TM2 Executive Search President Chris Braswell joins us to discuss the difficult truths, challenges, and opportunities in HBCU presidential search culture.
Archives for July 2017
Maryland-based attorney Michael Jones, one of the lead voices in litigation between Maryland public historically black colleges and the state, is in stable condition in a Miami hospital after being shot during a robbery attempt while on vacation last week.
Jones, a partner with Kirkland and Ellis in Washington D.C., is counsel for the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Higher Education, a group of students and alumni from Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland – Eastern Shore. From WJZ:
Investigators say 57-year-old Michael Jones, who lives in Maryland, was shot during an armed robbery Friday night, after two men broke into his villa located on the main island of Providenciales.
He’s now in stable condition at a Florida hospital.
“The victim received a single gunshot wound to his upper body,” authorities said.
A 1982 Dillard University graduate, Jones was among a cadre of attorneys who successfully argued that the Maryland HBCUs were victims of illegal program duplication for decades, a case now awaiting remedies from federal Judge Catherine C. Blake.
A Clark Atlanta University administrator accused during the spring of bullying is no longer with the institution, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Students accused former vice-president of student affairs Tanaya Walters of bullying in a February letter to the school’s board of trustees and expressed no confidence in CAU President Ronald Johnson for not firing her.
Officials said that Walters left the university on June 30, but did not disclose a reason for her departure, citing personnel protection policies.
Walters was appointed in February 2016.
At their semi-annual retreat, the Delaware State University Board of Trustees elected Dr. Wilma Mishoe as their Chair. Dr. Mishoe is the first woman in the institution’s 126-year history to serve as the chair of the Board of Trustees.
Dr. Mishoe – who in addition to her DSU board service has more than 35 years as a higher education administrator – is the daughter of the late Dr. Luna Mishoe who served as President of then-Delaware State College from 1960 to 1987, an era of unprecedented growth and transformation for the institution.
Howard University today announced a five-year contract extension for school president Wayne A.I. Frederick, guaranteeing his place at the nation's flagship historically black college through 2024.
Dr. Frederick, who was appointed as interim president in October 2013 and awarded as the HBCU Male President of the Year in 2015, was lauded by the university board of trustees for steady leadership across multiple areas of expansion and outreach.
“President Frederick has made tremendous progress in forwarding Howard’s goals and the mission of the university. We are confident that this positive and exciting momentum will continue,” said Vice Chair Mark Mason. “It was incredibly important to the Board that we take a long-term approach and avoid the instability of leadership that seems to be an unfortunate trend today in higher education. Howard deserves a strategic leader and we have that in President Frederick.”
Officials cited historic gains in fundraising and academic profile building over Dr. Frederick's tenure, including a record-breaking $1.2 million Charter Day event fundraising mark, operational surpluses exceeding $11 million over the last five years and a turnaround for the school's embattled hospital.
The Howard alumnus who has also served as a national voice on issues such as college affordability and workforce diversity was also credited with the historic establishment of Howard West, a computer science learning and professional development extension located at Google's Silicon Valley-based campus.
He faced criticism earlier this year for outreach to the Trump Administration, and specifically hosting US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. A select number of faculty and students publicized grievances with the administration that same month, but concerns have subsided following public backing of Dr. Frederick's leadership from the board.
Dr. Frederick expressed gratitude for the board's confidence.
“I am thrilled and honored to continue to serve as President of Howard University, my alma mater and a place so special to me,” said Frederick. “I truly appreciate the confidence the Board of Trustees has shown in me through this extension and I can’t wait to continue working with my exceptional colleagues in the faculty and on staff to ensure the University is well positioned for continued success in the decades to come. We have made a lot of progress but there is still so much work to be done. Our students and faculty deserve the very best and I'm committed to working in concert with all members of our community, including alumni, to ensure that our alma mater is the best that higher education has to offer.”
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine Neuroscientist Tracey Hermanstyne discusses her path to Howard University, the role it played in shaping her professional interests, and the strategy for enduring competitive advancement in STEM fields.
Texas Southern University will pay a $15,000 fine and must detail efforts to limit gender bias and sexual harassment at its law school, according to a public censure issued by the American Bar Association last month.
