Monthly Archives: June 2021

Caltech Has Climbed Aboard the Diversity Bandwagon and Has the Numbers to Prove It

JBHE has conducted an annual survey on the number of Black students in the entering classes of the nation's top-ranked research universities for nearly 30 years. On many occasions, the number of Black students in the first-year class at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena could have been counted on one hand. Not anymore.

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

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

Washington University in St. Louis Makes the First Selections in Its Cluster Hire on Race

Washington University in St. Louis is welcoming the first round of faculty members identified through its race and ethnicity cluster hire initiative, a multi-year effort to build a world-class and interdisciplinary research program on race. Four new faculty members have been hired. Ultimately, 13 faculty members will be hired by fall 2022.

Two African American Faculty Members Win the Pulitzer Prize

Marcia Chatelain, a professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., won the Pulitzer Prize in history and Mitchell S. Jackson, an assistant professor of English at the University of Chicago, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing

How African American Undergraduate Students Were Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education finds that some 7.2 percent of Black undergraduates said they withdrew from their college or university during the first few months of the pandemic, more than double the rate for Whites. Another 5.6 percent of all Black undergraduates took a leave of absence, almost double the rate for Whites.

Devin Byrd Named the Sixth President of Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington

Dr. Byrd has been serving as vice president of academic affairs and chief academic advisor at Saybrook University in Pasadena, California. Earlier, he was a member of the psychology faculty at the University of South Carolina and then held several positions - including dean for the College of Health Professions - at South University in Savannah, Georgia.

A Supreme Court Ban on Affirmative Action Would Halt Progress on Achieving a More Just Society

A new study by Joni Hersch, the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Law and Economics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, shows the devasting effects that would occur, should the Supreme Court ban the consideration of race in admissions decisions at the nation's most elite universities and professional schools.

Three African American Scholars Who Have Been Appointed to Dean Positions

Rodney Lyn has been appointed dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. Kimberly Jacob Arriola has been appointed dean of the Laney Graduate School at Emory University in Atlanta and Robert Williams was appointed dean of the College of Education and Allied Studies at California State University, East Bay.

Study Shows How COVID-19 Widened the Racial Gap in Life Expectancy in the United States

The study found that the gap in life expectancy between Black and White populations decreased from 4.02 years in 2010 to 3.54 years in 2014. But the gap increased to 5.81 years in 2020. In 2020, life expectancy for Black men was only 67.73 years, the lowest level since 1998.

Dione Somerville is the New President of Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio

Dr. Somerville has held leadership positions at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Lorain County Community College, Iowa State University, Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, and most recently Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa, where she was executive vice president.

Five Black Scholars Who Have Been Appointed to New Faculty Postitions

Taking on new faculty assignments are Mignon Jacobs at Virginia Union University, David Briscoe at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Ayoka Chenzira at Spelman College in Atlanta, Alena Allen at the University of Arkansas, and Nicole R. Fleetwood at New York University.

Grambling State University in Louisiana to Offer its First Doctoral Program

Historically Black Grambling State University in Louisiana has announced that it has received approval to establish a Ph.D. degree program in criminology and justice administration. It will be the first doctoral degree program offered at Grambling State University and the first program of its kind in Louisiana.

New Administrative Positions for Eight African Americans in Higher Education

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

Google Makes a $50 Million Commitment to Ten HBCUs

Ten HBCUs will each receive a one-time unrestricted financial grant of $5 million will help support scholarships, invest in technical infrastructure for in-class and remote learning, and develop curriculum and career support programs.

Brittany Pearl Battle of Wake Forest University Honored by Sociologists for Women in Society

The Feminist Activism Award from the organization Sociologists for Women in Society was established in 1995. The award is presented annually to an SWS member who has notably and consistently used sociology to improve conditions for women in society.

The Mormon Church to Provide $3 Million in Scholarship Funds for HBCU Students

The church is allocating $3 million over the next three years to provide scholarships for students at member institutions of the United Negro College Fund. In addition, the church is earmarking $250,000 to create a fellowship for students from the United States to travel to study in Ghana.

