Eight private historically black institutions have been granted loan deferments for payments owed to the federal government through its capital financing program.
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.
Wiley College incoming President Herman Felton Jr. announced on Friday that the Historically Black Colleges and Universities would have temporary furloughs, because of “growing pains.”
The home of the Wiley College Great Debaters looks to revive forensics as a national point of distinction for HBCUs.
[Read more…] about WATCH – Trailer for 2018 National HBCU Speech and Debate Tournament
From the Marshall News Messenger
Longtime Wiley College (Tx.) president Haywood Strickland announced that he will retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. He has led the institution since 2000.
“As a result of your stewardship and investment of time, talent and resources, together we have led Wiley College boldly into the 21st Century,” Strickland wrote in a letter presented to the college’s trustees. “At the same time, we also have remained vigilant about the college’s role and its noble purpose of preparing and sending forth graduates who are well-equipped to succeed in graduate schools and/or to launch their first-destination careers.”
Wiley’s trustees have already formed a search committee, and are working to recruit and name a successor.
President Strickland’s retirement announcement marks the fourth HBCU president to announce a resignation in the 2017-18 school year, after Tashni Dubroy (Shaw) and Roslyn Clark Artis (Florida Memorial) announced they’d accept new positions at Howard University and Benedict College, respectively. Bethune-Cookman University President Edison Jackson announced his resignation last month.
You probably know, by now, that a small black liberal arts college 150 miles east of Dallas once boasted the best debate team in the nation.
The story of that 1935 Wiley College squad toppling the national champs from the University of Southern Cal was the focus of a 2007 movie, The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington, who also directed the flick.
Wiley College made national headlines this week after actor and director Nate Parker announced plans to establish a new film school at the college. But in the days leading up to his announcement, Wiley’s debate team was completing a run to its second national forensics championship.
Nate Parker, star of ‘The Great Debaters’ and director of the feature film ‘The Birth of a Nation’ is seeking to establish a film school at Wiley College. The school will pilot a film institute this summer with 30 selected students from Wiley and local high schools.
“You control the moving picture, you control the masses. So really getting them rallied around the idea of re-claiming the narrative of America, specifically through the eyes of people of color,” Parker said.
The general viewing public may be hung up on the lyrics about Negro noses and Red Lobster, but Beyoncé’s ‘Formation,’ a surprising pre-Super Bowl drop that is visually and musically an ode to American blackness, holds within its overt message a subtle call for black empowerment – messages that are intrinsic to HBCU culture and relevance.
How do HBCUs promote themselves as assets for solving some of the nation’s widest gaps for economic, political, and social disparities of black citizens? Beyoncé gives global, pop cultural gravitas to some of these issues in the video – the image of her on top of a NOLA police car in post-Katrina flood waters delivers a surface-level commentary on police surveillance, government neglect of impoverished black communities, and the ability for Blackness to, even if barely, stay above it all.
This is an opportunity to catch ‘Yoncé’s alley-oop to slam down the point of the demand for equality, and the community-based efforts to hasten the movement towards this cause. Beyoncé shows us that any time, including the eve and evening of the Super Bowl, is a good time to focus on justice.
Grant-making, legislative lobbying and corporate friend-raising efforts at HBCUs around programs of strength in criminal justice, public health and environmental justice programming. Schools like Southern, Dillard, Xavier, Texas Southern, Wiley, Howard, UDC, and NCCU all fit into a narrative surrounding these three critical issues.
Dozens of cities and regions throughout the mid-atlantic and southeastern United States would not have black art galleries, were it not for the existence of HBCUs. So every HBCU with a museum or art gallery should be rushing to get their Southern-themed collections together, so that they can promote to students, local high schools and the community some of the fashion and artistic influences seen in the ‘Formation’ video.
Black art, and the appreciation of the same, is more than an afternoon field trip for high school students or an elective for an HBCU student seeking to become a graphic artist or an art educator. It is the gateway between past and present, and the language of expression within the American context of oppression. If Beyoncé is telling you that old fashioned cotillion dresses are hot, then dammit, take advantage of it. Morgan State, Fisk, Spelman – thank Queen Bey for the free commercial.
And then there are the ‘Formation’ lyrics that should become class discussions throughout this week in HBCU classroom nationwide.
Beyoncé gave us a lot to work with over the last 24 hours via sound, image and innuendo. Now its up to HBCUs to slay that sh*t.