Saturday, October 25, 2014

An Open Letter to HBCU Graduates


An Open Letter to HBCU Graduates

Charlie Nelms, Ed.D.
Higher Education Expert and Consultant

Dear HBCU graduates,
Although most of us have never met, we share a special bond as graduates of one of America's historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). With few exceptions, these are the places that sprouted from sweat-soaked seeds planted by the sons and daughters of former slaves, sharecroppers and subsistence farmers whose belief in the power of education confounded the plans of plantation owners, straw bosses and Southern white politicians. HBCUs were the places that accepted us because they wanted to serve us, not because they were forced to do so or wanted to "diversify" their enrollment. They welcomed us with open arms and did not need to establish black culture centers or persuade faculty and staff to accept or embrace us. HBCUs never characterized us as high-risk or academically or culturally disadvantaged; they chose instead to focus on our assets. Thankfully, we were the reason that HBCUs existed and not a special project on diversity and inclusion. Most of us would agree that our alma mater enveloped us in a culture of caring from which it was nearly impossible to escape. As a consequence, we developed the intellectual, social and leadership skills that allowed us to compete with anyone in the world. All of this HBCUs did with only a fraction of the fiscal resources available to predominately white universities (PWIs).
I am sure you must have read by now that HBCUs are at a major crossroads. Enrollment is declining, in part because of increased competition from PWIs, online universities, proprietary schools and community colleges. In fact, according to the Oct. 9, 2014, edition of Diverse Issues in Higher Education, the University of Phoenix Online Campus is the largest producer of African-American recipients of bachelor's degrees in all disciplines. In addition, leadership and fiscal instability, problems with accreditation and growing discord between presidents and boards of trustees are affecting even the strongest HBCUs. In all fairness, I must note that many of these same challenges afflict PWIs as well. The difference, in my view, is the fact that failure at HBCUs has disproportionate implications for African-American students, families and the communities in which they are located. The failure of HBCUs is not an option; we have too much riding on them to let that happen.
Fellow HBCU graduates, we can and must come to the aid of our institutions while there is still time to make a difference. Fiscal insolvency and the loss of accreditation are two insurmountable challenges from which I have not known any institution, HBCU or PWI, to recover. What follows are some concrete steps we can and must take to support HBCUs.
1.      We must stop complaining about the imperfections of HBCUs and fretting about the few things that didn't go as well as we would have liked when we were students. There are neither perfect schools nor perfect people.
2.     We must be willing to serve as ambassadors for our alma mater by referring prospective students, including our own children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends, to the admissions office. We shouldn't be persuaded solely by the size of a PWI scholarship or its marketing prowess when making a student referral. The ice at PWIs really isn't any colder than it is at an HBCU! In fact, many black students who initially attend PWIs end up graduating from HBCUs.
3.     We must be willing to share with our alma mater our expertise -- without charge. That expertise is just as diverse as the careers that we have, or have had, and can be used to improve curricular offerings, university operations, and marketing and facilitate job placement for graduating students, among other things.
4.     We must be willing to provide access to our vast network of people, programs and services that will allow our alma mater to achieve levels of excellence and responsiveness not otherwise possible. By activating our collective networks, we can do more than imaginable to strengthen HBCUs and enhance their competitiveness. The soul singer Jerry Butler was correct when he proclaimed, "Only the strong survive."
5.     We must be willing to invest our money in the places that produced us, and we must be committed to doing so every month of every year. I never quite understood how HBCU alums expected their alma mater to achieve and sustain excellence without money! Have you ever noticed that there are no poor schools on the U.S. News and World Report's national rankings of excellent schools? Many years ago, to emphasize the importance of investing in what we value, my friend and pastor, the late Dr. Robert Lowery, reminded his parishioners that life is like a bank account: "You can't make a draw unless you make a deposit." Unless we as alums make a deposit (invest), our alma mater cannot offer competitive scholarships, purchase state-of-the-art equipment, hire top professors, or offer study-abroad opportunities for students, among other things.
During the course of my long career in the academy, I made a lot of speeches and listened to even more. There are two comments that I vividly remember from the many speeches I've heard. The first came from the late Dr. Elias Blake, who served as president of Clark College. He opined that HBCUs succeed in educating low-wealth, less-well-prepared students because they provide a psychologically supportive environment. The second comment came from Dr. Patrick Swygert, who served for a decade as president of Howard University. He noted that there is a difference between a graduate of a university and an alumnus. A graduate is one who simply holds a degree from the institution, while an alumnus is one who holds a degree and is invested in the institution's success and well-being. All of us who profess to love our alma mater should ask ourselves, "Am I a graduate or an alumnus?"
In future blog posts, I will discuss in greater detail what HBCU alums can do in each of the five areas referenced above. Meanwhile, we can all demonstrate our support for HBCUs by referring at least three prospective students to our alma mater or another HBCU for 2015 admission. One final piece of advice: Refer students -- without regard to race, sex or sexual orientation -- who are academically prepared and can benefit from the opportunity to study in an environment where caring still matters.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 21 through September 27 is National Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Week