Five African Americans Who Have Been Named to Diversity Posts at Colleges and Universities

Taking on new roles as diversity officers are Roderick Morrison at Tacoma Community College in Washington, Kia Lilly Caldwell at Washington University in St. Louis, Russell T. Griffin at Emory University in Atlanta, Vicki T. Sapp at SUNY-Fredonia, and Teresa Ramey at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

In Memoriam: Frederick Stephen Humphries, 1935-2021

Dr. Humphries served as president of Florida A&M University from 1985 to 2001. Earlier, he was president of Tennessee State University in Nashville from 1974 to 1985.

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.

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.

Washington University in St. Louis Acquires the Papers of Author Charles Johnson

University Libraries at Washington University in St. Louis has acquired the papers of Charles Johnson, the acclaimed author, cartoonist, and essayist who won the 1990 National Book Award for his novel Middle Passage.

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

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

Three Virginia Community Colleges to Change Their Names

Three Virginia Community Colleges have a green light to change their names and two other colleges are being directed to consider doing likewise after the State Board for Community Colleges voted unanimously to amend its community college naming policy.

Arkansas State University Honors Its First Black Faculty Member

The University of Arkansas System board of trustees has voted to rename the building housing the military science program as the Lieutenant Colonel Frederick C. Turner Jr. Military Science Building.

Contra Costa Community College in California Appoints Tia Robinson-Cooper as President

Dr. Robinson most recently served as the provost and vice-president of academic affairs/chief academic officer at Inver Hills Community College, a campus of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Institute of Higher Education Policy Report Examines Barriers to Equity in College Admissions

the report looks into the impact of recruitment practices; demonstrated interest policies; early admissions deadlines; legacy admissions; use of standardized testing; use of criminal justice information; developing effective transfer policies; and need-based financial aid policies on equal access to higher education.

Three African American Women Appointed to Dean Posts at Colleges and Universities

Gwenda Richburg Greene is the founding dean of Graduate Studies, Continuing Education, and Integrative Learning at Voorhees College. Henrietta Williams Pichon was named interim dean College of Health, Education and Social Transformation at New Mexico State University, and Versie Johnson-Mallard was named dean of the College of Nursing at Kent State University.

Kimberly Ballard-Washington Is the New President of Savannah State University in Georgia

Kimberly Ballard-Washington has served as interim president since July 2019. Earlier, she was associate vice chancellor for legal affairs for the University System of Georgia and is the former associate director of legal affairs for the flagship campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

New Study Examines How to Eliminate the Racial Gap in Drowning

Drowning rates for Black people are disproportionately higher than that of White people across all age groups. Some 44 percent of Black parents self-report to have only beginner or no swimming abilities. Studies have shown that if a parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 13 percent chance that their child will learn how to swim.

The Yale School of Art Has Selected Kymberly Pinder as Its New Leader

Kymberly Pinder, an internationally recognized scholar of race, representation, and murals, has been serving as acting president of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Earlier, she was dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico and a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

African American College Graduates Have More Debt and Lower Wages Than White Peers

A new study by researchers at Student Loan Hero, a division of mortgage loan operator Lending Tree that helps students manage their debt, finds that Black students borrow 35 percent more on average in student loans than their non-Black peers, but Black millennial bachelor’s degree-holders earn 22 percent less than non-Black grads.

New Administrative Duties for Four African Americans in Higher Education

Taking on new administrative duties are Derrick Gragg at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois, Virginia McMath at Parkland College in Illinois, Rudolph Ellis at Grambling State University in Louisiana, and Chris Robinson at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Thavolia Glymph Wins Three Awards From the Organization of American Historians

Thavolia Glymph, the Peabody Family Distinguished Professor of History at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, was honored with three awards for her book on the role of Black and White women during the Civil War.

Clinton College Slashes Tuition by 50 Percent With the Goal to Boost Enrollments

Historically Black Clinton College in Rock Hill, South Carolina,  will be cutting tuition by 50 percent this fall semester to ease the financial strain on families negatively impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, the college will also be giving all students a brand new tablet computer.

Three Black Scholars Named to Endowed Chairs at the North Carolina Central University School of Law

North Carolina University School of Law in Durham has announced the appointment of three faculty members to endowed professorships at the law school. They are Irving L. Joyner, Malik Edwards, and Reginald Mombrum

J.P. Morgan and the UNCF Introduce New Scholarship Program for Students at HBCUs

The program will provide scholarships and mentorships to students attending one of 11 HBCUs across the U.S. and help them develop the skills they need to grow a career as a financial advisor. Each year 75 students at HBCUs will receive scholarships and will be eligible for summer internship programs.

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