No Progress in Faculty Diversity at Stanford

A new report from Stanford University administration states that at the beginning of the current academic year, the university employed 1,908 faculty members. Of these, 49, or 2.6 percent, are black. The report indicates that four new black faculty members were hired during the previous year, but four black faculty left the university.

In comparison, there are 290 faculty members of Asian heritage on the Stanford faculty, about 15 percent of the total. There are also 61 faculty members of Hispanic heritage and three American Indians.

In total, underrepresented minorities make up 5.9 percent of the Stanford faculty, the identical percentage from a decade ago.


Large Racial Gap in Homeschooling

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education finds that nearly 3 percent of all children ages 5 to 17 in the United States are homeschooled. As expected, children in two-parent families are far more likely to be homeschooled than other children. Students whose parents are college educated are also more likely to be homeschooled.

There is a large racial disparity in homeschooling. Almost 4 percent of all white children ages 5 to 17 are homeschooled compared to only 0.8 percent of all black children in this age group.


Black College Students in Mauritania Take to the Streets

Blacks make up about one third of the population of the nation of Mauritania in northwestern Africa. Arabs and Berbers constitute a majority of the population. Recently black students at the University of Nouakchott in the nation’s capital mounted protests over their perception that the government is seeking to further “Arabicize” the nation and the university. The protests began after the government’s minister of Youth and Culture stated, “The national languages are obstacles to the emergence of the Arabic language.” Black students are concerned that state-run television and instruction at the university will increasingly be conducted in Arabic.

The black students at the university were met by counterprotesting Arab students. There was some violence and several arrests were made. Government officials issued an apology and reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining French as the nation’s official language.


Forty Years After a Black Student Protest at Wagner College, Little Progress in Racial Diversity Has Occurred

Forty years ago, black students made up 3 percent of the enrollments at Wagner College on Staten Island, an outer borough of New York City. At that time black students mounted a peaceful occupation of a campus building. The students demanded the establishment of a black studies program and the hiring of one full-time faculty member in each academic department at the college.

Today blacks make up 5 percent of the student body. There is no black studies program and there is only one African American among the full-time faculty, an untenured member of the history department.

This spring several leaders of the black student protest returned to campus for a symposium on the events that took place 40 years ago. One black alumna told the Staten Island Advance, “Clearly nothing has changed. I am not surprised but I am disappointed.”


Teachers Union Pushes for Greater Faculty Diversity in Higher Education

The American Federation of Teachers has published a new report, Promoting Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Faculty: What Higher Education Unions Can Do.

The report states that while colleges and universities have made significant progress in diversifying their student bodies, progress has been slow in increasing racial diversity in faculty ranks. Among the report’s recommendations for union members at the college level are:

• Establishing a standing diversity committee to build coalitions with other stakeholders, including preK-12 unions, community groups, and the administration.

• Educating the public about the value of affirmative action.

• Creating a more welcoming atmosphere for academic searches and hiring.

• Developing peer mentoring programs and other support in navigating the promotion and tenure process.

Readers can download the report by clicking here.


Historically Black University to Offer Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy

Winston-Salem State University, the historically black educational institution in North Carolina, has received approval from the University of North Carolina board of governors to establish a doctoral program in physical therapy. The three-year program hopes to enroll its first students in January 2011. Included will be a 36-week program in clinical education.

The university’s master’s degree program in physical therapy was established in 2000. Currently there are eight full-time faculty members.


1,247,000  Number of African Americans enrolled in degree-granting educational institutions in 1990.

2,584,500  Number of African Americans enrolled in degree-granting educational institutions in 2008.

source:U.S. Department of Education


Minnesota University to Honor Gordon Parks

Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota, has dedicated its new exhibition space The Gordon Parks Galley. The gallery, on the third floor of the university’s main library, will open next weekend with an exhibition of Parks’ photographs.

Gordon Parks, who lived in St. Paul, was a true Renaissance man. He was the first African-American photographer for Life magazine. But he was also successful at poetry, painting, films, journalism, fiction writing, and musical composition. Parks, a native of Kansas, died in 2006 at the age of 93.