President Barack Obama proclaims September 21 through September 27 as National Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Week. The week highlights the legacies, missions and need to support HBCUs along with the National HBCU Conference taking place in Washington, D.C.

In his proclamation, the President said HBCUs waged the war against illiteracy for newly freed slaves in their early years after the Civil War. He said the week honors the importance of HBCUs and their mission that everyone deserves a chance to succeed.

“Over more than 150 years, HBCUs have provided students with the tools to meet the challenges of a changing world,” Obama said. “These institutions are hubs of opportunity that lift up Americans and instill in their students a sense of who they are and what they can become. Their campuses are engines of economic growth and community service and proven ladders of intergenerational advancement.”

The President also said that his administration is fighting to make college more affordable with larger grants and low-interest loans. The administration is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in HBCUs, and because half of all students at these schools are the first in their family to attend college, they are supporting programs that help these first-generation scholars succeed.

The goal is for the nation to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

“During National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, we recognize the ways these schools have made our Nation more just and we continue our work to make higher education accessible to every child in America,” Obama said.

On Monday and Tuesday, the 2014 National HBCU Conference is being held in Washington with the theme “HBCUs: Innovators For Future Success,” focusing on innovative and transformative educational approaches to ensure access to the American dream.

The two-day conference brings together HBCU presidents, senior administrators and other HBCU stakeholders to meet and interact with senior federal officials, representatives from the private sector and foundations in order to meet the evolving challenges in higher education.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Published On September 21, 2014 | By maria | Financial News, Latest posts

Clark Atlanta University is suing the city of Atlanta for acquiring land that was given to Morris Brown College instead of reverting it back to the university.
Reported by Nigel Boys

Over two years after filing in federal bankruptcy court in 2012, Morris Brown College, in Atlanta, GA, was given the go-ahead to sell the school’s property for $14.6 million to Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development authority, and Friendship Baptist Church. The school had no other alternative since it faced debts amounting to over $30 million.

However, although the sale of the property was authorized by the courts in June this year and the deal was finalized in August, Clark Atlanta University (CAU) has filed a lawsuit against the city because they believe the land should have reverted back to them.

The university filed the lawsuit on September 5 in Fulton County Superior Court, claiming that the sale of the school’s property violates an old agreement with Morris Brown, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The suit claims that the property should have been returned to the university in the event that it was no longer used for educational purposes.

Clark Atlanta will continue to support the use of the property as an educational institution, according to AJC. It has invited the city to discuss with them the possibility of ensuring that it provides an educational opportunity to those who were historically denied that opportunity, namely the African-American community.

If CAU fails to come to an agreement with the Mayor of Atlanta, Kaseem Reid, they have been given the permission by the bankruptcy judge to pursue litigation in state court to determine its interests in the land previously occupied by Morris Brown College.

There has been no comment from Mayor Reid’s office on the pending litigation or the plan they have for the land in the foreseeable future.
However, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Friendship Baptist Church recently announced their plans to develop about 22 acres near the new Atlanta Falcons stadium, including land that was formerly owned by Morris Brown College.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

University president takes $90,000 pay cut to give 24 minimum wage workers a raise

kentucky state university

August 6, 2014: 11:58 AM ET



The SIAC head football coaches picked the following:

East Division


1. Albany State
2. Fort Valley State
3. Benedict
4. Morehouse
5. Clark Atlanta
6. Paine

West Division


1. Tuskegee
2. Miles
3. Stillman
4. Kentucky State
5. Lane
6. Central State




1-Bethune-Cookman (480 points)
2- South Carolina State (457)
3-North Carolina A&T (338)
4-Howard (309)
5-Delaware State (229)
6-Norfolk State (225)
7-Hampton (200)
8-North Carolina Central (187)
9- Morgan State (148)

**Florida A&M and Savannah State are not eligible for post-season competition in 2014, therefore is not listed in this year’s predicted order of finish.

