Students enrolled in Harris-Stowe State University’s summer bridge program will see academic opportunities and experiential learning increase next year, thanks to a $250,000 gift from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation and its founding family.
Graduates of Spelman College and Tougaloo College are among the highest-earning alumni in Georgia and Mississippi, respectively, according to a study from career guidance website Zippia.
When executive leadership turns over at an institution of higher education, context matters. In some instances, executives who’ve served long tenures retire with preparations made and accreditation, financial solvency, and steady enrollment all neatly packaged to deliver to the next CEO. When that next executive emerges, the product of a dutiful national search involving boards, alumni, and key stakeholders, institutions continue to enjoy the responsible and predictable growth that serves the educational and employment needs of students, faculty, staff, and the economic needs of the region.
University personnel will receive training for developing competencies in gross strategy and marketing assessments; business development planning and strategy; capture management; and all aspects of program/project management. Other benefits to JSU would include generating revenue and enhancing curricula, infrastructure and personnel.
A big part of how universities of all sizes and missions will survive over the next 20 years will be determined by how closely their degree programs align with stable and emerging industries. Data USA compiles statistics from federal education and census resources into a visual analytics blender to create a literal picture of what this alignment looks like for schools, cities, and states.
Here’s the industrial outlook of the United States.
And here’s a view of the jobs most commonly held by graduates from the largest HBCUs with a total enrollment of 5,000 or more students, broken down by each institution’s top five most popular degree programs.
ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY
ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY
FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY
BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY
FAYETTEVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY
NORTH CAROLINA A&T STATE UNIVERSITY
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY
WINSTON-SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY
TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY
TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
NORFOLK STATE UNIVERSITY
The majority of HBCU students are earning degrees which fall within the nation’s largest industrial sector of health and human services. Popular majors of education, social work, psychology, communications, biology, and engineering lead to jobs in teaching, mid-level management, mental or physical health sciences.
But this list is largely comprised of public institutions with broader admission pathways. How does it shape out for graduates of more selective HBCUs? Here are the job reports on the HBCUs with acceptance rates below 40%.
FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY
FLORIDA MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY
FORT VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
PAUL QUINN COLLEGE
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AT NEW ORLEANS
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE
Trends from this list show that degrees lead to more specialized careers in high-earning industries of law, healthcare and financial services. Even schools which have drawn negative attention for low-enrollment show that a preponderance of their graduates, according to census tracking, are working in fields that nationwide offer a high-probability of landing a job and forging a career.
HBCUs are doing a solid job of offering and awarding degrees in areas that are essential to the stability of the nation’s economy, even in regions and on campuses where such success
Dr. Snell shares her journey of growing up in the shadows of Alcorn State, to becoming an entrepreneur in private dentistry practice with Ridgewood Smiles Dentistry LLC.
Last month, Oakwood University made a private beef with its national alumni association public, publishing in the Adventist Review a lengthy treatment on how the Oakwood University Alumni Association has lost its 501(c)3 nonprofit designation, and that due to an inability to negotiate terms of partnership with the group, that graduates should not donate money to the organization.
OUAA’s decisions to ignore the Board of Trustees’ counsel has placed the University in a difficult position. OUAA through its website continues to solicit funds without regard to the institution’s wishes/instructions and during a time in which their tax-exempt status has been revoked. The University had hoped to avoid commenting on this situation until after Alumni Weekend but has decided that the current circumstances warrant this statement and other appropriate actions.
OAKWOOD UNIVERSITY has determined that, for as long as OUAA’s tax-exempt status remains revoked, it cannot have OAKWOOD UNIVERSITY’s permission to raise funds in the University’s name, and OAKWOOD UNIVERSITY cannot accept funds raised by OUAA after February 12, 2018, including funds raised during Alumni Weekend, unless such fundraising conforms to the receipting request made by the University.
This week, news is breaking among Morehouse College graduates about alleged improprieties in its elections for national alumni association officers. Concerns over balloting methods, potential bias for candidates and eligibility of voters in regions versus national vote counts are among the issues the Morehouse Men are debating, and quietly for now.
