Monthly Archives: September 2016

Virginia Tech Mandates Diversity Training for All Faculty Search Committee Members

From now on, all search committee members reviewing applications for teaching, research, and faculty positions at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will be required to complete an online diversity training course.

Racist Incidents on the Campus of Western Kentucky University

An African American administrator had a racist note slipped under her office door and a racial slur was scratched onto to the finish of an African American student's car.

Two African Americans Named to Leadership Posts at Universities in Texas

Soncia Reagins-Lilly was named dean of students and vice president for student affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and James Douglas was appointed interim dean at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston.

U.S. News Names Its Choices for the Best Black Colleges and Universities

As was the case last year, Spelman College in Atlanta was ranked as the nation's best HBCU. Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Hampton University in Virginia held the second and third spots this year as they did a year ago.

Paine College Loses Accreditation, But Court Injunction Maintains Status Quo

Without accreditation, students at Paine College will be ineligible for federal financial aid programs. Currently, about 95 percent of Paine College students participate in federal financial aid programs.

University Study Finds a Continuing Racial Gap in Hollywood Productions

The University of Southern California study found that of the 100 top-grossing films in 2015, people of color were 26 percent of all the actors who held speaking roles. Seventeen of the 100 top-grossing films had no Black characters whatsoever. Only three of the 100 top-grossing films had a woman of color in a leading role.

University of Kentucky Decides to Unveil Controversial Mural It Had Covered Up

The mural, painted in the 1930s by artist Ann Rice O'Hanlon, had been criticized for its portrayal of African Americans and American Indians in scenes depicting the history of the city of Lexington, home to the university. One image shows slaves picking cotton.

Black-Owned Firms Remain Only a Tiny Slice of the American Economic Pie

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2014 there were 108,473 Black-owned firms with paid employees, making up just 11 percent of all firms designated by the Census Bureau as minority-owned. Black-owned firms made up just 2 percent of all businesses with paid employees.

A Half Dozen African American Scholars Taking on New Assignments

Black scholars in new roles are Tracy Clayton at Wake Forest University, Mindy T. Fullilove at The New School, Fred Higgs III at Rice University, Iyelli Ichile at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Lena Hill at the University of Iowa, and Omari Weekes at Willamette University in Oregon.

U.S. House Votes to Provide $70 Million for Historic Preservation Projects at HBCUs

The bill authorizes an appropriation of $10 million in each of the next seven years for programs to preserve historic buildings on the campuses of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities.

University of Iowa Names Its New Residence Hall for Alumna Elizabeth Catlett

The University of Iowa is naming its newest residence hall in honor of Elizabeth Catlett, the celebrated artist and the first African American woman to earn a master of fine arts degree at the university.

Central State University Shows a Large Increase in First-Time Enrollments

One of the main reasons for the first-time student enrollment increase was a 76 percent reduction in the out-of-state tuition surcharge for students who are not Ohio residents. The largest contingent of new out-of-state students is from Michigan, followed by Illinois and Indiana.

New Administrative Duties in Higher Education for Seven Black Americans

Here is this week’s roundup of news of African Americans who have been appointed to administrative positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

A Change in Leadership at Florida A&M University

President Elmira Mangum, whose contract was set to expire on March 31, has agreed to leave her post immediately. She will be replaced by Larry Robinson, who has previously served as interim president of the university. An environmental scientist, Dr. Robinson is the former provost and vice president for academic affairs at Florida A&M.

Benedict College in South Carolina Makes Campus Improvements

Benedict College has renovated several dormitories, installed new heating and air conditioning systems, and opened a new radio and television studio complex.

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

Georgia Tech Outlines Steps It Will Take to Create a More Welcoming Campus for Black Students

Recently the Black Student Experience Task Force at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta presented its recommendations to university President G.P. Peterson on how to promote equity and inclusion on campus. Dr. Peterson has approved all the recommendations.

