Monthly Archives: June 2017

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Find out the latest that is going on in Higher Ed!

Fayetteville State University’s Department of Math and Computer Science Receives $2 Million National Science Foundation Grant

Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) Mathematics and Computer Science Department was notified by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of a grant award totaling $2 million for the “Implementation Project: Strengthening Student Success in STEM (S^4).” The project proposal was led and will be implemented by Dr. Daniel I. Okunbor, project investigator, along with Drs. Dong Wang, Daniel Autrey, and Khalid M. Lodhi. The award will begin June 15, 2017 and end May 2021.

Implementation Projects provide support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to design, implement, study, and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the number of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and enhance the quality of their preparation by strengthening STEM education and research. The FSU project seeks to build on previous successful efforts to increase the participation of African-American students in STEM disciplines. The goal of this project is to significantly improve recruitment, persistence, retention and graduation rates for STEM undergraduate students.

The project will utilize evidence-based, high-impact pedagogical practices to improve student learning and outcomes. The practices include: a professional seminar course sequence; assessment-based adaptive mathematics courses; student-centered active learning environment upside-down pedagogies; intrusive peer tutoring and supplemental instruction; and undergraduate research. The project will study the impact and efficacy of the flipped classroom and determine effect sizes of its adoption by examining students’ perceptions, learning and outcomes.

Fayetteville State University is a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina and the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state. FSU offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. With more than 6,200 students, Fayetteville State University is among the most diverse institutions in the nation.

For more information, call (910) 672-1474.

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Former Chicago State President Joins Restructured Executive Cabinet at Kentucky State

Eight months after a controversial dismissal as Chicago State University president, Thomas Calhoun was yesterday named as the vice-president of student engagement and campus life at Kentucky State University, one of several new hires made by newly appointed president M. Christopher Brown II.

Dr. Calhoun joins new vice-presidents from several HBCUs nationwide as a part of an institutional realignment, which officials say more closely reflects the goals of the university’s five-year strategic plan to grow enrollment and increase institutional effectiveness.

Other appointees scheduled to start at KSU by July 5 include:

  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs: Debbie G. Thomas, Ph.D. The former dean of Academic Affairs at Capital Community College in Connecticut. Under Dr. Thomas’ leadership, the school launched new degree and training programs in theater arts and insurance analysis over the last academic year, while winning multiple national awards for diversity building.
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore Vice President for Administrative Affairs Kevin Appleton will join as Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.
  • Clara Ross Stamps will join as vice president for enrollment management and brand identity. A former Alcorn State University executive with charge over media relations and marketing recently won theCollege Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s Grand Award for print and electronic media for its alumni publication, Alcorn: The Magazine. 
  • Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations: Rick W. Smith, Sr., MBA. Smith is the interim vice president for External Relations and Development at Kentucky State University.

According to Dr. Brown, the hires represent the board’s commitment to repositioning the university’s brand and value in Kentucky and throughout higher education.

“In order to ensure the five strategic goals in Kentucky State’s current strategic plan are met, academic prioritization and unit realignment are essential,” he said in an email statement to the HBCU Digest. “In fact, program prioritization is critical to enrollment growth and market credibility. This is the first step in building a strong foundation for maintaining and improving the quality of academic and administrative programs across the university.”

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If The HBCU Community Can’t Keep Johnny Taylor, Just Who Can We Keep?

Seven years and hundreds of millions of dollars raised since arriving in Washington D.C. to head the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and now Johnny Taylor will leave the HBCU advocacy nonprofit for a new gig; head of the Society for Human Resource Management.

The timing of the departure and the nature of the work may seem a little off for Taylor, but a closer look at the details reveals exactly why it appears to be a great fit for him. With extensive experience as general counsel and head of human resources at a variety of nonprofits and privately held companies, it is not a position which requires him to faceplant before he can gather his footing to start sprinting towards profit and positioning.

And that the last president to lead the organization earned $1.5 million annually doesn’t seem to hurt either.

But the real question is why would a guy who’s courted the attention of suits from iconic brands in sports, technology, and entertainment leave a job that puts his name as a sector leader? In the last three years, Taylor has made headlines in attracting more than $60 million in support of 47 public HBCUs from Apple and the Koch Foundation.

He’s drawn the ire of the Obama Administration for criticism of its detachment from black colleges, and the ire of black people for seeking the same from the Trump Administration.

Money and fewer political headaches is the seemingly easy answer. But if he feels like many in the community feel, fatigue is the real culprit. Working with HBCUs is mentally and physically draining because our schools miss so many opportunities to fill in gaps of missing resources with initiative and creativity.

Ours is a sector which can’t figure out how to keep a president for more than five years, can’t figure out the value of charter schools on campuses, can’t get out of our own way when it comes to engagement with the Trump White House and the Republican party, can’t figure out how to convince our children to attend our schools, and can’t deal with glaring realities about incompetence on our boardsentitlement among our alumni, and intolerance on our campuses.

And yet, we ask people like Taylor to keep fighting and selling HBCUs to legislative and corporate communities growing more skeptical with the pending collapse of the HBCU ecosystem.