Showing posts with label HBCUs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HBCUs. Show all posts

Friday, July 05, 2024

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough Named Interim President of Talladega College

The Talladega College Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough as the interim president of the institution, effective immediately. Dr. Kimbrough brings a wealth of experience, a distinguished academic background, and a proven track record of leadership in higher education to his new role. The transformational leader has committed to serving at least one year to help the college establish stability on all fronts.

Dr. Kimbrough, widely respected for his dynamic leadership and innovative approach to education, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree from Miami University in Ohio, and a Ph.D. from Georgia State University. He has served in various influential roles in the higher education space, including president of Dillard University and Philander Smith College (now University), where he was instrumental in enhancing academic programs, increasing enrollment, and strengthening community partnerships.

Rica Lewis-Payton, ’81, chairwoman of the Talladega College Board of Trustees, expressed her gratitude to Dr. Edward L. Hill Jr., who served as the acting interim president following the recent resignation of Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, the 21st president of the College.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Hill for his dedication and stewardship during this transitional period for Talladega College. His leadership has been invaluable in maintaining the continuity and integrity of our institution,” Lewis-Payton said.

Chairwoman Lewis-Payton is enthusiastic to welcome Kimbrough to the 157-year-old institution, noting the significance of his appointment.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Kimbrough join Talladega College as our interim president. His extensive experience and visionary leadership are exactly what we need to navigate this period of transition and lay the groundwork for a prosperous future. Dr. Kimbrough’s commitment to serving for the next year will be pivotal in establishing stability and fostering growth across all areas of our college,” Lewis-Payton said.

Dr. Kimbrough is married to attorney Adria Nobles Kimbrough, a 1997 graduate of Talladega College. They are proud parents of two children, Lydia Nicole and Benjamin Barack. Their connection to the college community underscores their commitment to the institution’s success.

As Talladega College embarks on this new chapter, the campus community eagerly anticipates Dr. Kimbrough’s positive impact, which will further the College’s mission of academic excellence and community engagement.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

James Martin II Named Chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University

James Martin II, an accomplished civil engineer who has led engineering and STEM initiatives at three large public research universities, was elected chancellor of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University today by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

UNC System President Peter Hans recommended Martin, vice chancellor of STEM Innovation and Research at the University of Pittsburgh, following a national search that drew a highly competitive field, including three finalists endorsed by the North Carolina A&T Board of Trustees.

Martin’s appointment will begin Aug. 15. He succeeds Harold Martin Sr., who will retire after 15 years as chancellor.

James Martin, who served four years as the U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering in Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, has decades of experience as an engineering professor, institute director, dean and leader of science initiatives at major public universities, including Clemson University and Virginia Tech.

During his career, he has promoted academic innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration and improved organizational culture. He will now lead the nation’s largest historically Black university on a trajectory to become a top-tier research institution, termed “Research 1” by the Carnegie Classification that categorizes universities by their levels of research activity.

“James Martin is the right leader to engineer North Carolina A&T’s continuing rise,” Hans said. “He believes in what he calls ‘impatient optimism,’ a productive sense of possibility in what can be achieved when people think across disciplines, feel a sense of shared purpose, and commit to an ambitious vision. It’s exactly the kind of mindset that will help affirm the university’s status as one of the nation’s best research institutions and engines of social mobility.”

“North Carolina A&T is a recognized national leader in harnessing technology and access to learning to unlock human potential,” Martin said. “That’s one of many reasons why it’s so exciting to have been chosen to lead the university at a moment when America is in particular need of the very things that North Carolina A&T does best. Our students, faculty, staff and alumni are on an incredible ascent, having accomplished so much in recent years. I look forward to joining them on that journey and ensuring that we continue to build on A&T’s exceptional momentum as we set ambitious new sights for the months and years ahead.”

As dean at Pittsburgh, he oversaw an engineering program with 2,900 undergraduates, 850 graduate students and 200 faculty. There he raised research dollars by 50 percent, built strategic partnerships with industry and government, and increased diversity, enrollment and graduation rates. Previously, he chaired the civil engineering department at Clemson University and was the founding executive director of Clemson’s Risk Engineering and Systems Analytics Institute (RESA).

