CalState’s Super Sunday Recruiting Program Will Visit 100 Black Churches Throughout California During February

The California State University system is in the midst of a budget crisis which has forced an increase of 32 percent in student fees. Obviously, this increase will have a serious disproportionate effect on the system’s 25,000 black students, many of whom come from low-income families.

Despite the budget cuts and tuition rate hikes, the university system is not giving up on its efforts to maintain racial diversity. Throughout the month of February, administrators at CalState, including trustees and campus presidents, are visiting 100 churches with predominantly black congregations throughout the state. The effort is designed to help families prepare students for college and to recruit them to a CalState campus.

The “Super Sunday” program is now in its fifth year but has been expanded significantly this year to several cities that were not included in the past such as Fresno, Santa Ana, Corona, and Oxnard. Since the program began, the number of African Americans applying for admission to a CalState campus has increased by 78 percent. Black enrollments have increased by 20 percent from 2004 to 2008.


Virginia Theological Seminary to Receive the Papers of Washington’s First Black Episcopal Bishop

The Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria reports that it will receive the papers of the Rt. Rev. John Thomas Walker, an African American who served as the Episcopal Bishop of Washington from 1977 until his death in 1989.

Walker graduated from Wayne State University in 1951. He then became the first African American to enroll for full-time study at the Virginia Theological Seminary.

After graduation, in 1954, he was ordained a deacon and priest and he served in Detroit. He later taught at St Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. He came to Washington in 1966 and was elevated to bishop in 1977. He also served as dean of the National Cathedral, but he died one year before the building was consecrated.


Morehouse College Professor Unveils 125-Foot Mural Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Natatorium is a public swimming facility across the street from the King Center in downtown Atlanta. Recently, Louis Delsarte, a professor of art at Morehouse College, unveiled his 125-foot mural honoring the civil rights leader on the wall of the Natatorium. The mural has 25 panels chronicling the life of Dr. King.

Delsarte is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of Pratt Institute and holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Arizona. He has created many other murals including artwork at a New York City subway station, on a bank wall in Harlem, and at Morris Brown College.



The Higher Education of the Nation’s Latest Black Trailblazer

With the election of a black man as president, one would think that African Americans had reached about every pinnacle there is in our society. But this is not so. African Americans continue to make news by being the first of their race to achieve positions of influence.

Mary J. Kight was recently appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as adjutant general of the California National Guard. She is the first African-American woman to lead the National Guard in any state.

Kight received a two-year associate’s degree at Monterey Peninsula College and then earned a bachelor’s degree at California State University at Chico. When her new husband decided to join the Air Force, Kight enlisted as well. While enlisted she earned a master’s degree in human resources at Gonzaga University.

Brigadier General Kight has been in the National Guard for 25 years. She now commands the largest National Guard force in the nation.


Emerson College Panel Says Black Faculty at the Institution Are “Undervalued” and Placed in a “Caste-Like” Position

In the Spring 2009 issue of JBHE, we reported on allegations of racism in tenuring decisions at Emerson College in Boston. At the time we noted that since the college’s founding in 1880, only one African American had been awarded tenure without first filing a racial discrimination lawsuit against the college. Today, four of Emerson’s 117-member tenured or tenure-track faculty are black.

Mike Brown was awarded tenure in 1979 after suing the college. He remains on the faculty today but over the past 30 years has never been promoted higher than the rank of assistant professor. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and juris doctorate degrees.

Last year after two other black faculty members were denied tenure, the college ordered a review of the tenuring process. A three-member panel recently issued a report that said it could find no overt racism. But it concluded, “There are to be found at Emerson unexamined and powerful assumptions and biases about the superiority, preferability, and normativeness of European-American culture, intellectual pursuits, academic discourse, leadership and so on.” As a result there is a “disproportionate undervaluing of African Americans.”

The panel recommended that Emerson conduct multicultural training, offer mentoring and professional development programs for minority faculty, clarify departmental tenure requirements, and expand faculty searches to include more minority candidates.


19.6%  Percentage of whites who earned doctorates in 2008 who had ever been enrolled in a two-year community college.

17.0%  Percentage of African Americans who earned doctorates in 2008 who had ever been enrolled in a two-year community college.

source: National Science Foundation


Minority Rights Group in Oregon Establishes College Scholarships for Whites

The Oregon League of Minority Voters, a group seeking greater opportunities for blacks and other minorities, has established a new college scholarship program that will be reserved exclusively for whites. The scholarship grants will be awarded to white undergraduate or graduate students who are studying in a field related to race relations or diversity.

