Snail-Like Progress in Increasing Black Faculty at Harvard University

According to the annual report of the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University, there are 46 black ladder faculty at Harvard University during the current academic year. Ladder faculty are those who are tenured or who are on the tenure track. The number of blacks is up one from a year ago. Blacks make up 3.1 percent of all ladder faculty at Harvard University.

There are 23 black faculty members on the faculty of arts and sciences, which includes Harvard College and the nonprofessional graduate schools. This number is down one from a year ago. Black faculty are heavily concentrated in the social sciences. Seventeen of the 21 blacks on the faculty of the arts and sciences teach in the social sciences. There is only one black faculty member in the humanities. There are three blacks teaching in the life sciences and none in the physical sciences.

Another 23 blacks teach at professional schools at Harvard University. Seven of these are professors at Harvard Law School. There are four blacks on the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and four on the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health. There are no black faculty members at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

There are two black full-time faculty members at Harvard Medical School. In addition, there are 164 black faculty members who work at one of seven hospitals affiliated with the university. Blacks make up 2 percent of the more than 7,800 medical school-affiliated faculty.


Regents of the University of California Recommend That All Campuses Adopt a Holistic Admissions System

The regents of the University of California system are urging, but not requiring, all nine undergraduate campuses to use a holistic approach to admissions. Under the holistic method, admissions officers consider an applicant’s grades, test scores, and other qualifications with consideration to the student’s background and life experiences.

Critics of the plan state that the holistic approach is a means to get around the state ban on the consideration of race during the admissions process. But the university maintains that a holistic system does not benefit students of any one particular race.

The holistic method has been used at the Berkeley campus since 2001 and UCLA adopted a similar approach in 2007. In neither instance did the institution of the holistic approach produce a sharp rise in the number of blacks accepted for admission.



Howard University Board Approves Massive Changes in Degree Programs: But the Undergraduate Program in Philosophy Is Given New Life

Last October, JBHE reported that Howard University decided to eliminate its bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in philosophy. Richard A. Jones, professor of philosophy at Howard, told JBHE that hundreds of letters were received by the university’s president urging him to continue supporting the study of philosophy at Howard.

Now the university has reconsidered its position and will eliminate only the master’s degree program. Currently, Howard is the only historically black university offering a master’s degree program in philosophy.

Howard announced that it is eliminating or revamping 71 of its 171 undergraduate or graduate degree programs. In addition to the master’s degree program in philosophy, other degree programs that will be eliminated include bachelor’s degree programs in anthropology, classical civilizations, German, and Russian.

UNCF Moving Closer to the Seat of Power

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is moving its headquarters from Fairfax, Virginia, across the Potomac River to Washington, D.C. The organization, made up of 39 private historically black colleges and universities, is now in its 67th year in providing financial assistance to college students.

The UNCF has begun construction on a new 50,000-square-foot headquarters in the historic Shaw neighborhood of the nation’s capital. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of the UNCF, stated, “To be an effective advocate for education reform, and to help children of color prepare for college, UNCF has to be in D.C. We need to be a voice for the millions of students of color who need a college education and deserve to be considered when national education policy is discussed and made. That voice is a lot more likely to be heard in D.C.”



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.

A. Philip Randolph and the Struggle for Civil Rights by Cornelius L. Bynum (University of Illinois Press)

Becoming American: The African American Quest for Civil Rights, 1861-1976 by Daniel W. Aldridge III (Harlan Davidson Publishers)

“Ethnically Qualified”: Race, Merit, and the Selection of Urban Teachers, 1920-1980 by Christina Collins (Teachers College Press)

Footprints of Black Louisiana by Norman R. Smith (Xlibris)

From Africa to America: Religion and Adaptation Among Ghanaian Immigrants in New York by Moses O. Biney (New York University Press)

I’ve Got to Make My Livin’: Black Women’s Sex Work in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago by Cynthia M. Blair (University of Chicago Press)

In the Eyes of God: American Public Education in the Twenty-First Century by William Stanley Ponder (iUniverse)

Indigenization of Language in the African Francophone Novel: A New Literary Canon by Peter W. Vakunta (Peter Lang Publishing)