How University Of Alabama Sororities Kept Black Women From Joining


 2013 was host to a massive controversy when it was revealed traditionally white sororities at the public university in Tuscaloosa were still discriminating against black women.

Although things have been quiet lately around the issue, Marie Claire magazine dived into how the UA sororities were able to keep women of color from getting bids without outright declaring "No blacks allowed":

At Kappa Delta, the oldest and arguably most prestigious house on campus, the rushees are seated in different rooms depending on how interested the sorority is in pledging them. The best room, called Rush-to-Pledge, is reserved for rushees whom the sorority wants to give the hard sell. Kappa Delta member Kirkland Back, 22, a 2014 graduate, says that in her years in the sorority she saw only two black women ever seated there—and one was a mistake.

"This past year, a black girl ended up in the Rush-to-Pledge room," Back says. "Someone messed up and seated her in the wrong spot … so you can imagine the sad hilarity of watching a bunch of really privileged white girls freaking out. They were like, 'Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God! What are we going to do? She can't think we actually like her!' So they were like, 'Nobody talk to her. … She's gotta know that she's not welcome. She's gotta know this isn't going to work out.'"

"It's not that we've never had black girls come through rush," says Melanie Gotz, 22, a 2014 Alabama graduate and member of Alpha Gamma Delta. "I would see them in the first round, and then they all disappeared. I just figured they didn't make the grades. Until this year, I didn't realize that they were being automatically dropped after the first round. I feel really na├»ve now—I didn't really think racism existed in such a blatant way anymore."

It should be noted every sorority does rush differently, so how things played out at Kappa Delta wouldn't necessarily be applicable to other houses.

But Phi Mu sister Caroline Bechtel disclosed to Marie Claire she'd hear comments like "Oh, she wore an ugly dress," to explain why the black women weren't being offered bids. "But it was so obviously wrong, so obviously racism," Bechtel said.

Eventually, the university administration announced changes to allow desegregation in the sororities. One house even elected their first black president.

But there are still cultural problems that needed addressed, some students say, and there was a controversy in the spring over what the university's student government would do about the traditionally all-white sororities.

Currently, Marie Claire notes, there are 21 black sorority members, which is approximately 0.4 percent of the university's entire Panhellenic population.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


 CIAA Pre-Season Poll

Northern Division:
1. Virginia State University
2. Elizabeth City State University
3. Bowie State University
4. Chowan University
5. Virginia Union University
6. The Lincoln University

Southern Division:
1. Winston-Salem State University
2. Fayetteville State University
3. Shaw University
4. Johnson C. Smith University
5. St. Augustine's University
6. Livingstone College


Vote of Coaches, Media and Sports Information Directors

East Division
1. Alabama State, 93 points
2. Alcorn State, 91
3. Jackson State, 72
4. Mississippi Valley State, 40
5. Alabama A&M, 34

West Division
1. Southern, 95
2. Prairie View A&M, 88
3. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 66
4. Texas Southern, 50
5. Grambling, 31

Year of the SWAC Quarterbacks

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania  -- A team that wins a conference championship generally has something the competition is lacking.

In the year of the quarterback in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, that isn't such a good thing for reigning champ Southern.
The Jaguars have a need at quarterback because they must replace Dray Joseph, who shared 2013 SWAC offensive player of the year honors as a senior.
Veteran quarterbacks are widespread in the 10-team conference that on Friday installed Southern as the favorite in the West Division as well as Alabama State atop the East Division.

"A lot of defensive coordinators are going to stay up late," said Prairie View A&M head coach Heishma Northern, whose team is led by one of the SWAC's top quarterbacks in senior Jerry Lovelocke.