Williams College Admits Large Group of Black Students

This spring Williams College, the top-rated liberal arts college in western Massachusetts, offered admission to 1,202 students. Among this group are 166 African Americans. Thus, blacks are 13.8 percent of all admitted students.

Blacks are 10.2 percent of the current freshman class at Williams.


Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

• Johnnella E. Butler, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Spelman College in Atlanta, was appointed to the executive committee of the 21st Century Council of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.

• Tracey B. Carter was named interim director of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Compliance at Tennessee State University in Nashville. She was assistant director of the office and is also an adjunct faculty member in the university’s graduate school.

A graduate of Virginia Intermont College, Dr. Carter holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in public administration and an educational doctorate from Tennessee State.

• Angèle Kingué was appointed the first occupant of the David Morton and Leanne Freas Trout Professorship of French and Francophone Studies at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Professor Kingué, a native of Cameroon, has taught at Bucknell since 1988.

• Dereck J. Rovaris Sr. was named associate vice chancellor for academic and multicultural affairs at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. He was special assistant to academic affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana.

Dr. Rovaris is a graduate of the University of Kansas. He holds a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Xavier University and an educational doctorate from the University of Illinois.

• Lloyd Antoine Blanchard was appointed chief operating officer at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. He previously served as vice provost for fiscal management at Louisiana State University.

Dr. Blanchard holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University.

• Fred D’Aguiar was reappointed to a new term as the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Africana Studies at Virginia Tech. Professor D’Aguiar previously directed the master’s degree program in creative writing at the University of Miami.


Grants and Gifts

• Central State University, the historically black educational institution in Wilberforce, Ohio, received $500,000 in funding from the state of Ohio for updating its campus master plan. The new plan will outline proposals for new buildings, walkways, and roads as the college prepares to double its enrollment to 6,000 students over the next seven years.

The School of Public Health at the University of Maryland received a four-year, $1.8 million grant from the American Cancer Society for a prostate cancer educational program for African-American men at 20 churches in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

• Hampton University, the historically black university in Virginia, received a $100,000 grant from Prudential Financial. The funds will be used to upgrade a classroom at the university’s business school with state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment.

Survey Rates What Business Schools Are the Best for Blacks and Other Minority Students

The Princeton Review has published its annual ranking of the best business schools for blacks and other minorities. The rankings are based on the percentage of minority students and faculty, and student assessments of the schools’ resources for minority students and how supportive the schools are regarding minority concerns.

Leading the list this year is the Victoria School of Business Administration at the University of Houston. The Howard University School of Business ranked second. The Andreas School of Business at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, where 42 percent of the students are minorities, ranked third.

Other business schools in the top 10 were at Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Miami, the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, San Francisco State University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Maryland.


“Education is a privilege. But that privilege brings obligation. It is your responsibility as educated people to reject prejudices and help close the gap of injustices and opportunities that still divide our nation and our world.”

— former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking at the commencement ceremony at historically black Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 2, 2010


NEED Program for College-Bound Black Students in Pittsburgh Looks to Expand

Since 1963 the Negro Educational Emergency Drive (NEED) program has helped 17,000 college-bound African-American students in Pittsburgh with scholarships, counseling, mentoring, and internships. Now the organizers of the NEED program want to expand their efforts to include students at charter schools and at suburban high schools with large numbers of black students. The organization is attempting to raise $7.5 million to fund this year’s programs.

For more information on the NEED program, click here.


Paul Quinn College Vows to Fight On

In 1872 Paul Quinn College was founded in Austin, Texas. Named after a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the college later moved to Waco. Twenty years ago the college moved to Dallas. About 1,000 students were enrolled the first year the Dallas campus was open.

Since that time enrollments have dwindled. At the start of the 2008-09 academic year there were 440 students enrolled. During the year the college was stripped of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The college filed a lawsuit against the accrediting body and has retained its accredited status pending the outcome of the lawsuit. But the prospect of the college’s losing its accreditation has put further pressure on enrollments. At the start of the current academic year, there were only 150 students on campus.