Kin of Another Kind: Transracial Adoption in American Literature by Cynthia Callahan (University of Michigan Press)

Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game by Rob Ruck (Beacon Press)

Representing Africa in American Art Museums: A Century of Collecting and Display edited by Kathleen Bickford Berzock and Christa Clarke (University of Washington Press)

The Black-Print: Black America’s Blueprint for Achieving Wealth, Prosperity and Respect by Malik Green (Outskirts Press)

The Communication of Hate by Michael Waltman and John Haas (Peter Lang Publishing)

The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey From Black to White by Daniel J. Sharfstein (Penguin Press)

The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is edited by Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. Houck (University Press of Mississippi)


Honors and Awards

• Bernice Donald, recently nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, received the Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Memphis Black Student Association.

Judge Donald earned bachelor’s and law degrees at the University of Memphis.

• Edward Hanes Jr., equal employment opportunity officer at the RJR School of Business at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, received the Martin Luther King Jr. Building the Dream Award, which is jointly administered by Winston-Salem State University and Wake Forest University.

Hanes holds bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University.

• Gregorio Millet, senior scientist in the division of HIV/AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control, received the 2011 Social Justice Award from Dartmouth College. Millet is a 1990 graduate of Dartmouth.

• Howard Allen Chubbs, pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Greensboro, received the Human Rights Medal from North Carolina A&T State University.

Dr. Chubbs is a graduate of Tennessee State University. He holds a master’s degree from Virginia Union University and a doctorate of ministry from Drew University.


Grants and Gifts

Tennessee State University, the historically black educational institution in Nashville, received a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund a graduate-level research facility for its College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science.

Cornell University received a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a pre- and postdoctoral fellowship program in the humanities for underrepresented minorities, first-generation college students, and students from low-income families. White students will be eligible for the fellowship program if their research is related to underrepresented minorities.


Do you think racial discrimination is a major factor in explaining the lower percentage of black doctoral candidates who receive teaching and research assistantships?


Do Black Doctoral Students Face Discrimination in the Awarding of Teaching and Research Assistantships?

The National Science Foundation reports that black doctoral students are significantly less likely than their white counterparts to receive teaching or research assistant positions to help finance their graduate studies. For doctoral recipients in 2009, 18 percent of white students were employed as teaching assistants and 22 percent had research positions. For African Americans, 9.5 percent had teaching positions and 12 percent were research assistants. Some 40 percent of all African-American doctoral students primarily relied on their own resources to finance their education compared to just 26 percent of white American students.

Is racial discrimination a factor in these disparities? Tell us what you think in this week’s poll.



The New President of CUNY’s Bronx Community College

The board of trustees of the City University of New York has appointed Carole Berotte Joseph the next president of Bronx Community College. Since 2005 she has been the president of Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Dr. Joseph is a native of Haiti but grew up in New York City. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from York College, a division of the City University of New York. She holds a master’s degree from Fordham University and a doctorate in sociolinguistics and bilingual education from New York University.

Prior to assuming the presidency of MassBay Community College, Dr. Joseph was dean of academic affairs at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She also served as vice president of academic affairs at Hostos Community College, a division of CUNY.

Bronx Community College has about 10,500 students enrolled in degree programs and serves another 14,000 students in continuing education programs. About 32 percent of the degree program students are black and 58 percent are Hispanic.


A Huge Racial Gap Persists in College Graduation Rates

The U.S. Department of Education has issued new data on graduation rates for students who entered college in 2003 and earned their bachelor’s degree within six years. The overall graduation rate of students at four-year institutions is 57.4 percent. Whites had a graduation rate of 60.8 percent. For blacks, the figure is 39.1 percent.

Black students at private colleges did slightly better. They posted a graduation rate of 45 percent. But whites at private four-year colleges had a graduation rate of 67.7 percent. So the racial gap at private colleges is greater than that for colleges as a whole.

The graduation rate for black women was about 10 percentage points higher than the graduation rate for black men at both public and private four-year colleges.

