Healthy Trend: A Slight Increase in Black First-Year Medical School Students

In 2010, 3,475 African Americans applied to U.S. medical schools. This was down slightly from 2009 but still very close to the all-time high. In 2010 blacks were 8.1 percent of all medical school applicants, down from 8.2 percent in 2009.

This fall 1,350 African Americans enrolled as first-year students at U.S. medical schools. This was a nearly 3 percent increase from a year ago. In 2010 blacks made up 7.2 percent of all first-year enrollees at medical schools.


Some at Norfolk State University Are Unhappy About the Secrecy Surrounding the Search for a New President

Norfolk State University, the historically black educational institution in Virginia, is currently seeking a new president. Carolyn W. Meyers stepped down as president earlier this year after serving four years of a five-year contract.

An 11-member committee is currently reviewing applicants for the position of president and is expected to recommend a candidate to the university board in the near future. But some in the campus community are upset because the process is being conducted in secret. Faculty, alumni, and student representatives are not being consulted about the candidates. Other public universities in Virginia have conducted searches for presidents and other top administrators with candidates being identified and scrutinized by all constituencies of the university community.


A Surge in Freshman Enrollments at Historically Black Cheyney University

Cheyney University, the historically black educational institution which is one of 14 campuses of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, reports a whopping 46 percent increase in first-year students this fall compared to a year ago. The university has 1,586 freshmen this fall, the largest first-year class in the university’s history.

Suzanne Phillips, vice president for student affairs and student life, attributes the gain to enhanced recruitment efforts, particularly the university’s fall and spring open houses, attended by more than 1,000 prospective students.

The university hopes to boost first-year enrollments to 2,000 by the fall of 2012.


Howard University Relaxes Dormitory Visitation Rules

At many of the nation’s high-ranking colleges and universities, coed dormitories have been the norm for more than a quarter-century. Some colleges have even experimented with coed roommates.

But at Howard University and many other black colleges and universities, cohabitation and even overnight visits are forbidden. At Howard, visitors to dorm rooms must depart by midnight on school nights and by 2 a.m. on weekends. If a student’s guest has not signed out by the appropriate curfew, staff members will come to the student’s room to demand compliance with the policy.

Now for the first time, Howard has relaxed the visitation rule for upperclass students at one high-rise dormitory that houses 840 students. Students must get a signed agreement from their roommates for overnight guests. And the guests must be other Howard students. Guests must sign in by midnight and must leave the dormitory by noon of the next day. Only one guest per room is permitted.


Education Department Issues Nearly $11 Million in Grants to Colleges and Universities With Large Percentages of Black Students

The U.S. Department of Education announced grants totaling nearly $10.8 million to 23 colleges and universities with predominantly black student bodies. The grants, made under the Predominantly Black Institutions Program, will fund student counseling and tutoring services, faculty and staff development, curriculum development, community outreach programs, and teacher education programs. Eligible institutions are not historically black institutions but must have a student body that is at least 40 percent black.

A complete listing of the grants is available by clicking here.


In Memoriam

James Samuel Thomas (1919-2010)

James S. Thomas, bishop of the United Methodist Church and former chair of the board of trustees of historically black Claflin University, has died at the age of 91. In 1964, Thomas was the first African American to be named a bishop in the Methodist Church in North Carolina. He was instrumental in uniting the segregated black and white conferences of the church hierarchy. The science center at Claflin University is named in his honor, as he played a major role in securing funding for the building.

Ruthetta Scott Smikle (1933-2010)

Ruthetta S. Smikle, a music educator who was the first African-American student at what is now Daemen College in Amherst, New York, died at her home in North Buffalo. She was 77 years old.

After graduating from college, Smikle earned a master’s degree in music education from the University of Buffalo. She served as a music educator and administrator in the Buffalo public school system from 1953 to her retirement in 1995.



Appointments, Promotions, and Resignations

Franklin W. Knight, the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, was named director of the university’s Center for Africana Studies. Professor Knight has served on the Johns Hopkins faculty since 1973.

Joseph M. Green was appointed director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Marquette University in Wisconsin. He was the director of TRIO programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Green holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bowie State University and a Ph.D. in political science from Howard University.