A scholar in disaster risk engineering and earthquake science, he has conducted research around the world in earthquake zones, leading to stronger building codes in the United States. He has provided international engineering consulting for nearly 100 firms and government agencies.

He began his career as a faculty member in civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, where he later led an engineering fellowship program for underrepresented students and founded the university’s Disaster Risk Management Institute. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at The Citadel and a master’s and doctorate in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He was born in Union, South Carolina to a family with deep roots across the Carolinas.

His numerous national, state and university awards for research, teaching, scholarship and service include the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Norman Medal, the highest honor for published work in his field. He was also inducted into the Virginia Tech Department of Civil Engineering's Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2015.

“Dr. Martin is an exceptional leader with a strong vision for where we can take our university in the coming years,” said A&T Board of Trustees Chair Kimberly Bullock Gatling. “North Carolina A&T has enjoyed enormous success in recent years, and I have no doubt that Dr. Martin will continue the university’s strong ascent and increase our national presence as a doctoral, research land-grant HBCU.”

“We were fortunate in this national search to draw a very competitive field of applicants and nominees from across the country. It was gratifying to see a certain standard of quality in leadership throughout the field,” said Search Advisory Committee Chair Hilda Pinnix-Ragland, former chair of the A&T Board of Trustees. “From the beginning, Dr. Martin emerged as a leading candidate in his background, preparation and the vision he articulated for A&T. He will be an outstanding leader for our university.”

“North Carolina A&T has been extremely fortunate to have Dr. Harold Martin as chancellor for these last 15 years, and now the university has another fantastic leader in Dr. James Martin,” said UNC Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey. “He comes to A&T with decades of leadership experience and a track record of building and innovating. I join the Aggie community in congratulating him on his important new role.”

Friday, June 07, 2024

Howard University Rescinds Honorary Degree Issued to Sean Combs

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A Howard University spokesperson released the statement below on behalf of the Howard University Board of Trustees regarding honorary degree recipient Sean Combs, following the conclusion of a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board on June 7, 2024. 

The Howard University Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to accept the return by Mr. Sean Combs of the honorary degree conferred upon him in 2014. This acceptance revokes all honors and privileges associated with the degree. Accordingly, the Board has directed that his name be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients of Howard University. 

Mr. Combs’ behavior as captured in a recently released video is so fundamentally incompatible with Howard University’s core values and beliefs that he is deemed no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honor. 

The University is unwavering in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence. 

The Board has also directed the University administration to immediately take the following actions: terminate a 2016 gift agreement with Mr. Combs, disband the scholarship program in his name, return his $1 million contribution, and terminate a 2023 pledge agreement with the Sean Combs Foundation.  

No payments toward the $1 million pledge have been due or made by the Sean Combs Foundation as of this date, therefore no funds are due to be returned under the 2023 pledge agreement.” 

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax Receives Honorary Doctorate from Morehouse College

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) proudly announces that Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from his alma mater, Morehouse College. The degree is bestowed to those who have made outstanding contributions to society through humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

Dr. Lomax was honored on May 19, 2024, during Morehouse's live-streamed 140th commencement ceremony, which featured President Joseph R. Biden as the commencement speaker. This recognition celebrates Dr. Lomax’s dedicated leadership and impactful contributions to promoting higher education in the African American community. The ceremony highlighted Dr. Lomax’s diligent advocacy for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), which helped these institutions reach their highest fundraising goals.

“We are immensely proud of Dr. Lomax and his unwavering commitment to educational excellence,” said UNCF Board of Directors Chair Milton H. Jones, Jr. “This honorary doctorate from Morehouse College is a testament to his visionary leadership and tireless advocacy for students of color.”

Upon receiving his honorary degree, Dr. Lomax Dr. Lomax thanked the university for shaping his journey and underscored his commitment to expanding educational opportunities for underprivileged students. He emphasized the importance of giving back to the community and the role of education in transforming lives.

“This was a special personal moment for me, and I am eternally grateful to my alma mater Morehouse College. But more importantly, it was an opportunity for all of us at UNCF to amplify our HBCUs as Morehouse welcomed President Biden to the campus as their commencement speaker and awarded him an honorary degree,” said Dr. Lomax.  