"If you look all throughout the conference, everybody has a quarterback pretty much with the exception of Southern that has game experience or has played a part of the games or may not have played due to injuries. But it's a lot of people with experience that's going to be able to help their teams in the long run."
The only team besides Southern that is replacing its starting quarterback is Jackson State, which lost to the Jaguars in the SWAC championship game. But the Tigers return redshirt sophomore LaMontiez Ivy, their former highly-touted recruit who was their season-opening starter last year before he suffered a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle against Tulane and missed his second consecutive season. He is hoping to be ready for the Tigers' season opener on Aug. 30.
Headlining the strong class of QBs are Alcorn State junior John Gibbs, Arkansas-Pine Bluff senior Ben Anderson and Lovelocke. Each signal caller accounted for at least 25 touchdowns last season and Anderson enters the 2014 season as the preseason offensive player of the year for a second consecutive season.
Ironically, Lovelocke was named to the preseason first team over Anderson. Twenty-five players were named to this year's preseason teams as a result of receiving 2013 All-SWAC honors, and in the event that a player was named to the first team but did not return this year, the second-team player at the position - like Lovelocke - was elevated to the first team.
A year ago, Anderson led the conference in total offense with 3,611 yards (2,787 passing, 824 rushing). Lovelocke, more of a pocket passer, totaled 2,838 yards through the air and 284 on the ground, while Gibbs passed for 2,567 yards and rushed for another 455.
Alabama State junior Daniel Duhart also comes off a solid season, while dual- threats Homer Causey of Texas Southern and Patrick Ivy of Mississippi Valley State are seeking to lift their passing numbers.
Senior Jaymason Lee and junior Brandon Wells return at Alabama A&M after splitting the quarterback duties last year. The same thing occurred at Grambling State, but senior D.J. Williams, who was the starter as a freshman for the 2011 SWAC champion Tigers, has more experience than junior Johnathan Williams.
The many veteran quarterbacks figure to raise the level of play in the SWAC even though Southern will have a QB competition in preseason camp (redshirt freshman Deonte Shorts is the frontrunner). In Joseph, the Jaguars are replacing a quarterback who threw for 3,573 yards and 30 touchdowns last year.
Alabama State linebacker Kourtney Berry, only a sophomore, was named the preseason defensive player of the year.
Alabama State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Mississippi Valley State, Prairie View and Southern are under NCAA Academic Progress Rate penalties and aren't eligible for the FCS playoffs (with an at-large bid), but the SWAC will allow them to play in the conference championship game if they win their respective division.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Black Colleges Need to Change to Survive

The debate around the relevancy of historically black colleges (HBCUs) is at least as old as the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that "separate but equal" educational systems are inherently unequal. The data and experiences of countless HBCU alumni like me tell a much different story: HBCUs play an invaluable role in educating often underprepared students successfully, and without HBCUs, the hopes and dreams of thousands of capable African-Americans would go unrealized.
While HBCUs enroll only 15 percent of African-American collegians, they award 30 percent of all degrees obtained by African-Americans. Hence the relevancy of HBCUs is unassailable. But we can ill afford to leave the debate there. Today, like never before, colleges and universities must compete for students, faculty, money and public recognition. HBCUs are in a position to reaffirm their significance by graduating a preponderance of their students, distinguishing themselves academically and ensuring that they are expertly managed.
For many reasons, including historic under-resourcing, HBCUs are challenged to deliver the sort of outcomes required in our changing and more demanding society. The debate does not move either them or our nation forward. Rather, it is time to ask whether HBCUs are sufficiently self-critical and adaptive to transform into the institutions they will have to become if they are to be sustainable. Self-critical institutions intentionally adjust their thinking and behaviors based on examined awareness of their own missions and outcomes. They seek self-improvement.
Given their long-standing mission to educate underprepared students, HBCUs should be at the forefront of curricula, teaching and student-advising innovations. Given their century and a half of underfunding and having to do more with less, HBCUs should be leaders in institutional efficiency, cost-sharing and partnerships. And given their reliance on public funding, HBCUs should be experts at garnering federal support for their initiatives. But none of these is so.
HBCUs must challenge themselves to achieve higher levels of excellence and sustained outcomes by transforming their self-understandings. Doing so requires placing these institutions under critical self-scrutiny. To improve their outcomes, HBCUs will have to undertake a process of critical self-reflection in which their institutional stories, myths and assumptions are laid aside in a search for truth. Fundamental questions about institutional effectiveness will have to be addressed in order to develop accurate knowledge about their strengths and weakness.
And then HBCUs will have to take self-corrective action. These measures are internal to institutions and require internal leadership, but President Barack Obama recently gave HBCUs a much-needed lift. In an unprecedented acknowledgment of the importance of HBCUs, Obama has ordered that every agency within the federal government actively seek out opportunities for HBCUs to participate in federal programs. Importantly, the president did not call for affirmative action for HBCUs. He called for the engagement of HBCUs, which will be based on their merits.
The problem is that many HBCUs have been ill-equipped to be full participants in solving the nation's problems or helping it reach the president's educational goal for America to have the most educated citizenry in the world in next decade. Many HBCUs have neither the internal managerial capacity nor institutional outcomes necessary to take full advantage of the president's mandate, which should be a wake-up call to all of us who value HBCUs that their sustainability rests in great measure on how well they are managed to achieve their aims.
Yet, some HBCUs stand out as models, not just among other HBCUs but among institutions nationally, for their insightfulness. For instance, Spelman College has long been the envy of HBCUs for garnering private donations and public support, for enrolling well-prepared students, for being a leader in student success and for having the highest graduation rate among all HBCUs. But Spelman did not get there without a persistent effort.
Under the leadership of President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman has done and continues the hard work of explicating its outcomes and ambitions in a quest for self-improvement. By removing their presuppositions -- good and bad -- about the institution, Spelman's faculty, alumni and staff were able to continue to value the institution's heritage while pursuing a progressive agenda of self-learning that is resulting in improvement in all major areas of institutional effectiveness.
There is great hope that the new generation of black college presidents who have taken the helm of institutions like Howard and Tuskegee universities will follow Spelman's example. Indeed, it is time for all HBCUs to adopt self-critical mindsets and make the changes necessary to thrive. (Huffington Post)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Xavier GOLD Rush Recruiting

