Old Dominion University Scholar Studying Leadership Issues at HBCUs

Felecia Commodore, an assistant professor in the Darden College of Education’s Department of Educational Foundations & Leadership at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, studies the leadership of the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities.

Commodore said there are unique aspects to HBCUs and unique challenges for administrators who run the institutions. Students who attend the schools are more likely to be the first in their families to attend college, and to receive Pell Grant funding. “It creates a difficult environment for leadership at these facilities,” she said. This difficult environment produces a high rate of turnover in HBCU leadership positions.

Further complicating the situation is that nearly 60 percent of sitting university presidents are over the age of 60. This presents the question of who will be the next generation of HBCU leaders.

Dr. Commodore, funded with a grant from the ECMC Foundation in Los Angeles and the Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, is organizing a series of seminars designed to prepare scholars to become future HBCU leaders. The first of these sessions will take place this November.

“We are fortifying and identifying a HBCU presidential pipeline,” Dr. Commodore said. “There is a serious issue of turnover among senior leadership at these institutions, and there are inherent tools that HBCU presidents will need moving forward in the 21st century.”

Dr. Commodore is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she majored in marketing. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Johns Hopkins University Launches New Major and Center for Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism

The new Chloe Center for the Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism will provide research opportunities and educational events for the Johns Hopkins University community. As part of the new program, the university has announced a new undergraduate major in critical diaspora studies.

Chicago Library Receives $2 Million to Digitize Collection of African American History and Literature

The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection housed within the Chicago Public Library will soon be available online to the public thanks to a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.

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.

Featured Jobs