“This was an event that attracted global attention, and it came at a time when US and global colleges and universities have been demonstrating and protesting the war in Gaza and Israel.  At this challenging and heartbreaking time in history, the world cannot easily find common ground.  The combatants cannot find peace, and so many innocent civilians are victims of brutality and violence,” Dr. Lomax said.

“Morehouse did not solve the problem, but they provided an opportunity for the president to address the war and speak directly to students who are going out into a dangerous world and will have to solve the problems that older generations have failed to address.  I cannot tell you how impressed I was by the Morehouse students who expressed their views thoughtfully and powerfully.  They also let the president speak and make the case for the United States' position and approach,” noted Dr. Lomax.

During Morehouse's Baccalaureate services on Saturday, May 18, Dr. Lomax's official portrait was unveiled. This portrait will hang in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel—the world’s most prominent religious memorial honoring the Morehouse alumnus. The picture, displayed in the Morehouse International Hall of Honor, features more than 200 original oil portraits of distinguished leaders in the global, civil, and human rights nonviolent movement.

Since 2004, Dr. Lomax has steered UNCF to become the nation's largest private provider of scholarships and educational support for African American students. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised over $5 billion, providing financial assistance to more than 500,000 students and supporting 37 HBCUs.

Dr. Lomax congratulated the first graduating class of Lomax Scholars who earned need-based scholarships of up to $10,000 for exemplary academic performance at HBCUs.

Dr. Lomax's career spans decades and is marked by notable achievements in academia and public service. Before joining UNCF, he served as president of Dillard University in New Orleans and held positions at Emory University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College. Additionally, Dr. Lomax remains a driving force in various civic and educational organizations, including the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools and the KIPP Foundation.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Statement from Vice President Kamala Harris on the Biden-⁠Harris Administration’s Historic Investments in HBCUs

As a proud graduate of Howard University, I know firsthand that our HBCUs are centers of academic excellence. For generations, these anchors of our communities have played a pivotal role in building and contributing to America’s leadership at home and abroad. Today, graduates from our Nation’s more than 100 HBCUs are in every room where important decisions are made – leading in our schools, hospitals, courtrooms, boardrooms, and at the highest levels of government. And as we look forward, we know that our HBCUs will continue to prepare young leaders to build a better, more just future for our country and the world.

That is why President Biden and I have delivered an unprecedented $16 billion to our Nation’s HBCUs. This historic investment is transformative – from helping to fund cutting-edge research and making long-overdue renovations, to providing mental health resources and ensuring students have access to every opportunity to thrive. We have also delivered the largest increase to Pell Grants in a decade as we work to make higher education more affordable. I have witnessed the direct impact of these record investments while meeting with thousands of HBCU students as Vice President, including during my Fight for Our Freedoms college tour last fall.

President Biden and I remain committed to using every lever available to support HBCUs and the students and communities they serve. We know that when we invest in the success of our HBCUs, we are investing in the strength of our Nation – today and for generations to come.

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Record Over $16 Billion in Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

The Biden-Harris Administration announced a new record in Federal funding and investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) totaling more than $16 billion from Fiscal Years (FY) 2021 through current available data for FY 2024. This new reported total is up from the previously announced over $7 billion, and captures significant additional actions already undertaken.  The total of more than $16 billion includes over $11.4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 through Federal grants, contracting awards, and debt relief for HBCUs; over $4 billion between FY2021 and FY2023 for HBCU-enrolled students through federal financial aid and educational benefits for veterans; and, so far in FY 2024, over $900 million has been secured for Department of Education programs strengthening HBCUs as institutions. President Biden and Vice President Harris are committed to ensuring whole-of-government investment efforts in HBCUs continue at full momentum through the rest of FY 2024.
These historic funding levels – the most by any administration – demonstrate President Biden and Vice President Harris’s ongoing commitment to HBCUs, which serve as an engine for upward economic mobility in our country. The Administration is also focused on work to ensure HBCUs have the resources to provide a high-quality postsecondary education.

