Your Ad Here

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

TSU to launch new center for intelligence studies

Tennessee State University has been awarded a $750,000 grant to establish a Center for Academic Excellence in Intelligence Studies. TSU expects to receive an additional $1.5 million for the Center over the next two years.

The grant will allow TSU to strengthen it's curriculum in intelligence studies and prepare students for professional careers in the U.S. intelligence community.

TSU President Melvin N. Johnson said, “This grant will allow the university to provide students more focused exposure to opportunities in the intelligence career field. We’re excited about this project because of its long-term implications for students in the global marketplace.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Journalism Programs at 4 HBCUs recommended for Provisional Accreditation

Photo: The new $23M, 100,000 square foot School of Journalism Building at Florida A&M

When the accrediting committee for journalism programs met two weekends ago, all four of the programs before it from historically black schools received recommendations for only provisional accreditation.

If the recommendations hold – the full Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications meets May 5 and 6 – it does not mean any will lose accreditation, only that the schools have up to two years to come into compliance.

The four are Southern, Hampton, Winston-Salem State and Florida A&M universities, and they each failed on one or two of the nine standards.

All told, 19 schools came up for review. Both mainstream schools that received the provisional recommendation – Auburn and New York universities – failed the diversity standard.

That all four black colleges were on the provisional list raised some eyebrows at those schools. Some noted that other schools who failed the same number of standards were recommended for reaccreditation.

Susanne Shaw, director of the council,said there was no one-to-one correlation between standards out of compliance and whether the accreditation was provisional. "It depends on the degree" of compliance "and whether the unit had a history of problems with the standard," she said, adding that it was not unusual for first-time applicants, such as Winston-Salem State, to be given provisional status on their first try.

"I thought we had enough indicators that would have justified" full accreditation, James E. Hawkins, dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, said.

Hawkins said FAMU failed the "mission, governance and administration" standard, noting that its journalism director, Kimberly Godwin, left in October for a job as assistant news director at New York's WCBS-TV, leaving the post vacant. Hawkins said he was advertising for a replacement. Hawkins also said the council found "communications issues" between himself and the faculty, and that he was meeting with members to identify areas of improvement.

At Hampton University the site team cited a lack of academic scholarship by its newly minted professors and the lack of a faculty voice in decision-making.

Southern University also had assessment issues, and "didn't have enough faculty," Braima told Journal-isms. He said the team felt the school needed one more faculty member, but said he had already advertised for two – one to teach public relations and print journalism; the other for television and radio production.

At the mainstream schools, Brooke Kroeger, journalism chair at NYU, said she issued a formal response to its failure on the diversity standard. "You can rest assured that NYU is committed to the diversity question in all possible facets," she told Journal-isms. "I have no doubt we will have this resolved very shortly." Without elaboration, she called the judgment "a misperception because of events."

At Auburn, in Alabama, John Carvalho who heads the journalism program, said two African American faculty members – Michael Mercer and D. Michael Cheers – had left and no others had replaced them. He said the site team said the school lacked having a diversity plan in place, and that the percentage of journalism students of color – 8 percent – should more closely match the percentage in the area – the "low 20s" – or at least that of the rest of the university, 11 percent.

"Over-all, the department has been operating over the past few years without a diversity plan," the site-visit team wrote. "The department has not been inactive, and indeed, there have been some creative endeavors. . . But there has been no broad strategy plan guiding these efforts, and sustainability is a serious issue." The school also fell short on two other standards.

Accrediting officials could not be reached for comment, as many schools are on spring break, including Howard University. Jannette Dates and Barbara Hines, both from Howard, headed two of the teams that granted provisional accreditation to the historically black schools.

In 2002, Susanne Shaw, director of the council, said nearly one in four college journalism programs seeking accreditation failed the diversity criterion, though none had been denied accreditation because of it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

HBCUs Get Savvy About Fund Raising

Today, anyone interested in donating to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) can do so online. Howard University scored a coup when it recently hired the long-time UNCF fundraising director. And, Hampton became the first HBCU to complete a $200 million capital campaign.

Everywhere, there is evidence that HBCUs and their supportive organizations are becoming more savvy and aggressive about fund raising and development. More and more, these schools are adopting advancement models to enable them to craft a more cohesive and lucrative approach to development. Certainly, what we are seeing is not your run-of-the-mill HBCU fund raising anymore.

“Advancement is different because it attempts to move the institution forward instead of just raising money,” says Alice Green Burnette, founder and principal of Advancement Solutions, a development consulting firm in Palm Coast, Fla.