These are just the recent issues to surface about HBCU alumni shenanigans, which like most problems, aren’t exclusive to black folks or black institutions. Regents at the University of Minnesota are fighting each other for, among other things, the way members are selected to the board. But like most HBCU problems, they are exacerbated by the proximity of big egos to small resources and even smaller margins of error when one influential graduate or donor can get pissed and cost an institution hundreds of thousands of dollars for years.
Tuskegee alumni have tried for years to get presidents removed and trustees removed from the university’s board of trustees.
Florida A&M University alumni have lobbied against presidents, athletic directors, trustees and everybody who has or could get between them, their money, or their influence over the university. Jackson State alumni hacked their own presidential search.
These kinds of stories are all over the HBCU community. And in many ways, our schools are far better off with alumni fighting administrators than not caring what about what is happening to a school, like Elizabeth City State or Morgan State. If alumni are engaged, there is a sense that mutual goals could lead to a campus finding a great president, recruiting students and growing its profile for financial gain.
But it’s when alumni are jockeying for opportunity to secure a place on the governing board, or to curry perks in travel and exposure, or to leverage alumni following as a bargaining chip to get family members jobs, or to secure contracts, or to do other things which can really harm an institution; because when people who don’t know anything about the business of higher education have their hands all in it, it’s when things can really get jacked up – for years.
The lesson here is not convincing alumni against being at odds with campus leaders; discontent from stakeholders can be a healthy element of campus governance. But there are two considerations every graduate who has something to say about administration should ask themselves before pen hits paper, fingers hit Twitter or petitions get sent.
Is what I’m looking for best for me or best for the institution? And if it is truly best for the institution, how do I know with all certainty that this is in fact what the university needs now considering that I’m not on campus, not in meetings, not privy to budgets and not privy to the internal politics?
Alcorn State University President Alfred Rankins is headed back to another familiar place, returning to the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning as its first black commissioner of higher education. Dr. Rankins, who previously served deputy commissioner, was vaulted to two HBCU presidencies from that post; an interim appointment at Mississippi Valley State University, and a permanent appointment at Alcorn State.
Rankins is the latest in a recent succession of state university systems promoting black executives to lead HBCUs from within the system ranks.
Albany State University Interim President Marion Fedrick, who previously served as the University System of Georgia’s Vice-Chancellor of Human Resources. She replaced Art Dunning, who prior to leading ASU had turns in the system office leading its divisions of services and human resources as an assistant or senior vice chancellor.
Savannah State University President Chery Dozier Davenport, who served as an associate provost and chief diversity officer at the University of Georgia prior to her HBCU appointment.
Fort Valley State University President Paul Jones, who served as senior vice president at Georgia College and State University.
Elizabeth City State University outgoing Chancellor Thomas Conway, who had an eight-year term of service as vice-chancellor at Fayetteville State University, but who spent 32 years at North Carolina State University.
North Carolina A&T State University Chancellor Harold Martin served as UNC System senior vice president prior to his chancellor appointment, but also served as chancellor of Winston-Salem State University.
There is a drawback to this kind of direct feed from systems into HBCU presidencies; in some cases, leaders have been selected without the benefit of a search or input given by the campus community.
In other respects, students and alumni have growing concerns about the investment of leaders who have worked closely with system leaders who have not always held black college campuses in high regard. Elizabeth City State, Albany State, and Alcorn State have all fallen victim.
In the end, there is little pushback for system leaders who appoint or who pipeline presidents into black colleges with little examination of institutional fit or skill for the job. But until there is pushback from students and alumni, more public colleges will find this kind of culture soon arriving at their institution – for better or worse.
Dr. Melanie McReynolds, a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Rabinowitz Lab Group at Princeton University, shares her journey from Alcorn State University to the Ivy League, and the moments and people who helped in shaping her career.
The Hechinger Report recently produced a report on African-American and Latino in-state student enrollment trends at public flagship campuses. The results were a dismal showing of disparities between the kind of access black students have at large, publicly funded research institutions.