For more than 180 years, HBCUs have been advancing intergenerational economic mobility for Black families and communities, developing vital academic research, and making our Nation more prosperous and equitable. Despite representing only 3% of colleges and universities, HBCUs play an outsized role to support the economic mobility of African Americans, producing 40 percent of all Black engineers, 50 percent of all Black teachers, 70 percent of all Black doctors and dentists, 80 percent of all Black judges, and the first woman and Black Vice President of the United States. Overall, HBCUs greatly contribute to the economic success of America, providing college access to twice as many Pell Grant-eligible (low-income) students as non-HBCU institutions. Additionally, social mobility research by the United Negro College Fund finds that HBCUs support nearly five times more students than Ivy League and other top-ranked institutions in facilitating movement from the bottom 40% in U.S. household income to the top 60%.
CEA report published today further underscores that HBCUs are engines for upward mobility and additionally discusses new research showing that HBCU enrollment has considerable positive effects on bachelor’s degree completion and household income later in life. The report details how these successes have occurred in the context of historic underfunding of HBCUs. It also discusses a recent resurgence in applications to, and enrollment in, HBCUs which highlight the high value that students have placed on these institutions in recent years.

Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has committed to advancing racial equity, economic opportunity, and educational excellence, including by reestablishing the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Between FY 2021 – FY 2023 the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic actions to support HBCUs:
Invested over $11.4 billion in HBCUs, which includes:

  • Nearly $4 billion for HBCUs through the American Rescue Plan and other COVID relief legislation. These grants funded through the Department of Education and other agencies have helped HBCUs support students’ ability to meet basic needs; support campus operations, staffing, teaching, and educational programs; and keep campuses and the surrounding communities on the path to an equitable recovery;
  • $2.6 billion from the Department of Education to build institutional capacity at HBCUs. These efforts support the growth and sustainability of HBCU degree programs; increase and enhance human, technological, and physical infrastructure for research; strengthen positioning to secure direct partnership opportunities; and create sustainable fund development;
  • Over $1.6 billion to HBCUs through Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and other competitive funding opportunities that drive the advancement of academic and training programs, community-based initiatives, and research innovation across national priorities such as medicine and public health, climate science, agriculture, emerging technologies, and defense;
  • Almost $950 million to support HBCUs in growing research capacity and related infrastructure to better compete for Federal research and development dollars;
  • Nearly $719 million in grant funding to expand STEM academic capacity and educational programs; and in other high-wage, high-demand fields such as computer science, nursing, and allied health;
  • Over $150 million in Federal contracting opportunities awarded to HBCUs, including for research and expansion of STEM education programs at the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, and U.S. Agency for International Development;
  • $1.6 billion in capital finance debt relief for 45 public and private HBCUs. Discharging these debts has enabled these institutions to focus resources on supporting students, faculty, and staff while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Over $2.4 million in Project SERV funds to support HBCUs affected by more than a dozen bomb threats in 2022. These grants have helped restore safe learning environments and invest in student mental health and well-being for students.

In addition to the over $11 billion provided to HBCUs, the Biden-Harris Administration has provided over $4 billion to support the success of HBCU-enrolled students through:  

  • $2.8 billion in need-based grants and other Federal programs, including Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, to assist HBCU students in affording a postsecondary education; and
  • Nearly $1.3 billion to support Veterans attending HBCUs through the GI bill and other college, graduate school, and training programs delivered through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While more must be done to ensure equity for HBCUs and their students, the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering landmark first-of-its-kind results:

