Erin Chantry writes for the Charlotte Agenda about the changing face of metropolitan Charlotte, a city once known for diverse communities which is quickly shifting to meet the needs of new industry coming to town, and accompanying urban sprawl.
Fisk University officials announced yesterday that the institution has surpassed more than $14 million in total fundraising over the last two years, thanks in large part to increased alumni giving.
We discuss Morehouse College’s separation from Papa John’s, and the opportunities and challenges of leading HBCU campuses and Black Greek Lettered Organizations.
[Read more…] about LISTEN: Digest After Dark – Bet Ya’ll Won’t Mess With AKA
Tennessee State University President Glenda Baskin Glover was last night installed as the 30th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. during the organization’s international conference in Houston.
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.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has removed accreditation warning statuses from Fort Valley State University and Southern University, affirming full status for both institutions.
Current and soon-to-be students at Fisk University are weighing in on the dismissal of three admissions officers from the university this afternoon, as officials also detailed a 12-month accreditation probation status announcement from the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities’ Commission on Colleges.
Students took to social media to protest the layoffs of Stephanie Corey, Brittany Spicer and Juliet Johnson — two admissions counselors and the dean of admissions, whom some students credited with their individual recruitment to the university.
— briscoe (@ayefamitsty) June 13, 2018
Ms. Corey was there through every step of my admission process. She was the one person I knew and could depend on the moment I stepped on campus and she stayed checking on me throughout the year. How do you get rid of someone who cares about the students that deeply? #savefisk
— amari (@poeticpsyche_) June 13, 2018
We are filled with major disappointment with the decisions that have been made today. Again, this is more the reason we are losing faith in this “reconstruction” process. I feel like all of Fisk hard earned work is about to be swiped away. @FiskPres #SaveFisk #SaveFiskAdmin
— J. Denise ✨ (@MissJDenise) June 13, 2018
You ripped apart the most reliable office on campus. But the people in the business office that take collective lunch breaks at 11 when they only been working 2 hours, still have their jobs. #QTNA???? #saveFisk
— Dr. Chala ????????????????⚕️ (@Chala_Knechele) June 13, 2018
please repost using hashtag #savefisk so we can help bring our admission staff back ! If it wasn’t for them then our process would’ve been so difficult & most of our class wouldn’t have even chose this hbcu. WE ARE THE FUTURE OF FISK , WE DESERVE TO BE HEARD
— Precious Peach ✨???????? (@lifeofpeachy) June 13, 2018
University officials did not address the dismissals, but in a release discussed university-wide growth in enrollment, fundraising, and capital renovations which would position the school for full status restoration in 2019.
“Prior to accepting the presidency in 2017, issues affecting the institution resulted in the SACSCOC Board of Trustees requesting the institution submit two monitoring reports,” said Dr. Kevin D. Rome, Sr. “The decision was largely based upon data from fiscal year 2014-2015 and does not reflect the diligent and collective work done over the past years nor does it reflect the positive progress Fisk University has made in containing expenses and increasing our revenue streams.”
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
A few weeks ago, the University of Massachusetts System made headlines when it allowed its flagship campus in Amherst to buy a cash-strapped private liberal arts school, Mount Ida College, for $75 million and an extra $11 million to satisfy the outstanding debts which would’ve sent the college into bankruptcy without the purchase.
The deal will convert Mount Ida into an undergraduate workforce development extension of the Amherst campus, which enrolls more than 30,000 students. It drew criticism from stakeholders of its sister campus, UMass-Boston, which has struggled in recent years to sustain enrollment and to survive massive budget cuts.
The fight for UMass-Boston got even harder this week, when system officials announced that the school’s presidential search would be indefinitely postponed after the three finalists for the position, two of them African Americans, all withdrew from the search following extensive criticism from faculty.
Basically, it is a metropolitan campus waging war against a system for building up its flagship campus, while its most diverse campus languishes from a lack of resources and perceptions of disrespect.
The story is important because public higher education systems across the country are concerned with saving money and building preeminence to compete for students, grants and contracts, and branding. It is critical for HBCUs because if it grows as a common practice among other systems, it could mean easier paths to the consolidation of HBCUs and predominantly white institutions, or struggling private HBCUs making deals to satisfy debts and to pay off executive stakeholders.
HBCUs with low enrollment and high debts are at risk for states’ merger considerations and deal making from private investors. And not surprisingly, many of the cities and counties where struggling HBCUs are located are among the fastest-growing areas for residential and commercial real estate.
St. Augustine’s University has cut dozens of positions, sold and leased campus properties and has seen enrollment drop by more than 500 students since 2012. It is in the second year of accreditation probation for problems with finance and institutional effectiveness. At the same time, Raleigh has emerged as a thriving market for commercial and residential real estate development. From the News & Observer:
Since 2014, an average of 1 million square feet of office has been built each year, a rate that puts the Triangle on pace to exceed 50 million square feet of space by 2020, putting it on par with the amount available in Charlotte, said Paul Hendershot, director of research for the Carolinas.
On top of that surge in office construction, more than 13,000 apartment units are expected to be built by 2020 to absorb all of the new transplants attracted to the area for jobs. Local officials often cite the fact that 63 people are moving to Wake County per day and 20 to Durham. That growth has brought a lot of change to the area and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
Stillman College faces an extraordinary uphill battle in securing financial stability, but Tuscaloosa’s economic development prospects are booming in large part because of growth at the nearby University of Alabama. From the Tuscaloosa News:
With UA’s student enrollment jumping from about 33,000 in 2015 to almost 40,000 in 2017, construction of student housing and apartment projects hasn’t slowed down.
Currently, the development called “My House on the 50” — a 44-units, 155-bed development with four stories of apartments and 2 stories of above-grade parking is under construction at Frank Thomas Avenue and Eighth Street.
And The Hub at Tuscaloosa, a 188-unit, 485-bedroom development that’s expected to reach almost 75 feet in height is now going up on Red Drew Avenue just off the Strip.
Flagship institutions are no longer competing with smaller niche schools or even fellow campuses within their own systems. They are buying them or buying everything around them to expand their geographic imprint, in order to compete with other states in the race to be one of the 1000 or so campuses that will likely survive the bursting of the higher education bubble.
Private schools like St. Augustine’s and Stillman, for all we know, may have already struck deals for loans or consolidation or buyouts with larger institutions, developers, or cities to annex their land and facilities upon the announcement of an accreditation revocation, or a capital loan default.
Schools like Cheyney University, Elizabeth City State University and even Fisk University are in prime real estate markets and surrounded by aggressive public systems of higher education, with players from both worlds waiting for trustees and/or legislators to say ‘yes’ to the right number to transform hundreds of years of black history into multi-million dollar investment properties.
UMass-Boston may be hundreds of miles away, but its fate is right at the doorstep of several proud HBCUs.