An appeal from the university failed before the Association’s accreditation committee, which last October found that complaints about the Thurgood Marshall School of Law’s protocols for gender and sexual harassment were not being followed.
School officials said that while there was no finding of harassment, that the university’s response to the claims was not sufficient to avoid the fine and public censure. From Law.com
James Douglas, interim dean of Thurgood Marshall Law, denied that there is sex discrimination or sexual harassment happening at the school.
“There were people who said, ‘I think that there is sexual discrimination in the law school.’ But no one has been able to find that to be a fact. The allegation and what the ABA is critical of is that that is what some of the females believe, and because some of the females believe it, we have an obligation to deal with it,” Douglas said. “They did not find that there was any truthfulness to the allegation, just the fact that the allegations existed and we didn’t respond in a manner they though the law school should have responded.”
The review was spurred by an April 2016 claim against the school by a former faculty member. The claim resulted in the resignation of former law school dean Dannye Holley, who resigned last year.
TSU has until Oct. 1 to submit its compliance plan.
Southern University received applications from seven companies seeking to be its medical marijuana grower, as the school sets up one of Louisiana’s two production facilities.
The Southern University Ag Center expects to finish reviewing applications by the end of the month. The university governing board must approve any selection.
Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce last week published a new report on the national outlook for jobs which will not require a college degree as a standard of eligibility.
By the study’s estimates, 30 million jobs are now available and paying a median average $55,000 annually for citizens entering the workforce with a high school diploma, and the study itself is a preamble to a forthcoming database which will help citizens to find jobs matching non-baccalaureate educational credentials.
The report also details the kinds of people holding these jobs, and where they are being hired. Two of the top five states in the country with the highest number of ‘good jobs’ not requiring a college degree are ‘HBCU states;’ Texas and Florida, with 4.2 million positions, respectively.
Of the top five states with the highest percentage of good jobs, Maryland ranks as the only HBCU state with 46 percent of positions not requiring a bachelor’s degree.
When breaking down the racial demographics of who gets ‘good jobs’ without a college degree? African Americans place third behind white (67 percent) and Latino (16 percent) workers, with 11 percent of the total non-degreed workforce.
Over the last 25 years, African Americans rank last in the percentage of citizens being hired for these jobs, with just a two percent increase between 1991 and 2015 compared to a 10 percent increase for Hispanic workers, and a 16 percent decrease for white workers over the same period.
How does all of this correlate for HBCUs? With more black students attending college, but facing more challenges to earning degrees, community college and technical training is being marketed as a better career pathway for prospective HBCU enrollees. And when balanced against the realities of how public funding flows in and around higher education, the prospects are that much more disheartening.
Delaware State University is being outpaced by Delaware Technical College in 2018 recommended appropriations $36 million to $80 million. A free community college initiative in Tennessee has spurred similar programs in Oregon and New York. Many states have moved to performance based funding models for schools, which puts HBCUs at significant disadvantages given their unique enrollment and training missions.
It is clear that HBCU remain critical to carrying Black America’s imperative at creating generational wealth – even as the country becomes less reliant on college graduates to comprise its labor force.
There are tremendous opportunities for black colleges in key industries to create or to fortify workforce pipelines. Engineering, computer and natural science, agriculture, social work and public health, secondary education, business, hospitality and mass communications might be industrial strengths, but to compete with job growth in transportation, construction, and skilled technician work, HBCU strengths will need to be paired with pipelines to these jobs.
At its lowest scale, schools can create work experience and entrepreneurial exposure opportunities for traditional and nontraditional students. Schools like Paul Quinn College and Shaw University have already put programming in action to support low-income traditional students and adult learners across industries.
But at its best, HBCUs can also develop entrepreneurial models to support non-tuition revenue building, job creation, and workforce training. Schools can reform business auxiliary strategy with mixed-use buildings, municipal partnerships in transportation, commercial and residential property management and leasing, and franchising options in healthcare, business services, and retail.
There is room to keep the HBCU mission, to prepare graduates for career pathways, and to keep pace with industrial realities. But it begins with separating the reality of threats from possibilities.