Dennis Jones was named associate professor emeritus of the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech. Jones has taught architecture at the university since 1984.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Jones holds a master of architecture degree from Columbia University.

Phillip L. Redrick, associate professor of educational leadership at Alabama A&M University, was appointed vice chair of the board of commissioners of the Huntsville Housing Authority.

A graduate of Alabama A&M, Professor Redrick did his graduate work at Ohio State University.

Willie F. Trotty was named vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. He was vice president for research and development at the university.

Mansco Perry III was named chief investment officer at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was the chief investment officer of the Maryland State Retirement Agency.

Perry is a graduate of Carleton College and the William Mitchell College of Law. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.

P. Rudolph Mattai was named dean of the School of Education at the University of the Virgin Islands. For the past 20 years, he has served as professor of educational foundations at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

A native of Guyana, Dr. Mattai holds master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He earned a doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.

A. Lee Smith was appointed dean of the School of Business and Technology Management at Northcentral University, an online degree-granting institution based in Prescott, Arizona. He was dean of the College of Business at Chancellor University in Cleveland.

Dr. Smith is a graduate of Chancellor University and holds an MBA from Lake Erie College. He received a Ph.D. in management from Northcentral University.

Maurice Harris was named dean of undergraduate admissions at Syracuse University in New York. He was the associate dean for graduate programs at the university’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management.

Dean Harris is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in business administration from Syracuse University.


Grants and Gifts

Winston-Salem State University, the historically black educational institution in North Carolina, received a $500,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to increase the number of minority students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Historically black Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, received a three-year grant from the Motown Alumni Association. Under the grant program, students at Stillman College will write, produce, and perform with various Motown artists on a 28-song double CD. The services rendered by Motown artists is valued at $10 million.

Bowie State University, the historically black educational institution in Maryland, received a five-year, $753,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide scholarships for students in the university’s doctoral program in applied computer science.

The University of Akron in Ohio received a $425,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for efforts to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of black male students.

Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, received a $250,000 grant from the Jessie Ball Dupont Fund. The historically black university will use the money for library acquisitions to support its master’s degree program in integrated environmental science.

The historically black Howard University School of Law received a gift of $100,000 from Google Inc. to support research in antitrust law.

Historically black Alabama A&M University received a $399,885 grant from the National Science Foundation for a program to help students in bioengineering and life sciences to address ethical issues.

This coming Tuesday, do you predict that voters in Arizona will approve a ballot initiative that bans race-sensitive admissions in higher education?


Remembering James T. Scott: A Black Employee of the University of Missouri Who Was Lynched in 1923

On April 20, 1923, James T. Scott, an African-American veteran of World War I and a janitor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, was lynched at Stewart Bridge. He was accused of raping a 14-year-old white girl in a wooded area near the bridge. There was no evidence linking him to the crime except that the victim identified him from a distance. Scott maintained he was working at the university’s medical school when the attack occurred.

After Scott was arrested, a mob of at least 500 people broke into the jail, took Scott to the bridge, and hanged him. No one was ever convicted of any crime relating to the mob action or lynching. Scott’s body was buried in a racially segregated cemetery.

Now an effort is under way in Columbia to raise money to place a headstone on Scott’s grave. Doug Hunt, a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri, has published an account of the incident in the Missouri Review.



Racial Slight Corrected After 163 Years

This past week, George Boyer Vashon was posthumously admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar. Vashon had applied to the Allegheny County Bar in Pittsburgh in 1847 but he was denied because of his “Negro descent.”

Vashon was born in 1824 to a white father and a biracial mother. Under the racial codes of the day, Vashon was considered black. In 1844, Vashon became the first black graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio. After graduation he returned to his native Pennsylvania to study law under the tutelage of a local judge.

After he was denied admittance to the Pennsylvania bar, Vashon moved to New York and a year later became the first African American admitted to the bar in that state. He later taught at New York Central College, Howard University, and Alcorn State University. He also served as president of Avery College in Pittsburgh.

Vashon died of yellow fever in 1878. He was 54 years old.