Historically Black Florida A&M University Gets Approval for a New Satellite Campus to House Its Pharmacy Program

The board of governors of the State University System of Florida has approved the establishment of a satellite campus of historically black Florida A&M University in Crestview. The new campus will be about 150 miles west of the university’s main campus in Tallahassee. The Crestview campus will be home to the university’s new doctor of pharmacy program, which will begin classes in the fall of 2012. By 2016 the university hopes to enroll 60 graduate and 60 undergraduate students at the campus. Eventually, other health-related degree programs may be based on the Crestview campus.

The university’s law school also operates out of a satellite campus in Orlando.

A New Institute on Chinese Studies Founded at Historically Black Texas Southern University

Texas Southern University, the historically black educational institution in Houston, has announced the establishment of the Confucius Institute on campus in collaboration with Beijing Jiaotong University. The new institute will offer Chinese language and cultural studies to Texas Southern students. Several exchange programs between the two universities are planned.


Historically Black University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Gets Green Light to Begin Doctoral Studies

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a historically black educational institution, has received approval from the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer a doctorate in aquaculture. The university’s Aquaculture and Fisheries Center is a highly regarded research facility. It has offered master’s degrees since 1997.

At the present time, the university does not offer any doctoral programs.


In Memoriam

George Canty Jr. (1928-2010)

George Canty Jr., longtime professor of chemistry at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, died last month from complications of a stroke at a hospital in Macon. He was 82 years old.

Professor Canty was raised by his grandmother in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from Tennessee State University. He joined the faculty at Fort Valley State University in 1955. He later earned a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Canty remained on the Fort Valley State faculty for more than 40 years.

Samuel Frederick Yette (1929-2011)

Samuel F. Yette, a longtime journalist, government official, and professor of journalism at Howard University, has died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease at an assisted living facility in Laurel, Maryland. He was 81 years old.

Yette, a grandson of a slave, was born in Harriman, Tennessee. In 1951 he received a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University and went on to earn a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University. During his career in journalism he worked for Life, Ebony, and Newsweek magazines and for the Afro-American newspaper. He also worked as an administrator for the Peace Corps and the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity.

He joined the faculty at Howard University after being dismissed from Newsweek in 1971 after he had published a controversial book that warned of a possible genocide of the nation’s African-American population.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Barbara W. Ballard, a Kansas state representative and associate director of civic engagement and outreach at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, was elected president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

Dr. Ballard, who has been an administrator at the University of Kansas for more than 30 years, is a graduate of Webster University in St. Louis. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University.

• Helen T. McAlpine, president of Drake State Technical College in Huntsville, Alabama, was named by President Barack Obama to the board of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Dr. McAlpine is a graduate of Talladega College. She holds a master’s degree from Jacksonville State University and a doctorate from the University of Alabama.

• Lisa Barkley was appointed assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. She was associate vice president for health and wellness and the founding dean of the College of Health and Public Policy at Delaware State University.

Dr. Barkley is a graduate of Georgetown University and Temple University College of Medicine.

• Adrian Fenty, who recently completed a term as mayor of Washington, D.C., was named a distinguished visiting professor of politics at Oberlin College.

Fenty is a 1992 graduate of Oberlin College and earned a law degree at Howard University.

• Patricia Maryland was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the board of trustees of Central Michigan University. Dr. Maryland is president and CEO of St. John Health Systems.

Maryland is a graduate of Alabama State University. She has a master’s degree in biostatistics from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in public health from the University of Pittsburgh.

• Sonja A. Bennett is the new assistant vice president for communications and marketing at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She was associate vice president of marketing and communications at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Bennett holds a bachelor's degree in communication from Indiana University and an MBA from Strayer University.

• Ernest Morrell was appointed director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College of Columbia University. He has been serving as an associate professor of urban schooling and associate director of the Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Morrell is a 1993 graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in language, literature and culture from the University of California at Berkeley.

• Seth Ablordeppy, director of the basic science division at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, was appointed interim dean of the college.

Dr. Ablordeppy is a graduate of the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Science and Technology in Ghana and a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi.

• Clarence Lang, an assistant professor of African-American studies and history at the University of Illinois, was named the 2011 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas. He is teaching two courses this semester.

Dr. Lang is a graduate of the University of Missouri. He earned a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois.


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