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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A&T scientist develops cure for peanut allergies

An agricultural researcher at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has developed a simple process to make allergen-free peanuts. The new process -- believed to be a first for food science -- could provide relief to millions of peanut allergy sufferers, and be an enormous boon to the entire peanut industry.

Doug Speight of the N.C. A&T Office of Outreach and Technology Transfer said food companies are showing a strong interest in licensing the process, which does not degrade the taste or quality of treated peanuts, and might even render them easier to process for use as a food ingredient.

Immunoassays showed 100 percent inactivation of peanut allergens in whole roasted kernels, and the processed peanuts showed no reaction in tests on human serums from severely allergic individuals. The inventor, Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, is optimizing the process further to remove allergens from other foods.

"We are extremely pleased that we were able to find such a simple solution to a vexing problem that has enormous economic and public health ramifications, both for peanut sensitive individuals, and the food industry as a whole," said Ahmedna, associate professor of food science in N.C. A&T's School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Peanut and tree nut allergies are the most severe of all food allergies, affecting approximately 3 million Americans, and causing 100 -- 150 deaths from anaphylactic shock annually and many more hospitalizations. In industrialized nations, the allergy has been rapidly increasing in children, for causes that are not entirely understood. One study showed that between 1997 and 2002, peanut allergies in children doubled in the United States. Today, an estimated one percent of all children suffer from the allergy.

Life can be stressful for families with peanut sensitive children, who must take extraordinary precautions to prevent contact with even small traces of peanuts or peanut dust. Tracking, record-keeping and labeling for peanuts is costly for industry, while schools and other institutions that serve the public have limited their use due to concerns about public health and liability.

Ahmedna's work on peanuts has been funded through a United States Agency for International Development grant. During the course of the project, he has developed many other value-added products and processes for the benefit of the peanut industry worldwide, including a process to remove a common mold toxin from peanuts, a low-fat, high protein meat substitute, an infant formula, and antioxidants from red peanut skins. The allergy-free peanut is the first in a portfolio of peanut innovations to be available for commercialization from N.C. A&T.

Ahmedna's process is expected to add value to a crop that is already economically and nutritionally important. Peanuts are the 12th largest crop in the United States, with a farm value of close to $1 billion a year. The Southeast is the main peanut producing region in the nation. Worldwide, the legume is even more important from an economic development standpoint. In developing nations, and Africa in particular, the soils and climate are especially suitable for peanuts.

Peanuts are not only important commercially, but nutritionally as well. Packed with proteins, healthy fats and a broad array of essential vitamins and minerals, they are considered an almost complete food. Their rich flavor, nutrition, fat and protein profile makes for a nearly perfect food from a food processing standpoint as well.

From his lab at Tuskeegee University in the early 1900s, the famed agricultural chemist George Washington Carver discovered approximately 300 food and non-food products from the legume. But despite their versatility, the allergy issue has caused the peanut to be viewed increasingly with caution. That might change, thanks to Ahmedna's work at NC A&T.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Iverson donates $100,000 to HBCUs

Allen Iverson did more than hold a football clinic, play in a celebrity flag football game and offer moral support to fellow Peninsula professional athlete Michael Vick over the weekend.

Iverson, a Denver Nuggets all-star guard, also handed out some serious money. Through his crossOver Promotions, Iverson gave $1,000 scholarships to two athletes at Norfolk's Booker T. High School, where his weekend events were held. The athletes are basketball player Myles Holley, who is attending Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. and hurdler Elaine Rhoades, who is attending Bowie State in Prince George's County, Md.

Both athletes were introduced to a crowd estimated at more than 1,000 who turned out to see the DeAngelo Hall stars defeat the Iverson stars 27-25, despite several tight spirals and long touchdown passes completed by A.I.

Iverson, a former Bethel star, also announced a donation of $100,000 to historically black colleges in North Carolina and Maryland. Over the past few years, Iverson, who attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has provided scholarships for local students attending historically black colleges.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Housing problems land Ala. State in court

Alabama State University has spent $1.6 million on a campus housing project still in the bid stage and is looking at hefty legal and hotel bills connected with the work, which will be completed -- at best -- at least a year behind schedule.

University officials announced the renovation of six dilapidated dormitories nearly two years ago; so far, two of the buildings have been gutted. Plans used by the university last year to obtain financing show the same two dorms restored at this point.

Some of the students who would be living in those dormitories will stay at a hotel when they return for the fall semester in two weeks. The board of trustees is expected to approve a proposal to rent 100 hotel rooms at a meeting next month.