“Corporations are interested in getting the biggest bang for our buck,” says Noel Hankin, vice president of multicultural marketing at Schieffelin & Somerset and a member of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund board. “We want to be sure the contributions we make are being well spent.”

Howard President H. Patrick Swygert, is thrilled about having a former UNCF Chief lead his advancement team, is looking forward to exploring new opportunities with alumni.

“Estate gifts, if properly cultivated and pursued will have an impact,” he says. Howard also intends to prospect among the emerging crop of African American millionaires who are in their 20s and 30s.

As far as students go, Swygert says college is a good time to begin instilling the notion of responsible giving. “So they can understand that they have an obligation to give back,” he says. “We can do a better job of drilling that message.” He adds that it is a lot easier to start when people are students than it is once they become mature adults who are accustomed to enjoying the benefits of alumni status with no investment.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Texas Southern President Suspened

TSU's board of regents suspended President Priscilla Slade indefinitely Thursday night after spending 10 hours discussing her questionable use of university money on her new home.

The nine-member Texas Southern University board also voted to expand the outside investigation of Slade's spending beyond the $138,159 she spent landscaping and $85,000 furnishing her home.

Although regents offered no specifics, the probe will likely delve into the seventh-year president's use of three university-issued credit cards to charge more than $94,000 worth of meals, hotel rooms, event tickets and other travel and entertainment related expenses last year. Slade's employment contract includes a $50,000 annual limit for university-related travel and entertainment.

A committee of TSU officials will run the university in Slade's absence. The regents plan to meet again in May.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Hampton snags $400k in Energy Research Grants

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Hampton University's School of Engineering and Technology two seperated grants worth more than $400,000.

The DOE awarded HU $218,000 to develop an economically viable, iron-based catalyst to promote the commercial success of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis in the United States. Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is a process in which carbon monoxide and hydrogen, derived from fossil fuels, are converted into a wide variety of products for industrial use.

Using the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, clean, efficient fuels can be produced and a number of plants around the world are currently under construction or in the planning stages by major oil companies. Given the recent trends in energy prices, FTS is likely to be even more important to the production of clean fuels from coal. Coal-based FTS is important to the U.S. because of its vast coal reserves and because FTS represents the best means to make high-quality transportation fuels and liquids from coal.

However, there are two major barriers to the widespread use of FTS. The first is the severe attrition of iron-based catalysts, which can result in very poor process economics. The second is the production of non-selective product slate, which requires expensive downstream separation and processing.

The HU proposal, in collaboration with Louisiana State University and Clemson University, will address both of these barriers. "For the United States to remain competitive in the global market, energy independence has to play a key role," said Dr. Adeyinka Adeyiga, an HU professor of chemical engineering and principal investigator for the grant. "With the price of crude oil in the $60 plus per barrel range, this process is economically viable and competitive for production of energy from coal. I am indeed excited that this project is selected by DOE."

The DOE' National Nuclear Security Administration also awarded $215,000 to HU's Dr. Samuel P. Massie Chair of Excellence. The Dr. Samuel P. Massie Chair of Excellence program is a team of world-class scholars, researchers and educators, who advance research, enhance academics, promote partnerships, and affect outreach in the environmental sciences.

The Massie Chairs of Excellence Program is designed to assist its member institutions in producing top-level graduates in environmental disciplines and to produce groundbreaking environmental research.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Siemens establishes new Scholarship for HBCU Students

The Siemens Corp. has a established a new $1M scholarship fund to encourag with the UNCF and Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund to encourage HBCU students to pursue careers as math and science teachers.

Million Dollar Scholarship Fund Established to Encourage Minority Students to Pursue Careers in Teaching Math and Science

"We all know that good schools are impossible without good teachers," said Wilbert Bryant, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs, Department of Education. "The Siemens Foundation scholarship money will help increase the number of teachers going into America's classrooms. The collaboration of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the United Negro College Fund will assist 85 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in their efforts to encourage minority students in pursuing a career in science and mathematics."

The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund has 47 member public HBCUs; the UNCF provides operational support to the 38 private institutions. The two organizations will select scholarship recipients each year.

SU, Hampton going to the Big Dance

Delaware State gets NIT bid
Southern University and Hampton won their respective conference basketball tournaments and will and were selected among the 64 team field of the NCAA Basketball tournament. While Delaware State's basketball season will continue in the NIT.

Southern (19-12) faces Duke in the first round of the Atlanta region, while Hampton (16-15) faces Monouth in a play game for the 16th seed iin the Ninneapolis region.

Delaware State (21-13) will take on Northern Arizon in the NIT.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Del. State Trustees extend President's Contract

The Delaware State University board of trustees yesterday voted 11-1, with one abstention, to extend the contract of President Allen L. Sessoms through June 2009.

