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.
The Cooperative Extension Program in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences participated with Texas A&M in the “Battle Ground to Breaking Ground” program hosted in Dallas, Texas, May 31, 2018. Attending the event was U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Mr. Purdue met with veteran farmers to announce a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Texas A&M “Battle Ground to Breaking Ground” initiative.
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.”
Charitable giving and grantmaking to historically black colleges and universities increased for the third consecutive year in 2016, while enrollment declines which had annually exceeded more than 10,000 students for several years were just over 1,000 for the second straight year.
Data released by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics shows that HBCUs received more than $320 million in private gifts and grants during the 2015-16 academic year, the highest amount of non-public funding coming to the sector since grossing $351.5 million in 2012.
The increase represents just .78% of the record $41 billion given to higher education in 2016, but represents a 20% increase in black college philanthropy over the last two years; a stark contrast to the 24% drop in HBCU giving between 2012 and 2014.
Private Gifts & Grants to HBCUs
2012 – $351.5 million
2013 – $304.7 million
2014 – $265.2 million
2015 – $316.8 million
2016 – $320.5 million
HBCU sector total enrollment declined for the fifth consecutive year since an all-time high of more than 326,000 students in 2010. Attrition numbers increased slightly from 2016, with HBCUs losing a total of 1,305 students in comparison to 928 students a year ago.
But the losses continue a trend of HBCUs moving towards enrollment sustainability, after withstanding annual enrollment declines of more than 9,000 between 2011 and 2014.
Total HBCU Enrollment
2012 – 312,438
2013 – 303,167
2014 – 294,316
2015 – 293,388
2016 – 292,083
Earlier this month, alumni at Texas Southern University and Howard University gave in excess of $1 million gifts in individual and collective donations to the institutions. Last fall, Southern University’s Human Jukebox inked a $1 million sponsorship deal with a local fast food chain, earning philanthropic support for band scholarships, equipment and the Jaguars’ athletic program.
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
Howard University and Texas Southern University are the latest historically black campuses to announce million-dollar cash infusions through gifts and fundraising events.
A historically black university will have an opening round win on Thursday night’s prelude to March Madness, as Texas Southern University and North Carolina Central University will play in the ‘First Four’ round of the NCAA men’s basketball playoffs. But that win will come at the expense of another black college, and in given the history of HBCU basketball in this tournament and the tenor or racial politics in sports and beyond, the selection committee should have had more grace and insight than it showed with this seeding.
A 19-win MEAC champion NCCU team could be legitimately argued to post as a 15-seed. A sub-.500 Texas Southern team doesn’t get to escape the 16-seed line. Both teams have been perennial contenders in historically black conferences which have improved steadily over the last decade, and which have scored signature wins over power conference teams during the same period.
But facing each other to kick off March Madness is culturally offensive and financially shortsighted to HBCUs and the NCAA as it would be for two bottom-feeding teams from the Pac-12 or the SEC playing in the First Four.
Forget the underlying racial politics of two black coaches from two historically black athletic conferences facing each other in a contrived college basketball version of the Celebration Bowl; why would the selection committee limit the opportunity for Texas Southern and NCCU to both win into the field of 64, and thus giving both of their conferences a chance at more money coming in from tournament splits? The LIU-Brooklyn/Radford matchup on the other side of the First Four mini-bracket is as statistically unlikely to beat Villanova as the winner of NCCU-TSU is to defeat Xavier.
Why not split the difference and have the two HBCUs, which could have just as easily fit into the 16-slots of the East and West brackets respectively with wins, play independent of each other?
And why take your two biggest ‘One Shining Moment‘ conference brands to have one canceled out in the first game of the tournament? The MEAC and the SWAC have produced some of the tournament’s signature upsets, so why would the NCAA cut two chances for that opening round upset narrative in half with its only two participating HBCUs?
Maybe race doesn’t matter, it the committee’s charge is to evenly pair teams regardless of money, storylines, race, and other factors. That would make sense if the NCAA wasn’t positioning itself as a partner for improving Division I HBCUs in academic progress and graduation rates. The NCAA has given millions to help black colleges improve their academic and career development infrastructure for black colleges not just because it looks good to help struggling black schools and black people, but because it improves their brand to avoid ng giving HBCUs the death penalty for deficiencies in compliance.
Especially when bigger, whiter institutions avoid similar punishment for more egregious actions.
Of course, the HBCUs have a role in this outcome. They could win more games, build more competitive leagues, recruit better athletes, hire better coaches, or even leave Division I outright and compete in Division II, where HBCUs attract just as many fans are a million times more likely to win a national championship.
(And by the way, NCAA, don’t think we didn’t notice that Virginia State-Virginia Union seeding in the opening round of the Division II tournament, either).
But that doesn’t exempt the NCAA and the selection committee from doing the right thing for two conferences that carry the water for its mid-major branding in football and basketball, and which drive cheerful narratives about the can-do, anything can happen on a given night spirit of college sports.
There were alternatives for the selection committee which would’ve given a lot more dignity to two Division I conference champions. Syracuse has to play into the tournament as one of the ACC’s worst performers this year, and still doesn’t have to face the possibility of facing conference rival Duke until the Sweet 16, and if by some miracle advanced beyond that round, wouldn’t get to see historic rival Villanova until the Final Four.
The selection committee considers things like that when it completes the brackets. HBCUs, their coaches, and their fans deserve that kind of consideration; even if just for one round.
Officials at Texas Southern University today announced plans to establish a campus-based Center for Justice Research, aimed at producing criminal justice reform analysis and policy recommendations.