The university asserts it doesn't have a dollar figure for the hotel rooms because the contract isn't finalized. It's paying for the housing project with a $25 million bond it secured last year; that amount was guaranteed to cover everything from inside demolition work to new furniture.

Of the $25 million, more than $600,000 has gone to TCU Consulting Inc. for overseeing the project, now stuck in the bidding phase for more than six months. The rest of the $1.6 million was spent on architectural fees and gutting the two dorms.

TCU picked up the project after ASU fired the project's creators, Ohio-based Marous Brothers Construction and Pennsylvania developer Gil
Berry Associates. The university contended Marous Brothers and Berry inflated their fees and underestimated the project's total cost.

With TCU handling the project, the first bids came in three months ago at more than $13 million over the Marous Brothers-Berry budget. To attract lower bids, ASU pushed the completion date back six months and re-bid the project. Renovation work now won't begin until at least late next month. Even if completed on time, the first renovated dorm rooms will be more than a year behind the original timetable.

"It's not accurate to say that we're behind schedule and over budget," ASU spokeswoman Janel Bell said. "The project calendar was extended to address high bids. It's premature to say it's over budget."

Continue reading: ASU housing drama

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Kentucky State added to federal list of HBCUs

The U.S. Senate has added Kentucky State University to the government's list of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The federal government provides funding to graduate programs at a limited number of historically black schools that are listed in the Higher Education Act. Because KSU previously was not included on the list, it was not eligible for this funding.

KSU, chartered by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1886, is the state's only historically black school.

In a news release, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who asked for KSU to be included in the list, said that Kentucky State's absence from the list was discussed when he met with KSU president Mary Sias earlier this year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Del. State to issue $48M in bonds to fund student center

Delaware State University plans to use about $48 million in bonds to pay for a new wellness center, swimming pool and student center.

The new facilities will replace structures school officials say are outdated and undersized. DSU hopes the amenities will help recruit and retain students, who will shoulder much of the initial burden for repaying the debt through a new $200 fee each semester.

Representatives from the university detailed the projects for a state advisory board Tuesday. After the presentation, the Council on Development recommended that the state issue the bonds on behalf of DSU. The school has full responsibility for repaying the debt.

The first phase of the $21.4 million wellness center, a strength and conditioning facility for student athletes, should be completed next month. DSU requested money in the state's 2008 budget to fund the second phase, which includes equipment and facilities for the general student population, employees and the public. The proposed $6 million swimming pool complex would be located next to the wellness center.

The school previously received $9.9 million from the state for the wellness center project and raised another $1.5 million on its own, said state Rep. Richard Cathcart, DSU's associate vice president of business services. DSU received $3.5 million in capital money from the state for fiscal 2008, about $13 million less than what officials requested. Cathcart, R-Middletown, said all of that money is going toward maintenance and renovation of existing buildings, meaning DSU had to find another way of financing the wellness center.

Working with the state means the bonds are issued at a competitive rate, Cathcart said.

The new student center, which is in the planning phase, would replace the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center. Cathcart said students who took part in creating the school's master plan named an upgraded student center as one of their most important concerns. He said the current structure, which features an auditorium, lounges and a canteen, is a "very aging building in dire need of an upgrade" and that engineers deemed it costlier to renovate than to replace.

"We have surplus classroom space, but our student center is below capacity for our current enrollment and when it comes to our projected enrollment, it's not even close," Cathcart said.

Members of the council wanted to know how DSU intended to shoulder the cost of issuing bonds.

"Obviously, I assume you'll either have to increase tuition or increase enrollment," council member Fred Sears said. "I assume for a $48 million bond you don't have that kind of money sitting around."

Amir Mohammadi, DSU's vice president for student affairs and university operations and acting finance director, said the school was reallocating funds toward repaying the debt and hoped the two facilities would create new potential sources of revenue, such as increased enrollment.

"The $200 fee will create about $1.3 million [a year, based on current enrollment] to payment of the debt service," Mohammadi said.

Four members of the council approved the project. Abstaining were Sears, president of the Delaware Community Foundation, former Dover mayor James Hutchison and Richelle Vible, president of Citizens Bank of Delaware and a member of DSU's board of trustees.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Miles raises $19 million for expansion

Miles College, the small, historically black liberal arts school with a place in civil rights history, has quietly raised $19 million for an expansion that would double the size of its Fairfield campus, officials said.