The vote was taken after a 1 1/2-hour executive session, and without accepting public comment. During the public comment phases, held about an hour after the vote, a professor, a student and a representative from the school’s clerical union expressed disappointment in the contract renewal.

The Board also approved a $40,339 salary increase for Sessoms raising this annual salary to $250,000.

Among Mr. Sessoms accomplishments are increaseing enrollment, establishing two new doctoral programs, and outside grants from $8 million to $30 million.

Trustee Norman Oliver, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said he could not vote for Sessoms because of concerns that the president’s actions have compromised the legacy of DSU as a historically black university, including his decisions not to hire minority candidates for vice president positions.

DoD, HBCUs Sign Pact

The Defense Department and 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities signed a pledge of commitment to support each other's needs during the DoD observance of National African American History Month held here yesterday and today.
"The commitment shows our mutual support of DoD and the presidents of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities in reaching out to our nation's youth to influence them to become better citizens," said Clarence A. Johnson, DoD's director of civilian equal employment opportunity. "To do that, we're working with HBCUs so they can learn the kinds of discipline needed to make them successful in life. One outcome of this, we hope, is that HBCUs become better pipelines for DoD's military and civilian work force. "

The idea is to reach out to youth and tell them how to prepare for their careers, Johnson said. "Certainly they must go to college, and HBCUs are a good venue for them to get educated, and DoD is an excellent place for them to work," he said.

Nine more HBCUs than expected signed the commitment yesterday, Johnson noted. "Up until this date, about 20 signed up," he said. "Each time we hold an event like this different times during the year, we get HBCUs to commit themselves with a signature. "

Johnson pointed out that DoD is working with HBCUs in support of a 2002 presidential executive order that federal agencies be involved with HBCUs to work toward enhancing their capacity "to serve as a beacon of personnel for use in federal programs as the kids come out of schools," Johnson explained.

Noting that the executive order promotes infrastructure and capacity enhancement, Johnson said DoD brings its programs to HBCUs to encourage them to enhance their research and development program to comply with DoD's needs and to enhance their enrollment of students in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Langston U Settles Discrimination Complaint

Langston University, the historically black college in Oklahoma, entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice in a race discrimination case filed by a white professor of English. The professor claimed that her salary was lower than that of black professors in the same position and that black faculty members were given preferential treatment. Under the agreement, the professor will have her salary increased and be awarded $30,000 in back pay. The university also agreed to implement training courses on racial discrimination law for all administrators.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

FAMU Researchers Developing Life Saving Drug Theraphy

FAMU Pharmacy Professor Dr. Donald Palm and a team of five graduate students are working on research that could one day lead to a life-saving drug therapy for stroke victims.

For over 12 years, the 42-year-old, Dr. Palm has been working to understand the intricacies of dying brain cells after a stroke.

According to Dr. Palm, “Once the brain is injured, the mechanism on how it recovers or how it degenerates is unknown. Really understanding those mechanisms is a wide-open field.”

What is known is that once the brain is deprived of oxygen and stroke occurs, the cells don’t die instantly. They die off gradually, even after oxygen is restored.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke affects upwards of 700,000 Americans a year and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Strokes are also a leading cause of disability.

African Americans are particularly prone to strokes and are twice as likely as whites to suffer from one.

Researchers in the FAMU Health Sciences Center ---which includes the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals Sciences, Institute of Public Health, School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Nursing, and Environmental Sciences Institute--- have a special interest in fighting disease which affect African Americans and minorities, including diabetes, stroke, and HIV/AIDS. Over the years, the FAMU College of Pharmacy has earned a national reputation and several patents for its groundbreaking research.

Dr. Palm became interested strokes after his mother and grandmother were stricken.

The Pennsylvania native was recruited to FAMU by former University President and now Regents Professor Frederick Humphries, the two had a chance meeting at a conference and the rest, as they say, is history.

To learn more about Dr. Palm go here ---> Donald E. Palm

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Southern Is Team to Beat In SWAC Tourney

The Southwestern Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament tips off tomorrow at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The tournament features the top eight men’s and women’s basketball teams in the conference. The winners will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Southern University is without a doubt the team to beat. "There's no question about it, Southern should be the favorite," said Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson, whose team lost twice to Southern this season. "They've got the most complete team in our conference."

Southern lost just three conference games this season, and each time it took something out of the ordinary to get the best of the Jaguars.

