of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania at the end of the academic year. Dr. Nelson, now 76 years old, has served as the university’s president since 1999. Previously he was president of Central Washington University and earlier served as chancellor of the Alamo Community College District, San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Nelson is a graduate of Grambling State University in Louisiana. He holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Kansas.

Brown University Study Sounds the Alarm on Nursing Home Care in Black and High-Poverty Neighborhoods

A study by researchers at Brown University found that over the past decade the number of nursing homes in the United States has declined by 5 percent. The study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, found that nursing homes in neighborhoods with large numbers of people in poverty were more than twice as likely to have closed their doors than nursing homes in areas where there is a high average income. Nursing homes in predominantly black neighborhoods were 1.38 times more likely to close than nursing homes in areas that were almost exclusively white.

The results point toward a shortage of nursing home care for elderly black and poor patients in the neighborhoods where they and their families have lived. Also, the fact that nursing homes in poor and black neighborhoods have been forced to close because of financial difficulties leads to the conclusion that those that are still operating may also be in poor financial condition and this may affect the quality of patient care.


In Memoriam

Benjamin Franklin Peery (1922-2010)

Benjamin F. Peery, a longtime professor of astrophysics at Indiana University and Howard University, died late last year at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was 88 years old.

Dr. Peery was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, but grew up in rural Minnesota. He served in the military during World War II, where he believed he was subjected to racial segregation more so than at any time in his life.

After the war he entered the University of Minnesota and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1949. He went on to earn a master’s degree at Fisk University and a Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Michigan.

Professor Peery taught astronomy at Indiana University for 18 years before joining the faculty at Howard University in 1977. He taught at Howard for 15 years and was chair of the department of astronomy and physics. He retired and assumed the title of professor emeritus in 1992.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• William A. McDade, associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care and associate dean for multicultural affairs at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, was appointed the university’s deputy provost for research and minority issues.

Dr. McDade holds both a medical degree and a Ph.D. in biophysics and theoretical biology from the University of Chicago.

• Carter Catlin Jr. was named associate dean for research at Tennessee State University in Nashville. He has served on the Tennessee State faculty for 25 years.

Dr. Catlin is a graduate of Alabama A&M University. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in forest economics from Michigan State University.

• Chantell Hines was appointed dean of academic services at the North Harris campus of Lone Star College in Texas. She was the assistant dean of the Lone Star College Greenspoint Center.

Dr. Hines earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Prairie View A&M University. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology at Capella University.

• Ronald E. Snead Sr. was elected chair of the board of trustees of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. A 1971 graduate of the university, Snead has served in senior management positions at several large corporations in Michigan.

• William Burres Garcia has retired as professor of music at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He has taught at Lincoln since 2001, completing a 41-year teaching career at several historically black colleges and universities.

Dr. Garcia holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

• Carlen Luke McLin was named chief of staff of the president of Tuskegee University in Alabama. She was assistant dean and chair of the School of Public Health at Dillard University in New Orleans.

Dr. McLin is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in public health from Tulane University.


Grants and Gifts

• Emmanuel Babatunde and Derrick J. Swinton, two professors from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, are participating in a 10-year, $20 million grant program in conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development to improve environmental planning in the African nation of Malawi. Scholars from Michigan State University and the University of Malawi are participating in the project. For the duration of the research project, two or three students from Lincoln University will spend time in Malawi each year conducting research.

• Jackson State University, the historically black educational institution in Mississippi, received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a program to advance the careers of women scholars in science, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Loretta Moore, chair of the department of computer science at Jackson State University, is the principal investigator of the grant program.

The department of rehabilitation and disability studies at historically black Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a program to increase vocational rehabilitation training opportunities at colleges serving minority students.



Copyright © 2011. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.