The school plans to add new student housing, a performing-arts center, a health center with an Olympic-sized pool and gymnasium, and a new School of International Studies that would teach Homeland Security courses and Arabic and Farsi.

Miles President George T. French Jr. said Friday that contributions from business and alumni have exceeded expectations, and the school likely will meet its $30 million fundraising goal much sooner than initially anticipated.

"We kind of underestimated our abilities," he said.

The $30 million capital campaign is part of a larger, long-term effort to raise $49 million for campus expansion and scholarships. It already is the most successful fundraising effort in the college's history, he said.

French said corporate support in particular has been impressive. The Alabama Power Foundation has agreed to contribute $1 million, the single largest contribution to date, and EBSCO International Inc. has promised $500,000.

The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, with which Miles is affiliated, has established a goal of raising $1.2 million.

In a prepared statement, Alabama Power Co. Vice President Steve Spencer said the company's foundation chose to back the Miles expansion because it believes Birmingham will benefit from a stronger, historically black college that serves students who otherwise might not pursue education after high school.

"It's a jewel that has been overlooked for far too long," he said.

Lloyd Noland site:

Most of the expansion would be on 41 acres just north of the existing 35-acre campus, said Miles spokesman Ricky Lee. The college bought the property, formerly occupied by Lloyd Noland Hospital, from HealthSouth Corp. last year. The old hospital will be demolished, Lee said.

Miles officials also are considering building a child-care center that would be open to students and the community at large. The expanded campus would straddle the Fairfield public-housing community now on its northern edge.

The college has 1,735 students now, and expects to have 2,000 in the fall, when work on the expansion could begin. Within five years the student population is expected to be 2,500 to 3,000, Lee said.

"We're going to need some place to put these students," he said.

Former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington, a Miles alumnus and academic dean at the school 1966-70, said the expansion will help the college continue to raise its academic standards, and help recruit both students and faculty.

Of particular significance is the planned International Studies program, he said, because it is expected to have direct ties to the Department of Homeland Security and the Central Intelligence Agency.

"It will become a resource for those agencies, providing students who are potential employees," he said.

The expansion would mark the school's high point since recovering from serious financial problems in the 1980s, when enrollment dipped to just 400 and the school owed the federal government $4 million. In recent years the school, which hosted meetings and launched marches during the civil rights era, has established a much more solid financial footing, building an endowment of more than $12 million.

In addition to its place in civil rights history, Miles has produced numerous political leaders. In addition to Arrington, its alumni include Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid, U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon and current and former members of the Birmingham City Council.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hampton breaking ground on $200M cancer center

The financing for it isn't complete, but Hampton University has lined up enough support for a planned $200 million cancer center to break ground, according to the school's president.

The center will be open by 2011, President William Harvey vowed in an interview this week, despite the school's failure so far to win the $20 million in state and federal funding he has sought for the project.

Harvey said major banks are advising the university and that bonds will be issued to complete the financing.

In the meantime, Hampton has been lining up support from local health providers and complet ing a contract with Armada Hoffler to build the facility. The private, historically black school plans a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, with construction set to start in August.

The facility will provide a radiation-type treatment that offers the promise of more effectively destroying diseased tissue with fewer side effects.

"We're bringing this to Virginia because there's such a tremendous need," said Harvey, noting that one of its special ties will be treating prostate cancer, which disproportionately kills black men.

There are five such centers in the country: California, Texas, Indiana, Florida and Massachusetts. Another is under construction at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Ultimately, Hampton University projects that it will treat 125 patients a day at the facility.

"There are some patients for whom protons are the only answer," said Dr. Christopher Sinesi, president of Oncology Associates of Virginia, who has agreed to be the center's medical director. He said he has had patients travel thousands of miles for such treatment. "It's such a momentous thing for Hampton Roads to have this.

The therapy differs from conventional radiation because of the way that protons interact with body tissues, said Cynthia Keppel, a Hampton physics professor and cancer researcher who is the scientific and technical director of the center. Protons are subatomic particles that essentially travel harmlessly until they reach a peak and release their energy. Using a highly specialized and expensive machine called a cyclotron, scientists can control when and where the protons will release their energy - in this case, against a cancerous tumor.

Keppel said the treatment can be especially valuable in lung and pediatric cancer cases.

"There's nothing experimental about it. It's very well known," said Sinesi, a radiation oncologist. "The problem with it has been the cost and complexity of starting up these centers."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Former UMES President Hytche dies at age 78

William Percy Hytche Sr., the former president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore who was a national advocate of historically black colleges and universities, died yesterday morning of unknown causes at his home in Princess Anne. He was 78.