But Paul Quinn College reports that it has an operating surplus and has embarked on a $2 million capital improvement project. New academic programs in writing and speech have been introduced. Faced with the prospect of losing accreditation from the regional authority, the college plans to apply for accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.


Team From Black College Wins Gold at Dairy Competition

Students from historically black Alabama A&M University won the Gold Award at the National North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge in Visalia, California. The students from Alabama A&M competed in the five-day event against dairy teams from 28 universities in the United States and two from Canada.

Participating teams in the competition received information on a real-life dairy, including production and farm management data. Following an operation evaluation, the teams developed a comprehensive program including recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, and housing and financial management. The teams then presented their plans to a panel of judges for evaluation.


African-American Woman to Head Smithsonian’s Education Programs

Claudine K. Brown was named director of education at the Smithsonian Institution.  In this position she will be responsible for all educational initiatives and will coordinate the efforts of 32 education-based offices in Smithsonian museums and science centers.

Since 1995 Brown has served as director of arts and culture programs at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York. She previously headed the Smithsonian’s National African-American Museum project and held several positions at the Brooklyn Museum. She also taught in the museum education program at the Bank Street Graduate School of Education in New York.

Brown is a graduate of Pratt Institute and Brooklyn Law School. She also holds a master’s degree from Bank Street Graduate School.


Coppin State’s Plan to Boost Its Graduation Rate

Coppin State University, the historically black educational institution in Baltimore, has one of the lowest graduation rates in the nation. The latest four-year average shows that only 19 percent of all incoming freshmen graduate within six years.

But the university is now taking steps to improve its retention and graduation rates. All traditional college students judged to need remedial work will now be required to participate in a six-week bridge program in the summer before they enroll at Coppin State. The Summer Academic Success Academy aims to prepare incoming freshmen for the rigors of a college-level curriculum. About 350 incoming freshmen will participate in the program, which begins next month.


The New Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Platteville

Dennis Shields, acting vice president for student affairs at the City College of New York, has been named chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Platteville. The Platteville campus has a student body that is 2 percent black.

Prior to joining the administration at City College, Shields was dean and professor at the Phoenix School of Law. Shields is a graduate of Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, and the University of Iowa law school.


In Memoriam

Carolyn Marie Rodgers (1940-2010)

Carolyn Rodgers, an educator who was one of the leading poets of the black arts movement, died last month at a hospice center in Chicago after a battle with cancer. She was 69 years old.

Rodgers attended the University of Illinois but graduated from Roosevelt University. She later earned a master’s degree at the University of Chicago.

Rodgers published several volumes of poetry with her work frequently espousing the theme of the strength of black women. She also published short stories and wrote literary criticism for several publications.

During her long career she taught at Malcolm X College, Harold Washington College, and Columbia College in Chicago.


Honors and Awards

• Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers University, received the Frederick Douglass Medal from the University of Rochester. Professor White, who is a scholar of African-American and women’s history, was honored for “ensuring that our understanding of the past includes the perspectives and experiences of all people, especially those who were left out of traditional histories.”

• Carolyn Beard Whitlow, the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, received the college’s Bruce B. Stewart Award for Teaching Excellence and Community Service. Professor Whitlow has been on the Guilford College faculty since 1993.

• Floyd Jackson, professor and chair of the department of chemistry and geology at Columbus State University in Georgia, received the university’s Educator of the Year award.

Professor Jackson, who has been on the university faculty since 1997, holds a Ph.D. from Howard University.

• Joan Myers Brown, the founder of the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts and the International Conference of Black Dance Companies, received the Philadelphia Award. The award, which comes with a $25,000 honorarium, is given to individuals who have a history of community service.

• Cheryl L. Keyes, an associate professor of ethnomusicology at UCLA, received the Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award from the African-American Arts Institute of Indiana University in Bloomington.

Professor Keyes is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Indiana University.

• Bernell E. Tripp, associate professor of journalism at the University of Florida, was presented with the Outstanding Alumna Award in Journalism from the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Tripp holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama.


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