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Budget Cuts Lead to Lower Number of Accepted Students at the University of California: But Number of Admitted Black Students Increases

Due to budget cuts the number of students offered admission to the nine undergraduate campuses of the University of California is down nearly 4 percent this year. Of concern is how this reduction in the number of accepted students to the University of California will affect black enrollments.

This year, the number of black students accepted systemwide at the University of California is 2,366. This is up 2.2 percent from a year ago.

However, there are huge differences among the nine campuses. The number of black students accepted for admission at the University of California at Riverside has increased nearly 20 percent this year. But at the Davis, Irvine, and Santa Cruz campuses, the number of blacks accepted for admission is down more than 10 percent. At the two most prestigious campuses of the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles, black acceptances are down slightly.

Overall, blacks make up 4 percent of all students offered admission to the University of California. At the Riverside campus, 5.8 percent of all admitted students are black. At the San Diego campus, only 1.9 percent of all students offered admission are black.

Toni Morrison’s Bench by the Road Project

Toni Morrison, professor emerita at Princeton University and Nobel laureate in literature, stated in a 1989 magazine article, “There is no suitable memorial, or plaque, or wreath or wall, or park or skyscraper lobby. There’s no 300-foot tower, there’s no small bench by the road” to commemorate the suffering of the millions of American slaves.

Inspired by these words, the Toni Morrison Society, now based at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, launched the Bench by the Road project.

This past summer the first bench and a commemorative plaque was placed on Sullivan Island off the South Carolina coast, where about 40 percent of the slaves brought from Africa disembarked in the New World.

This past week another bench was dedicated at North Main and Lorain streets in Oberlin, Ohio. This site was selected because Oberlin was a key station on the Underground Railroad.

The Toni Morrison Society plans a total of 10 benches to be placed in sites across the country.

Black Women Elected to Lead Undergraduate and Graduate Student Government at Duke University

For the 2009-10 academic year black women will hold the two highest student government positions at Duke University. Junior Awa Nur was elected president of the Duke Student Government Association. Nur was born in Somalia but now lives in Virginia. She is only the second black woman to lead the organization in its history.

Yvonne Ford was elected president of the Graduate and Professional Students Council, the main group representing graduate students at the university. Ford holds two master’s degrees from Duke and is pursuing a Ph.D.

Racial Disparity in Prosecution of Honor Violations at the University of Virginia

The Honor Committee at the University of Virginia reports a wide racial disparity in students accused of honor violations. An honor offense is defined as an intentional act of lying, cheating, or stealing.

The committee reports that in the current academic year 64 cases were referred for review. Of these, 21 cases, about one third of the total, involved black students. The committee decided to bring formal charges against 35 individuals. Thirteen, or 37 percent, of those facing formal charges were black. Only three of the 13 black students formally charged with honor violations were found guilty.

Blacks are about 9 percent of the undergraduate student body on the Charlottesville campus.

Oregon Legislators Propose Requiring State Universities to Interview Minority Candidates for Head Coaching Positions

A committee of the House of Representatives in Oregon has drafted a bill that calls for all publicly operated colleges and universities in the state to interview at least one minority candidate for all openings as head coach of any college team. Minority candidates would also have to be interviewed for the position of athletic director.

Originally the bill applied only to head football coaches but legislators amended the proposed law to include coaches for all intercollegiate sports. Critics of the bill point out that finding “qualified” minority candidates for every coaching position may prove to be difficult, if not impossible, in the predominantly white state of Oregon.

Two African-American Academics Awarded Pulitzer Prizes

Annette Gordon-Reed, a law professor at New York University who also teaches on the Newark campus of Rutgers University, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in the history category for her book The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. She had previously won the National Book Award for the same work.

Professor Gordon-Reed is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.

Lynn Nottage, a visiting lecturer at the Yale School of Drama, won the Pulitzer Prize in drama for her play Ruined. A winner of a genius award from the MacArthur Foundation, Nottage is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama.

3,843  Number of African-American men who were awarded a master’s degree in education in 2007.

14,518  Number of African-American women who were awarded a master’s degree in education in 2007.

source: U.S. Department of Education

Honors and Awards

• Tracy L. Hanner, an assistant professor of lab animal science and clinical associate veterinarian at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, received the Iverson Bell Recognition Award from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. The award is given to individuals who have promoted increased opportunities for minority students in veterinary education.

Dr. Hanner is a graduate of North Carolina Central University. In 1986 Hanner was the first African American to graduate from the veterinary school at North Carolina State University.