Under Dr. Hytche's leadership, the university added 32 degree programs at bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels, saw its student enrollment more than double to 3,200, and its campus expanded and beautified.

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, described Dr. Hytche as a mentor for himself and other younger educators.

"He understood what it meant to be educated and appreciated the power of education to transform lives," Dr. Hrabowski said, recalling Dr. Hytche's positive attitude, humor and smile.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Talladega begins search for new president

A job description for the next Talladega College president has been outlined and the search is getting under way.

Board of Trustees Chairman James Thornton said the search committee has been compiled, and includes three board members, including himself, a faculty representative, an alumni representative and a student who was elected from all the campuswide student organizations. The next step is to have the advertisement displayed in nationwide publications for higher learning.

“Our plan is to aggressively begin screening resumes in order to find a replacement for Dr. (Oscar) Prater,” he said. “We feel confident we still have his leadership until we find the next president of Talladega College.”

After announcing his “re-retirement” on May 10 in a letter to alumni, students and faculty, Prater, whose contract officially ended on June 30, has agreed to stay on until a new president is chosen.

Prater made his first venture into retirement in 2001 when he stepped down as president of Fort Valley State University in Georgia.

After coming to Talladega College in January 2005, Prater made it clear his intentions were to lead his alma mater through its probationary period with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for its longtime financial instability. The college was given two years of probation to either remedy the more than $1 million debt or, in turn, lose its accreditation and federal funding.

Prater was able to follow through with his promise and Talladega College received a clean bill from SACS in December 2006.

“It’s a platform or a runway, if you will, where an individual can leverage off that success and build on the rich history of the college,” Thornton said.

Aside from experience and educational credentials, the board chairman said one of the most important attributes the future president needs to exhibit is a “successful track record when it comes to fundraising.

“Someone who will continue to build on the successes Dr. Prater has brought,” he said.

Also at the top of the list is a leader who can build strong relationships in the community with both businesses and citizens; an individual who enjoys the students and is interested in “what the whole life of academe brings to bear;” and someone who is a visionary who can “link with the past while mapping out the future.”

“We just need a champion to tell that story,” Thornton said.

Some applications have already come in and the group has set the cutoff date for some time in August.

Hackley named interim chancellor at Fayetteville State

Vic Hackley, who led N.C. A&T State University for the past year, was named Thursday as interim chancellor at Fayetteville State University. His appointment, effective July 23, was announced by UNC President Erskine Bowles.
Hackley, a former FSU chancellor, UNC system vice president and N.C. Community College System president, will serve until a permanent chancellor is chosen.

He succeeds T.J. Bryan, who announced this week that she would resign amid a number of problems at the campus.

Hackley is credited with uncovering serious financial abuse and mismanagement at N.C. A&T State and helping clean up the problems. A team of UNC officials and auditors was sent to the campus at Hackley's request.

A retired U.S. Air Force officer with a doctorate in international relations from UNC-Chapel Hill, Hackley is the founder of a firm that focused on ethics, leadership and community and character development.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Bowles said Hackley "tackles every challenge handed to him with full commitment, great passion and absolute integrity."

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dillard president charged with DWI

Dillard University President Marvalene Hughes was arrested and booked with misdemeanor drunken driving in April after sideswiping another car and causing an accident, according to court records. Hughes was visiting the California city where she used to live.

She has pleaded innocent. Her case will go to court in Modesto on Tuesday, but she signed a waiver so her attorney could resolve the case without her, according to The Modesto Bee.

Hughes has been Dillard's president since July 2005. Before that, she was president of California State University, Stanislaus, for 11 years.

She still has a home in Modesto, according to The Bee

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Estate of the late Ray Charles & Albany State at odds

Six years after music legend Ray Charles donated $3 million to Albany State University to build a performing arts center in his name, his estate wants to know why $2 million of the donated money was used for scholarships.

At issue is whether that money was explicitly earmarked for the center, since no written instructions accompanied the $2 million gift, given to the historically black college in Charles' hometown after he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2002. Albany State maintains that while the school does plan to name the center after Charles, the money was an unrestricted gift to the college.

Construction on the performing arts center, which was also to include a theater named for Charles' late mother, Reatha Robinson, has not yet begun.

"We're not particularly interested in getting the money back," said Ivan Hoffman, general counsel for Charles' estate. "We are interested in having Mr. Charles' wishes fulfilled. But if it's not going to be used for that specific purpose, we want our money back."