Xavier Gold Rush sign six more for 2014-15 recruiting class

Chris Adams

Chris Adams

Malik Harrison

Malik Harrison
    Langston Adams

Langston Adams

Erwin Simmons

Erwin Simmons
    Devante Bailey

Devante Bailey

Alex Xavier

Alex Xavier

NEW ORLEANS — Coach Joseph Moses on Wednesday announced six more signings to Xavier University of Louisiana's men's track and field recruiting class. Newcomers signed to scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year were:

       •  Chris Adams, a hurdler from Richardson, Texas, and Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas.
     •  Langston Adams, a long from Baton Rouge, La., and Christian Life Academy.
     •  Devante Bailey, a long sprinter from Baton Rouge and Southern Lab High School.
     •  Malik Harrison, a horizontal jumper from Baton Rouge and Christian Life.
     •  Erwin Simmons, a hurdler from St. James, La., and St. James High School.
     •  Alex Xavier, a hurdler and sprinter from Naples, Fla., and Golden Gate High School and a transfer from Warner (Fla.) University.

Bailey, Harrison and Simmons will be freshmen at Xavier. Chris Adams and Langston Adams, who 
are not related, will be sophomores — they were biology/pre-medical majors at XU in 2013-14 — and Xavier will be a junior. Bailey will major in business marketing, Harrison will be a chemistry/pre-pharmacy major, and Simmons will be part of XU's dual-degree engineering program, studying physics and mechanical engineering.
Chris Adams finished third in the 110-meter hurdles in Class 5A at the 2013 Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools state meet. His best times are 14.9 seconds for the 110 hurdles and 40.8 for the 300 hurdles. He was a standout in basketball, averaging 16 points per game as a senior with a high game of 27 points. At Xavier he was runner-up in the voting for Mr. Freshman.

Langston Adams was a member of Christian Life's 400 relay team which placed fourth at the 2013 Class 1A state meet. He also was a regional qualifier in the long jump. Adams was first-team all-district as a football middle linebacker his senior year and made the second team as a junior.

Bailey was a member of Southern Lab's 800 and 1,600 relay teams which finished first at the 1A state meet this year, and he was a member of the Kittens' state runner-up 400 relay team. He helped Southern Lab finish second at state in the 1,600 relay in 2012, and he was a starter in basketball as a junior and a senior.
Harrison was a district champion this year in the triple jump for Christian Life. His best marks were 43 feet, 11 inches in the triple jump and 19-6 in the long jump. As a senior in football, he accounted for 1,623 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns in 10 regular-season games.

 Simmons was a district champion in the 110 hurdles this year and helped St. James finish second in the district meet. His best time in the 110 hurdles was 15.32. He was voted his team's track MVP in 2014 and was the track MVP at Lutcher's Bulldog Invitational after winning the 110 and 300 hurdles and anchoring the winning 800 relay squad.

Xavier, a native of Haiti, placed 14th for Warner in the 110 hurdles at the 2013 NAIA National Outdoor Championships and was a two-time athlete of the week in The Sun Conference that year. This past season he was The Sun's 110 hurdles champion and was fifth in the 400 hurdles. His best time in the 110 hurdles is 14.46.
The previously announced Gold Rush signee was Joseph Moses III, a sprinter from Baton Rouge.
Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


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