The purpose of the scholarships is to get more white people involved in the diversity field. The belief is that in Oregon, where the population is predominantly white, minorities will not make significant progress until whites are made aware of the value of racial diversity to all Oregonians.


In Memoriam

Our thoughts are with the families, colleagues, and friends of the three victims of the horrific shootings that took place last Friday on the campus of the University of Alabama at Huntsville.

We note that two of the three professors shot and killed at a meeting of the biology department faculty were African Americans.

Maria Ragland Davis was a 52-year-old associate professor of biology who specialized in plant pathology and biotechnology. She had been on the university’s faculty since 2002. Dr. Davis was a graduate of the University of Michigan. She held a master’s degree in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from North Carolina State University.

Adriel D. Johnson was an associate professor of biology and had been on the faculty at the university for more than 20 years. A longtime mentor of minority students, Dr. Johnson was director of the campus chapter of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Professor Johnson was a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. He held master’s degrees from Tennessee Technological University and the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He earned his Ph.D. at North Carolina State University.


Honors and Awards

• Andre R. Campbell, professor of clinical surgery at the University of California at San Francisco medical school, received the Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award from the university. Dr. Campbell was given the award for his leadership in advocating greater diversity in the medical field.

Dr. Campbell is a graduate of Harvard University. He received his medical training at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine.

• Doyle Temple, professor and chair of the department of physics at Hampton University, received the 2010 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Dr. Temple has been on the Hampton faculty for nearly 16 years. He is a graduate of Southern University and holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.

• Alvia Wardlaw, an associate professor of art history and director of the University Museum at Texas Southern University in Houston, received the Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College.

• Michael White, professor of music and Spanish at Xavier University in New Orleans, was named 2010 Humanist of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Professor White is also a renowned jazz clarinetist, bandleader, and composer.

• Jeffrey T. Butler, professor and chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the United States Air Force Academy, received an award for Lifetime Achievement in Government from the National Society of Black Engineers.

Professor Butler is a graduate of the Air Force Academy. He holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from the Air Force Institute of Technology.


Grants and Gifts

• Dillard University, the historically black educational institution in New Orleans, received a $200,000 grant from the American Jewish Committee. The grant will fund the university’s new Distance Learning Center located in the Alexander Library on campus.

• Hampton University, the historically black educational institution in Virginia, received an $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The money will be used to construct a 20,000-square-foot biomedical research center on campus.

Six colleges and universities in Louisiana will share a $2.25 million grant from the BP Foundation. The grant will support mathematics and science education, provide scholarships for students in majors dealing with the oil and gas industry, and provide funds for curriculum enhancement. Three historically black universities are among the six schools receiving funds. They are Dillard University, Southern University at Baton Rouge, and Xavier University.

Good News! Mellon Mays Fellows Program to Increase College Faculty Diversity Is Funded for Four Additional Years

Recently, funding for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program was renewed for an additional four years. The program seeks to increase the racial diversity of faculty at the nation’s colleges and universities by mentoring and providing financial support for undergraduate minority students who express an interest in securing a Ph.D. and teaching at the college level. The program, which began in 1988, is administered by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was named to honor Benjamin E. Mays, the former president of Morehouse College who served as a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr.

Each of the 42 participating colleges and universities receives a grant from the Mellon Foundation to fund the program at their institution. Students are typically selected in their sophomore year of college and are eligible for loans to fund their junior and senior years. Students who fulfill their obligations of entering doctoral studies can have up to $10,000 of their student loans paid off by the grant funds.

In addition to financial support, Mellon Mays fellows receive faculty mentoring, research stipends, and summer internships. Mellon Mays fellows who are enrolled in graduate school are eligible for research funds, travel costs, and dissertation grants.

Since the program’s inception, 311 Mellon Mays fellows have earned a Ph.D. and are currently teaching at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Thirty-seven Mellon Mays scholars have achieved tenure.


“I feel really disturbed when I go to diversity meetings and the attendees are all brown or black people. We preach to ourselves.”

Promise King, executive director of the Oregon League of Minority Voters, in announcing his group’s new college scholarship program for whites who study race relations. (See story below.)


Kentucky State University Tackles Problems of Minority Youth

Kentucky State University, the historically black educational institution in Frankfort, is using a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish the Promising Youth Center for Excellence. The center will mentor a group of 125 black and Hispanic youngsters between the ages of 8 and 15 in an effort to improve their social behavior and academic performance. In addition to academic tutoring, the students will be counseled on issues such as obesity, teenage pregnancy, truancy, and disease prevention.

Students involved in the program will meet at the youth center after school. In addition, they will attend a three-week summer institute on the Kentucky State campus. Parents of the 125 students will meet in workshops one Saturday each month.