• David A. Paterson, the governor of the state of New York, will be presented with the Medal of Distinguished Service from Teachers College at Columbia University at the school’s convocation ceremony in May.

• Carlotta Walls LaNier, one of nine students who in 1957 racially integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Quinnipiac University School of Law. LaNier now works in real estate in Colorado.

• David Satcher, the former surgeon general of the United States, will receive the 2009 TRUST award this July from the Health Research and Educational Trust. Dr. Satcher is currently director of the Center of Excellence on Health Disparities and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

• David Hemphill, director of the Black Theater Troupe in Phoenix, Arizona, received the A. Wade Smith Community Award for the Advancement of Race Relations from Arizona State University.

• C. Vivian Stringer, head women’s basketball coach at Rutgers University, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Stringer, a coal miner’s daughter from western Pennsylvania, has won 825 college basketball games.


• Florida A&M University, the historically black educational institution in Tallahassee, received a three-year, $468,000 grant from the U.S. State Department of Education. The grant will enable the university’s department of computer and information sciences to produce multimedia instructional materials.

The Department of Defense announced the awarding of $17.4 million in grants to minority-serving institutions for a wide range of research projects. The three-year grants range from $245,000 to $574,000. Nineteen historically black colleges will receive grants under the program.

For example, Tuskegee University in Alabama will receive a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for research on the catalytic deoxygenation of liquid biomass for hydrocarbon fuels.

Other HBCUs receiving grants are Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Delaware State University, Dillard University, Fisk University, and Howard University. Also receiving DOD grants are Jackson State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Paine College. Prairie View A&M University, Savannah State University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Winston-Salem State University will also receive grants.

More Blacks Are Enrolled in College in California Than in Any Other State: Montana Has the Fewest Black Students in College

Nationwide, blacks make up about 13 percent of total enrollments in higher education. This is comparable to the black percentage of the U.S. population.

The African-American college population remains concentrated in the Deep South. As a result, the black percentage of total enrollments is highest in Mississippi, Georgia, and other Deep South states. In the North, the states with the highest percentages of blacks among their total college enrollments are Illinois, Michigan, and New York. As expected, the lowest number and lowest percentage of black enrollments are found in the predominantly white states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. 

When we examine actual numbers rather than percentages, California has the most black students enrolled in college than any other state. Florida has moved into the second position followed closely by New York and Texas. Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Idaho, North Dakota, and Vermont all have fewer than 1,000 black students enrolled in college.

“They don’t have a problem finding a black male fullback, quarterback, or shooting guard.”

Harold Dutton Jr., a black state legislator from Houston, commenting on the fact that only 830 of the nearly 50,000 students enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin are black men

The New President of Eastern Shore Community College

Linda K. Thomas-Glover was named president of Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa, Virginia. The two-year college has a 900-member student body that is 40 percent black.

Dr. Thomas-Glover was provost and chief academic officer at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in Kentucky. Previously she was vice president of instruction at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, North Carolina.

Thomas-Glover is a graduate of South Carolina State University. She holds a master’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Temple University.

U.S. Students Studying Abroad in Africa

More than 241,000 American students studied at foreign institutions of higher education during the 2006-07 academic year. This was an increase of 8.2 percent from a year earlier. A vast majority of Americans studying abroad (57.4 percent) attended universities in Europe. Of all U.S. students studying abroad, 10,066, or 4.2 percent, attended universities in Africa. The number of American students studying in Africa has increased 19 percent over the previous year. Africa sends more than three times as many students to American universities as America sends to African universities.

Of the 10,066 Americans studying in Africa, 1,654, or 16.5 percent, were studying in the northern African nations of Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Among black African nations, South Africa was the most popular destination. In 2006-07, 3,216 American students studied in South Africa. This was up by 28 percent from a year earlier. Ghana hosted 1,645 American students in the 2006-07 academic year. Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Cameroon, and Uganda were the only other black African nations hosting more than 100 American college students.

Of the 241,791 American students studying abroad in all areas of the globe, 3.8 percent were African Americans. In 1997 African Americans were also 3.8 percent of all American students studying abroad.

New Master’s Degree Program at Virginia Union University

Virginia Union University, the historically black educational institution in Richmond, has announced that its Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology is introducing its third graduate degree program. Students will now be able to work towards a master of arts degree in Christian education. The two-year professional degree program will offer classes on nights and weekends to accommodate working students.