Texas Southern Collaborates with University in China

A team of Texas Southern University (TSU) administrators and faculty visited China recently to finalize an agreement for student and faculty exchange with Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU). TSU’s Department of Transportation Studies will work with BJTU to address traffic problems in Beijing and Houston. It represents an opportunity to pair TSU’s innovative Transportation Studies Program with that of BJTU’s, which is the premier academic leader on transportation issues throughout China. The agreement provides an opportunity for TSU students to experience culture and dynamics of a region that is rapidly becoming one of the largest economies in the world. The mission of TSU’s Transportation Studies Program is to provide comprehensive transportation education that builds on the latest data, systems and technologies.

Traffic congestion has become one of the most serious urban problems in many large Chinese cities.

BJTU is located in the Silicon Valley area of China. BJTU specializes in engineering, management, economics, science and humanities. However it is best known for its programs in information and communications engineering, management and economics. Its innovative transportation programs include transport and information systems, signal and information processing, transport information engineering and control, transport planning and management and industrial economics.

The university has about 20,000 students, 5,000 of whom are graduate level, and boasts 27 undergraduate, 88 master, 45 doctoral and two professional degree programs (MBA and Master of Engineering).

Another team of university officials are planning to travel to China again to sign a agreement between Texas Southern University and Renmin University School of Law, one of the premier law schools in China. Several TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law students have attended Renmin’s innovative Intellectual Property Law Summer Institute in Beijing.

Monday, March 06, 2006

MEAC Tourney Hopes to Do Better in Raleigh

At its peak in Richmond, the MEAC tournament drew about 42,000 fans and had a $3 million to $4 million economic impact.

Raleigh officials are predicting that the 2006 MEAC tournament will draw 50,000 fans and have a $2.5 million economic impact on the area. Both figures have been scaled back since Raleigh announced in June that it would host the MEAC.

Back then, the city based its predictions on information gathered by Richmond officials. Raleigh likes to take a more conservative approach to attendance and economic impact forecasting, Dupree said.

"We feel pretty confident that Raleigh is the place where the MEAC is going to come into its own," Mayor Charles Meeker said.

When the CIAA tournament moved to Raleigh in 2000, its largest audience had been the 42,111 it drew a year earlier in Winston-Salem. By the time the tournament left Raleigh, overall attendance had jumped to 110,028. In its final year in Raleigh, the CIAA had a $12 million economic impact.

As Raleigh and Wake County look to the CIAA to predict the MEAC's trajectory, there are obstacles. The Triangle has no MEAC schools, but it has three from the CIAA. The MEAC is only 36 years old, and all but one of its schools are former members of the CIAA.

As a result, the MEAC shares at least a part of its likely market with the CIAA. And the 2006 MEAC tournament is sandwiched between the more popular CIAA event in Charlotte and the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro.

"This year will be the feel-out year for the league, for fans, for the city," Casper said. "It seems to me that Raleigh is a place where the MEAC [tournament] could move to that next level, but there are certainly going to be some challenges."

The MEAC also faces some challenges with its own roughly 320,000 students and alumni.

The official host school for this year's tournament is N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, the state's only MEAC school. And the conference is not known widely for basketball. Home football games tend to draw larger crowds than basketball at most MEAC schools.

Other changes also have Thomas "realistically confident" that the MEAC will come into its own in Raleigh. N.C. Central University, currently in the CIAA, has indicated it would like to join the MEAC. Winston-Salem State University, another CIAA school, will join the MEAC next year.

Not Cute: Miss Winston Salem State Forced to Step Down

Miss Winston-Salem State University has been stripped of her title because her grade-point average dropped below 2.5.

Tiffany Richmond, 22, a senior mass communications major, is not alone: Thirteen students who held key titles or positions on campus were told to vacate their posts.

"After the official posting of semester grades, the Office of Student Activities verified all the grade-point averages of the Student Government Association (SGA) and the organization presidents," said Melody Pierce, vice chancellor of student affairs.

"According to the SGA constitution, all members of the executive committee must maintain a 2.5 grade-point average. All students who did not meet the qualifications, we asked to step down and select a replacement immediately.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

CIAA Experiences Success in Charlotte

The 61st annual Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association experienced record-breaking success at the box office during its first year in Charlotte. Tournament organizers announced they sold all 19,000 weeklong ticket books, and entering Saturday night's final session, they expected weeklong game attendance of at least 125,000 people -- a CIAA record, and about 15,000 more than the turnstile count for games last year in Raleigh.

Charlotte will hosts the CIAA through 2008, and local organizers said they want to keep the tournament there longer.

Police reported virtually no crime. Capt. Earl Mathis said Saturday afternoon, "It's (crowds have) been very orderly."