  • The Department of Defense U.S. Air Force established the first-ever HBCU-led University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). Led by Howard University with seven other HBCUs and funded at $90 million over five years, efforts will focus on advancing the deployment of autonomous technologies for Air Force missions. Participating schools include Jackson State University, Tuskegee University, Hampton University, Bowie State University, Norfolk State University, Delaware State University, Florida Memorial University, and Tougaloo College.
  • The Department of Commerce established the first-ever Connecting-Minority-Communities program delivering funding for 43 HBCUs to purchase broadband internet, purchase equipment, and hire IT personnel to tackle the digital divide impacting HBCUs. Several HBCUs also recently launched an HBCU CHIPS Network in collaboration with Georgia Institute of Technology to increase the coordination of the resources at the colleges and universities and jointly contribute to workforce development needs of the semiconductor industry. Chips are critical in powering our consumer electronics, automobiles, data centers, critical infrastructure, and virtually all military systems.
  • The Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide $4.2 million in grant funding to HBCUs, through the EPP/MSI Cooperative Science Center program.
  • The Department of Agriculture announced a $262.5 million investment to support 33 projects across U.S. institutions of higher education designed to train the next generation of diverse agricultural professionals. Through the USDA NextGen program, the projects are led by 1890 land-grant institutions (historically Black land-grant universities), 1994 land-grant institutions (Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native-Serving Institutions and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions), and institutions of higher education located in the Insular Areas. This historic investment will provide training and support to more than 20,000 future food and agricultural leaders through 33 projects executed by more than 60 institutions across 24 states and Insular Areas.
  • The Department of Energy announced the inaugural $7.75 million Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Clean Energy Education Prize, a competition that will support HBCUs in developing programming to strengthen the participation of K-12 and community college students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The competition, which has announced its first 10 winning HBCU teams, is supporting the creation of clean energy community networks to inspire the next generation of students to work in STEM fields related to clean energy.
  • The Department of Education provided nearly $25 million to HBCUs under the Research and Development Infrastructure program to transform their research infrastructure, including strengthening research productivity, faculty expertise, physical infrastructure, and partnerships leading to increases in external funding.
  • The Department of Transportation announced Prairie View A&M University in Texas as the first-ever HBCU to lead a University Transportation Center. Prairie View A&M and 11 other HBCUs were among 34 schools to receive a portion of a $435 million grant for development of interoperable technology systems, which allow equipment, software, and applications to work together, communicate, and exchange data.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is pioneering efforts to close opportunity gaps in STEM, including nearly $12 million for eight HBCUs to support programs in artificial intelligence and machine learning and create a more diverse pipeline of talent for careers in data-intensive space-based Earth science.
  • The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through HBCUs established the Executive HBCU Space Lab, a new collaboration between HBCUs, the Federal government, and industry partners to increase HBCU engagement in space-related federal contracting. The Executive HBCU Space Lab is a solutions-oriented initiative that will release resources including SpaceTechConnect, a free platform to highlight space-related capabilities at HBCUs.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences established HBCU-Connect, a new initiative with HBCUs to inspire the development of environmental health science leaders from diverse backgrounds. HBCU-Connect is a multifaceted effort to strengthen ties between the institute and faculty and students at academic institutions that are often underrepresented in the sciences.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau launched the Maternal Health Research Collaborative for MSIs, providing roughly $30M in research support to seven HBCUs over five years. The funding will build capacity of HBCUs to conduct Black maternal health research to fully understand and address the root causes of disparities in maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, and maternal health outcomes; and to find community-based solutions to address these disparities and advance health equity.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health funding to HBCUs totaled $147.5 million to support research, training, research capacity building, and outreach efforts. NIH funding included endowment awards to strengthen the research infrastructure of the HBCU award recipients to conduct minority health and health disparities research. Other NIH funding has assisted several HBCUs in contributing towards building a diverse scientific workforce, including mentorship and student training programs and career development opportunities for faculty.
  • The National Science Foundation launched Advancing Research Capacity at HBCUs through Exploration and Innovation (ARC-HBCU) to support participation in an intensive, facilitated workshop that brings together HBCU faculty, staff, research administrators and academic leadership focused on exploration of innovative and promising approaches for addressing the research capacity needs of HBCUs.
  • The National Science Foundation, as part of Growing Research Access for Nationally Transformative Equity and Diversity (GRANTED) initiative, awarded an Atlanta-based HBCU consortium a $14 million competitive grant to establish a hub that promotes equity in the national research ecosystem and serves as a model for other HBCUs and emerging research institutions. The consortium includes Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Clark Atlanta University.
  • The National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on STEM, in support of the CHIPS and Science Act, established an Interagency Working Group (IWG) on HBCU, TCU, and MSI STEM Achievement. The Council provides a coordinated federal approach to carry out sustained outreach activities to increase clarity, transparency, and accountability for federal research agency investments in STEM education and research at HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs, including such institutions in rural areas.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced awards totaling $5.5 million for HBCUs to conduct housing and community development research to support the production of affordable housing, support homeownership, advance use of renewable energy, and address infrastructure inequity affecting underserved communities.
  • The Department of Justice has increased both the number of HBCUs applying for grants and its HBCU approval rate. Over the past five years, DOJ’s grant awards to HBCUs have increased 83% (from $900,000 in FY18 to $5.2 million to HBCUs in FY23).