Lafayette College Rededicates the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights

In 1929, Fred Morgan Kirby, cofounder of F.W. Woolworth Company, donated $590,000 to Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, for the construction of the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights. A decade earlier, Kirby had endowed a professorship at the college dedicated to the study of civil rights in the United States.

The Kirby Hall of Civil Rights was designed by Whitney Warren, the architect of Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Today it houses the department of government and law at Lafayette College.

At the building’s dedication in 1930 the principal speaker was Edward L. Katzenbach, former attorney general of New Jersey and father of Nicholas Katzenbach, the former attorney general of the United States.

This past week, Lafayette College celebrated the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights. A new exhibit was unveiled which displays a timeline of the civil rights movement in the United States as well as at Lafayette College. Nicholas Katzenbach and Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Martin Luther King Jr., spoke at the rededication ceremonies.



Penn State University Campus Gets a New Chancellor

Francis K. Achampong was named chancellor of the Eberly Campus of Pennsylvania State University Fayette. The campus, located in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, has about 1,100 undergraduate students. Blacks make up 6 percent of the student body.

Dr. Achampong has been serving as interim chancellor since March. Previously, he was director of academic affairs at Penn State Mont Alto. He also served as a tenured professor of business law. Prior to coming to Penn State Mont Alto in 2002, Achampong was a professor at Norfolk State University in Virginia.

Chancellor Achampong holds a master’s degree in law from Georgetown University and a juris doctorate from the University of London.

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.
 • An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle Over Equality in Washington, D.C. by Kate Masur (University of North Carolina Press)

Black Yanks in the Pacific: Race in the Making of American Military Empire After World War II by Michael Cullen Green (Cornell University Press)

Blackness in the White Nation: A History of Afro-Uruguay by George Reid Andrews (University of North Carolina Press)

Color Lines, Country Lines: Race, Immigration, and Wealth Stratification in America by Lingxin Hao (Russell Sage Foundation)

Divergent Social Worlds: Neighborhood Crime and the Racial-Spatial Divide by Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo (Russell Sage Foundation)

Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway by Alyn Shipton (Oxford University Press)

Learning to Speak, Learning to Listen: How Diversity Works on Campus by Susan E. Chase (Cornell University Press)

Sacred Steel: Inside an African American Steel Guitar Tradition by Robert L. Stone (University of Illinois Press)

Slavery, Civil War, and Salvation: African American Slaves and Christianity, 1830-1870 by Daniel L. Fountain (Louisiana State University Press)

The Colors of Poverty: Why Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist edited by Ann Chih Lin and David R. Harris (Russell Sage Foundation)

The Diversity Paradox: Immigration and the Color Line in Twenty-First Century America by Jennifer Lee and Frank D. Bean (Russell Sage Foundation)

We Wear the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Politics of Representative Reality edited by Willie J. Harrell Jr. (Kent State University Press)

Who Gets a Childhood? Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century Texas by William S. Bush (University of Georgia Press)



Honors and Awards

Melanie E. Jones, vice president for institutional advancement at Allen University, was named the 2010 Young Professional of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in Columbia, South Carolina.

Jones is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Tennessee Technological University.

Sadie C. Bragg, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, received the Mathematics Excellence Award from the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

Dr. Bragg holds a doctorate from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Solomon Bililign, professor of physics at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, was honored as the 2010 Alumni Fellow by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Bililign holds bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Addis Ababa University. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Iowa in 1991.

Erma Johnson Hadley, chancellor of the Tarrant County College District in Fort Worth, Texas, was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.

Chancellor Hadley has been a faculty member and administrator for the college for the past 41 years. She is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University in Texas and holds a master’s degree in business education from Bowling Green State University.

Claude Barbre, associate professor of clinical psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, received the Margaret Morgan Lawrence Award from the Harlem Family Institute. Dr. Barbre was executive director of the institute for 12 years.

Ramona Tascoe, U.S. director of health for the Kimbanguist Church of Congo, received the 2010 Exemplary Leadership Award from the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.

Dr. Tascoe, who led a medical relief effort to Haiti after the recent earthquake, is a graduate of San Francisco State University and the medical school at the University of California at San Francisco. She also holds a master of divinity degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West and a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of San Francisco.





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