Vanderbilt University Reorganizes Staff to Better Serve a Diverse Student Body

A new Office of Social Justice and Identity has been established that will offer events, activities, and training programs that both celebrate diversity and serve to educate Vanderbilt students on pertinent issues of social justice, identity, and advocacy.

T. Geronimo Johnson to Receive the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

T. Geronimo Johnson, who teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley, is being honored for his 2015 novel Welcome to Braggsville. The novel tells the story of four Berkeley students who stage a protest at a Civil War reenactment event in Georgia.

Higher Education Grants of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Temple University Scholar Leads Effort to Remember Pennsylvania’s Slaves

Charles L. Blockson, the curator emeritus of the Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia, led an effort to commemorate the lives of enslaved Africans who labored in Pennsylvania or who were transported through Philadelphia on their way to southern plantations.

Sports Journalism Program at Northwestern Hires a Celebrity Leader

J.A. Adande, a sports journalist who is a regular on the ESPN networks, is the new director of the sports journalism program at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Syracuse University to Address Its Drop in Student Enrollments From Underrepresented Groups

New data released by the university shows that there has been a significant drop in students of color from underrepresented groups. In 2015, students of color made up 28 percent of the entering class compared to 24 percent this year.

The Higher Education of the Three Black Scholars Who Won Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards

The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced six winners of its annual Writing Awards. The literary awards are only given to women who are in the early stages of their writing careers. Three of the six winners are African Americans with impressive higher education credentials.

Study Finds That School Zero-Tolerance Discipline Policies Do More Harm Than Good

A new study by F. Chris Curran, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, finds that zero-tolerance public school disciplinary policies may produce racial disparities in school suspensions and expulsions which could hinder the academic success rates of African American students.

The New Chancellor of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Bobby R. Phills, former dean and director of land grant programs at Florida A&M University, was named chancellor of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and dean of the university's College of Agriculture.

Tracking the Status of African Americans at Vanderbilt University

Blacks make up 8 percent of the undergraduates and 5 percent of the graduate students at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. But Blacks make up just 3 percent of the tenure-track faculty at the university.

University of Oregon Strips Name of KKK Leader From a Campus Residence Hall

The dormitory was originally named to honor Frederic S. Dunn, a former professor of Latin at the University of Oregon, who retired in 1935. During the 1920s, Professor Dunn served as the Exalted Cyclops of the Eugene chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

University of Georgia Study Examines Blacks’ Reluctance to Seek Treatment for Depression

A new study led by Rosalyn Denise Campbell, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia, finds that the stigma of mental illness in the African American community has a major dragging effect on the rate of Black Americans who seek treatment for depression.

Jamillah Moore Is the New President of Cañada College in Redwood City, California

Dr. Moore was selected from among 47 applicants for the job as president of Cañada College. She had been serving as interim vice chancellor of educational services and planning for the San Mateo County Community College District.

Tennessee State University Plans on an Ambitious Campus Expansion Project

When complete, plans call for the development project to include a new hotel and conference center, a business incubation facility, a library, community resource center, residential properties, restaurants and retail stores.

New Faculty Assignments for Five Black Scholars at Major Universities

Taking on new roles are Kecia Williams Smith at Virginia Tech, Darlene Clark Hine at Michigan State University, Eric Dogini at Alcorn State University, Donald White at Grambling State University, and Esther Lamidi at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Gives Grants to 19 HBCUs

The United States Department of Agriculture recently awarded $18.9 million in grants to 19 historically Black colleges and universities to build or improve agricultural and food science research facilities and equipment on their campuses.

Prestigious Honors for Two African American Professors

The honorees are Wayne J. Dawkins, professor of professional practice in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University in Virginia, and Gibor Basri, professor of astronomy emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.

Albany State University Seeks Global Partnership in Belize

Albany State University, the historically Black educational institution in Georgia, is cooperating with officials representing higher educational interests in the Central American nation of Belize to expand educational opportunities for faculty and students in both countries.

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