At clubs, parties tied to celebrities such as Magic Johnson and Big Daddy Kane stayed packed. Other events weren't well attended.

Fans were generally complimentary of the venues, especially the giant scoreboard video screen and the clean bathrooms in the arena. If they got what they paid for, they also paid for what they got. The expense of concessions were a lesser, but consistent, complaint. Al and Jill Elliott from Roanoke, Va., talked of lunch for two for $30, and $3 water. "You're stuck in here. You do buy in here," Al Elliott said.

VUU wins 3rd CIAA Title

Virginia Union University won its 3rd straight CIAA Title by beating Johnson C. Smith in the closing minutes of the CIAA men's tournament championship 71-64.

VUU(25-3) are defending NCAA Division II champions, and scored a win over Division I Virginia Commonwealth University this year.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

SUNO Opens on Temp. Campus

Students at Southern University at New Orleans returned to their campus for classes this month after Hurricane Katrina wiped out most of the school.

"We're back home at last," said Dr. Victor Ukpolo, SUNO's chancellor. Though we're just a few feet away from the main campus, we now have a place to call home."

Classes resumed about a half-mile north of SUNO's main campus, where storm-related damages have been estimated as high as $600 million. About 2,000 students registered for the spring semester, which started in mid-January. That's about 48 percent of the 4,200 who had registered last year before Katrina struck.

He said the enrollment numbers shocked him in a good way. "We projected an enrollment of 1,500 and as of right now, we're at 2,051," he said. "That's significantly higher and supports the idea that people want to come back (to New Orleans)."

SUNO was one of the hardest-hit campuses in the New Orleans area. Up to 11 feet of water destroyed electrical systems, ruined essential water heating and cooling machines, and fed mold after the water went down. A field of 45 doublewide trailers make up the university's "new" campus. The complex includes 26 classrooms _ each accommodating up to 36 students _ equipped with audiovisual equipment and a computer, a library, health unit, a cafeteria, administrative offices and areas for students to interact.

Crews, meanwhile, worked on completing the university's housing complex which will include 400 trailers for students, faculty and staff. Until those units are brought in and set up, students will continue living at the New Orleans Marriott. Shuttles will take them from there to the campus until the project is complete, possibly by April 15.

Ray Charles' Tour Bus donated to Morehouse

The midnight blue tour bus that carried music legend Ray Charles around the country has begun a new career at Morehouse College.

The bus, donated to the college by the Ray Charles Foundation, will be on display, and may be used for trips by student groups. Emblazoned with the image of Charles' famous face, the vehicle is fully equipped with 35 customized seats, four televisions and a kitchen.

Joe Adams, Charles' longtime manager, said, "This is where Ray would have wanted to be. It served us well and now we want it to serve the wonderful students at Morehouse College."

Charles and Adams each donated $1 million toward the center and student scholarships. Morehouse College president Walter Massey believes the bus will motivate other students who desire to be in the music industry.

"This is a fitting symbol to illustrate the relationship that Ray had with Morehouse," Walter said. "The Performing Arts Center, which will be named for Ray, as well as the symbolism of the bus will inspire our students."

Ray supported other HBCUs
Charles received an honorary degree from Morehouse in 2001. The legendary blind pianist and saxophonist, who died from acute liver disease in 2004, donated $1 million through his organization to Dillard University in New Orleans.

In remembrance of Charles, Albany State has received contributions for an auditorium.

"We are continuing everything that Ray dreamed of," Adams said. "We are branching out and helping other schools remember him."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Howard Grad the next Aaron McGruder?

"Watch Your Head" an new comicstrip by Cory Thomas , a mid-20s African-American cartoonist, and Howard University is set to launch on March 27th. The comicstrip will be distrbuted by the Washington Post Writers Group.

"Watch Your Head" is set at the predominately black Oliver Otis University, and focuses on six student characters (mostly African American but one a white Canadian).

"He has a real ensemble cast," WPWG Comics Editor Amy Lago said of Thomas, noting that a lot of other cartoonists launch their comics with a smaller number of characters.

Lago also praised "Watch Your Head" for its "character-driven humor" as well as its art, which Thomas draws in color every day. (Black and white strips are available, too.)

"Watch Your Head" is set to launch almost two months ahead of schedule. The WPWG move the schedule up because of the impending six month sabbatical of the "The Boodocks" foundr Aaron McGruder who is scheduled to take a vacation.
"Watch Your Head" has been in development with WPWG for about a year.

Universal Comics will be making "Boondocks" reruns available to those clients who want to use them during McGruder's sabbatical.

Check out Cory's webpage here ---> Cory Thomas Website