A New Role in Education for Civil Rights Leader Benjamin Chavis

Veteran civil rights leader Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. has been named president of Education Online Services Corporation. The company is a leader in providing online or distance education platforms for higher educational institutions. Among his duties as president Dr. Chavis will concentrate on marketing the company’s services to historically black colleges and universities.

Chavis is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He holds a master of divinity degree from Duke University and a doctorate in ministry from Howard University.

In 1976 Chavis was convicted of conspiracy and arson for his protest efforts to desegregate the public schools in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was sentenced to 34 years in jail. The convictions were overturned in 1980.

For 18 months in the early 1990s Chavis was executive director of the NAACP but was forced out by the board after it was alleged he used organization funds to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit. In 1995 he was national director of the Million Man March.

Since 2001 Chavis has been chair of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.

Sixteen Black Male College Students Selected for Summer Leadership Program in Washington

The Institute for Responsible Citizenship is a nonprofit organization that sponsors an intensive leadership program for high-achieving African-American male college students. Students selected into the program spend eight weeks in Washington over two consecutive summers. They take three courses in government and economics for academic credit. They are placed in an internship that coincides with their career goals and they attend a series of private meetings and seminars. Sixteen black male college students were accepted into the program this year. They are:

D’Leon Barnett
(George Mason Univ.)

Donald Depass (Duke University)

Curtis D. Flournov Jr.
(Williams College)

Caleb J. Gayle
(University of Oklahoma)

Marcus Goodwin
(Univ. of Pennsylvania)

Robert A. Hickman
(College of New Jersey)

Alan-Michael Hill
(Univ. of Pennsylvania)

Jonathan F. Hill
(Emory University)

Timothy G. Hughes
(Univ. of North Carolina

Charles R. Lee
(Duke University)

Eric A. McCarthy
(Queens Univ.-Charlotte)

Kevin T. James
(St. John’s University)

Serrano Legrand
(Northeastern Univ.)

Marcus V. Phelps
(University of Akron)

Derek Porter
(Univ. of St. Thomas)

Jordan C. Wall
(Davidson College)

Howard University Invited to Join the Universities Space Research Association

Howard University, the historically black educational institution in Washington, is the newest member of the Universities Space Research Association.

USRA is a private, nonprofit consortium founded in 1969 under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences. Its current membership is comprised of 104 universities in the U.S. and abroad that have graduate programs in space-related sciences and/or engineering. Members include most of the nation’s leading research universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, CalTech, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and MIT. USRA focuses on space-related technical competencies with the goal of expanding knowledge and developing technology for the benefit of the academic community, space-related industries, and NASA.

Howard is the fourth historically black educational institution invited to join USRA. Other members include Alabama A&M University, Hampton University, and North Carolina A&T State University.

In Memoriam

Lawrence Charles Hawkins Sr. (1919-2009)

Lawrence Charles Hawkins Sr., the first African American to serve as dean at the University of Cincinnati, died earlier this month at his home in Evendale, Ohio. He was 90 years old.

Hawkins was born in Greenville, South Carolina, the son of a sharecropper. He earned two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D., all from the University of Cincinnati. During World War II, he was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. After the war, he taught in the public schools in Cincinnati and later served as a junior high principal.

In 1969 Dr. Hawkins joined the administration and the faculty at the University of Cincinnati. He served as dean of the College of Community Services, vice president and vice provost for continuing education and metropolitan affairs, and senior vice president for administration. In 1977 he was promoted to full professor of education and community services.

Appointments, Promotions & Retirements

• Muriel A. Howard was named president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Since 1996 Howard has been president of Buffalo State College, a division of the State University of New York.

Dr. Howard is a graduate of Richmond College. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University at Buffalo.

• Sherry Tshibangu, assistant professor of business administration at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, was elected to serve on the membership committee of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

• Frances Graham, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management at North Carolina Central University, was named an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2009-10 academic year.

• Aaron Flagg, a jazz trumpeter, was named dean of the Hartt School of music at the University of Hartford. He was executive director of the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, New York.

Flagg is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City. He holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

• Charlena M. Seymour was appointed provost and chief academic officer of Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She was provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Seymour is a graduate of Howard University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in speech and hearing science from Ohio State University.

• Shonda McLaughlin was named associate professor of rehabilitation counseling and case management at Fort Valley State University in Georgia. She was acting chief of quality assurance and federal compliance for the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the District of Columbia.

Dr. McLaughlin holds a master’s degree from Fort Valley State University and a doctorate in rehabilitation research and education from the University of Arkansas.



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