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Virginia State University statement on possibly losing oppurtunity to host presidential debate

Virginia State University (VSU) was set to become the first historically black college and university (HBCU) to host a presidential debate. That was until the campaigns of presumptive nominees President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump announced a new debate schedule that would eliminate a debate at VSU.

VSU released the following statement via social media:

Florida A&M Vice President of University Advancement resigns

Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Florida A&M University’s vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the FAMU Foundation resigned from her vice president role amid the controversy surrounding a $237 million donation that embarrassed the university and its alumni.

FAMU President Larry Robinson publicly announced her resignation during a virtual Board of Trustees special meeting Wednesday afternoon that was scheduled to discuss the multi-million-dollar gift. Dr. Friday-Stroud will return to serve as the Dean of the School of Business and Industry.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

FAMU pauses $237M donation

The president of Florida A&M University announced Thursday that the school is putting a “pause” on a historic $237 million donation the Rattlers received over the weekend from Batterson Farms Corporation CEO Gregory Gerami and the Isaac Batterson Family 7th Trust.

The news comes after days of controversy over the gift.

FAMU announced the donation with a super-sized check during a jam-packed commencement ceremony on Saturday. But the school’s tone toward the funding swiftly changed this week after FAMU Board of Trustees Vice Chair Deveron Gibbons asked FAMU President Larry Robinson and Board Chair Kristin Harper to organize a public meeting in the interest of transparency.

“The recently announced donation would truly be transformative for Florida A&M University, an institution that is helping to shape the next generation of leaders,” FAMU Vice Chair Deveron Gibbons wrote in a statement shared Tuesday. “However, the reality is that little has been shared regarding the nature of the donation.”

A group of school leaders convened and discussed the donation Thursday afternoon during a FAMU Foundation Board Meeting, which was broadcast via Zoom. During the call, Robinson said that officials decided Wednesday to “put a pause” on the donation “pending additional information that’s come to my attention.”

“It’s in our best interest to put that on hold,” he said.

The group also passed a motion to form an “internal, multidisciplinary committee” that will audit the university’s process for evaluating major gifts.


Monday, May 06, 2024

Dr. Ruth Ray Jackson Appointed President of Langston University

The Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents announced the appointment of Dr. Ruth Ray Jackson as the seventeenth President of Langston University. Dr. Jackson’s selection follows an extensive eight-month national search that attracted several qualified candidates.

“Dr. Jackson’s appointment underscores her exceptional leadership and vision for our institution. During her tenure as Interim President, Dr. Jackson maintained continuity and stability and managed to build momentum. Her unwavering commitment to Langston’s mission and her ability to navigate critical transitions have been commendable. We are confident that under her guidance, Langston University will excel,” commented Board Chair Joe Hall.

Dr. Jackson served as Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to assuming the role of Interim President in July 2023. Prior to advancing to the Vice Presidency, she also served as the university’s Associate Vice President for Student Success. Dr. Jackson’s association with Langston University began in 2014 as Dean and Professor for the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Before joining Langston University, she spent 11 years at Louisiana State University in Shreveport as a faculty member, graduate program director, and department chair. Before transitioning to higher education, Dr. Jackson worked as a high school English teacher, assistant principal, and principal in public education.

“I am honored to lead Langston University into its next chapter,” commented Dr. Jackson in response to her appointment. “I love this university and believe in its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Our mission must be focused on empowering students, celebrating student success, and contributing to the betterment of Oklahoma and beyond. Together, we will build upon Langston’s legacy and create a future where excellence knows no bounds.”