University Unveils New Digital Archive on the Civil Rights Movement in Greensboro, North Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has launched an extensive online database of documents, photographs, and oral histories related to the civil rights struggle in the city. Greensboro was the site of the first lunch counter sit-in during the winter of 1960. Many other significant events of the civil rights movement also occurred in or near the city.

The online digital archive includes materials from collections housed at Guilford College, Greensboro College, Duke University, the Greensboro Historical Museum, as well as the archives and manuscript division of the University of North Carolina Greensboro Library.

The online archive is fully searchable by keyword, subject matter, repository, or specific collection. Readers who would like to browse the Civil Rights Greensboro archive can do so by clicking here. Also of interest at the University of North Carolina Greensboro library site is the The Digital Library on American Slavery.


Statue of Slave Woman Owned by Chicago State University Is Found in the Office of an Illinois State Legislator

A bronze statue of a slave woman is now on display in the reading room on the fourth floor of the library at Chicago State University. The statue, purchased by the university for $25,000, had previously been displayed at the office of student financial aid. When the office of student aid was closed, the statue was taken to a warehouse.

Last summer Arnold Jordan, who headed the office of student financial aid, went to the warehouse to retrieve his personal items. He saw the statue, which he said was in an unkempt room. He took the statue to the office of Illinois state representative Monique Davis, who is Jordan’s girlfriend. The statue was kept behind closed doors in her legislative office.

When a reporter broke the story that the statue was in Representative Davis’ office, she stated she was just storing it there for safekeeping until the university found the proper place to display it. But university officials said the statue had been removed without permission. On several occasions, university workers were dispatched to Davis’ office but she would not relinquish the statue. Finally, after the story appeared in the Chicago newspapers and on local television, Davis agreed to return the statue to the university.


The “New” Book by Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man won the National Book Award in 1953. It was the only novel he would ever publish. When Ellison died in 1994, he had 27 boxes of manuscript for his long-awaited second novel. In 1999 John F. Callahan, Morgan S. Odell Professor of Humanities at Lewis & Clark College and executor of Ellison’s estate, published a brief portion of the manuscript under the title Juneteenth.

Now, Callahan and co-editor Adam Bradley, an associate professor of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder, have published a 1,136-page edition of Ellison’s uncompleted work, entitled Three Days Before the Shooting. The novel involves the assassination of a race-baiting United States senator, who is a black man passing for white.

The novel was unfinished and gives the reader the opportunity to conjecture how the story might be completed. But Ellison’s writing is well worth the effort. In its review Publishers Weekly wrote, the novel “contains countless passages of breathtaking prose, touching upon America and its mystic motto of national purpose violently aflutter.”

Professor Bradley is currently on a nationwide tour promoting the book. He was a student of Professor Callahan’s at Lewis & Clark College. Bradley went on to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. at Harvard University. Later this year, his book Ralph Ellison in Progress, a critical look at Ellison’s fiction, will be published by Yale University Press.


South Carolina State University Settles Lawsuit That Was Filed by Its Former President

In December 2007, Andrew Hugine Jr. was dismissed as president of South Carolina State University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg. The university’s board of trustees issued a report that stated Dr. Hugine was dismissed due to management problems in the school’s teacher education and nursing programs and for his failure to address infrastructure problems at the university.

Hugine promptly sued the university for $1 million for wrongful termination. Now the university has agreed to a $60,000 settlement of the lawsuit. Dr. Hugine was hired as president of Alabama A&M University in July 2009.



Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Louis Whitesides was promoted to the position of research administrator for the 1890 Research and Extension Program at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. He was the senior extension director for adult leadership and community development.

Dr. Whitesides is a graduate of South Carolina State University. He holds a master’s degree from Southern Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Sarasota.

• Leroy A. Tice, an attorney from Wilmington, was named to the board of trustees of Delaware State University. Tice is an alumnus of Delaware State and Seton Hall University School of Law.

• Reginald Green was appointed associate dean for student services and administration at the College of Law of Florida A&M University. He was the assistant dean for career resources at South Texas College of Law.

Green is a graduate of Tougaloo College and the South Texas College of Law.

• Leslie Brown, assistant professor of history at Williams College in Massachusetts, was awarded tenure. Brown is a graduate of Tufts University and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history from Duke University.

• John Brooks Slaughter received a joint appointment as a professor at the Rossier School of Education and the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. Professor Slaughter has served as president of Occidental College and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.

Dr. Slaughter is a graduate of Kansas State University. He holds a master’s degree in engineering from UCLA and a Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California at San Diego.

• Brian Johnson was named assistant vice president of academic affairs at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. He was chief of staff for the president’s office at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California.



Copyright © 2010. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.