“As a proud graduate of Langston University, I wholeheartedly applaud the selection of Dr. Ruth Ray Jackson as our next President. Her admiration for our beloved institution and the excellent job she did as interim President have been truly remarkable. Dr. Jackson’s leadership embodies the spirit of Langston, and I am confident that she will continue to elevate our university to new heights,” commented Sherman Lewis, a distinguished Langston University alumnus and member of the Langston University Presidential Search Committee.

“Our search for a new president attracted an impressive pool of candidates, which is a testament to Langston University’s potential and the importance of its mission. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Ruth Ray Jackson on her selection as the next President of Langston University. We appreciate the support of the members of the search committee and the Langston University community as Dr. Jackson leads the university to new heights,” commented A&M Regent Billy Taylor, who chaired the Presidential Search Committee.

About Langston University: Founded in 1897, Langston University is a beacon of educational opportunity, social justice, and community impact. As Oklahoma’s only Historically Black College or

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Morris Brown College surprises entire class of high cchool seniors with college acceptance

Morris Brown College President Kevin James attended Mays High School graduation ceremomy in Atlanta and announced that all 272 seniors had been admitted to Morris Brown College, a Georgia HBCU and Atlanta University Center member. The only stipulation is that they graduate with above a 2.0 GPA.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Virginia State University to Be the First HBCU to Host a 2024 Presidential Debate

Virginia State University has announced that it has been chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host a 2024 Presidential Debate. Virginia State University is the first historically Black college or university ever selected to host a general election U.S. Presidential Debate. The debate, scheduled for October 1, 2024, is the second of three scheduled general election presidential debates. The debate will take place in the university’s Multipurpose Center.

“We are honored and grateful to have been chosen as a host for a 2024 Presidential Debate,” said Makola M. Abdullah, president of Virginia State University. “This is a historic moment for our university and for HBCUs nationwide. Our university mantra is ‘Greater Happens Here,’ and we look forward to welcoming the candidates, the Commission on Presidential Debates, and the entire nation.”

“We have always been committed to excellence, inclusivity, and civic engagement,” added Eldon Burton, assistant vice president for government relations. “This incredible achievement will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the campus community, the university’s reputation, and the nation as a whole. Now people will know that not only does Greater Happen at VSU, but history happens here as well.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The United Negro College Fund Supports President Biden's Budget

The UNCF (United Negro College Fund) today expressed strong support for President Biden’s budget legislation, which prioritized urgent needs for our country—with an emphasis on historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Today, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is defending the president’s budget before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The budget funds federal programs, agencies and departments.

“The Biden-Harris administration budget for Fiscal Year 2025 is a strong document in all areas including education,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF.  “The administration has heard our recommendations, moved on them, and if Congress follows suit, then our nation’s students and HBCUs will be stronger.”

“For three of the last four years, President Biden has made increasing support of HBCUs a number one priority, especially The Title III Strengthening HBCUs Program at the Department of Education,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, senior vice president for public policy and government affairs, UNCF. “These funding increasing along with the inclusion of HBCUs explicitly, again, in this year’s State of the Union Address represent the administration’s ongoing commitment to support HBCUs and help them achieve the progress necessary for them to continue to grow stronger, as UNCF’s upcoming economic impact report will reveal later this year.”

Programs slated for funding increases include:

Department             Program                            Pres. Budget           Difference +/- FY24

Education                Strengthening HBCUs        $431.6MM               +$30MM

Education                Strengthening HBGIs         $108.5MM               +$7.214MM

Education                Title V HBCU Masters        $21.3MM                $1.07MM

Education                Minority Sc. Eng. Program $16.4MM                +$30,000

Education                HBCU Cap. Fin. Program   $20.7MM                level funding

Education                Pell Grant (maximum)        $9,898                    +$3,000

Education                SEOG                               $910MM                 level funding

Education                Federal Work Study           $1.23B                    +$30MM

Education                TRiO                                 $1.211B                  +$20MM

Education                GEAR UP                          $398MM                 +$10MM

Education                Howard University              $297MM                 -$7.018MM

HHS / NIH               Nat’l Inst. on Min Health     $527MM                 -$7.395MM

Defense                  HBCU MI Program             $100MM                 -$1.467MM