Charles gave two gifts of money to Albany State: $1 million in 2001 and $2 million in 2002. Hoffman said the money was always intended to help build the center, even though that was not put in writing.

"Mr. Charles always expressed, and the university always acknowledged, that Ray Charles was going to make a gift for the construction of the performing arts center and the theater in his late mother's name," Hoffman said.

The project will cost at least $23 million, said Albany State University spokeswoman Sophia Glover. The $3 million from Charles' estate is the only money contributed toward the center so far, she said.

"It has always been clear that we would use (the money) for our most immediate need, and that would be scholarships for students to attend the university," Glover said. "In return for the gift, to show our appreciation for Ray Charles, we wanted to name the fine arts building for him."

In a letter dated June 22, 2006, to Charles' longtime manager, Joe Adams, Everette Freeman - then the president of Albany State - wrote that state Board of Regents did not recommend the project be forwarded to the Legislature for funding.

"Consequently, we likely will not see funds appropriate (sic) for the building until at least the fiscal year beginning in July 2008, if we are lucky," Freeman wrote.

The letter said the $1 million gift is in a bank, and that the balance "was used for Presidential Scholarships."

"I was unable to locate any document restricting the way or manner the gift could be used, although the intent remains to use the ... funds alongside state appropriations, when made available, to construct the Ray Charles Fine Arts Building on the ASU campus," Freeman wrote.

Subsequent press releases and other references to the gift by Albany State said the donation "will support the university's efforts to educate young people."

Glover said the school considers the $3 million gift an honor, and that the situation is a misunderstanding.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ex-TSU president wants trial moved

Attorneys for former Texas Southern University President Priscilla Slade say media coverage has made finding a fair jury impossible in Harris County and want her upcoming felony trial on charges of misusing university funds moved elsewhere, possibly to Travis County.

They also want evidence seized at her home last year suppressed, saying officers overstepped their authority when taking items.

Slade is charged with two counts of misapplication of fiduciary property over $200,000. She denies the allegations. Jury selection is scheduled for Aug. 10.

"The trial needs to be moved because of pervasive negative publicity," said Mike DeGeurin, her attorney.

Prosecutors said a fair jury can be found.

"Harris County has a large jury pool and we can find 12 people who are unbiased in this case," said Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal.

Experts said change of venue requests are usually very difficult to obtain because they are costly and convincing judges that unbiased jurors can't be found is difficult.

"A lot people don't follow the news and know nothing about the case," said Sandra Guerra Thompson, law professor at the University of Houston Law Center. "And people who know a little about the case, will still under oath be able to tell a judge they can be fair."

Harris County is large enough, most judges think, that fair jurors are available, said Robert Hirschhorn, a jury consultant.

"The vast majority of judges believe," Hirschhorn said, "that in a city with 4 million people you can find 12 people who are unbiased."

Defense attorneys hired Richard Murray, a political scientist who directs surveys at the University of Houston Center for Public Policy.

The random sample of 85 potential jurors was conducted in late June. It included residents of Galveston County and about 25 people who live in Travis County.

"There's a lot of pre-knowledge here," Murray said of the Houston-Galveston area. "And a lot of it is negative. That case has a lot of resonance here. Travis County would provide a much more impartial jury."

Monday, Judge Thomas heard arguments regarding the defense motion to suppress evidence taken from Slade's home in the 200 block of Terrace Drive during a search May 19, 2006.

Defense attorneys state in their motion, filed June 20, that law enforcement officers overstepped the scope of the search warrant when they seized a laptop computer that was not named in the search warrant. They want information on the laptop and other items seized in the search suppressed.

Slade, 55, was fired in June 2006 after attorneys hired by the university concluded that she failed to follow university policies and state laws while spending more than $260,000.

A Harris County grand jury indicted Slade and three aides on allegations of misusing school money on personal expenses.

Quintin Wiggins was convicted of misapplication of fiduciary property over $200,000 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in May. Bruce Wilson's trial is scheduled for Sept. 28. Prosecutors had tried to delay or combine Frederick Holts' trial with Slade's but the judge denied their request and his case was was dismissed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fayetteville State chancellor resigns

Fayetteville State University Chancellor T. J. Bryan announced today that she will resign, effective July 23.

Bryan, who arrived at Fayetteville State in July 2003, said in a statement that she had mixed feelings.

“I love Fayetteville State University, and I am honored to have been able to serve as its Chancellor for four years. We have the best students in the world; they are bright, talented, and respectful. We have dedicated faculty and staff who give 100 percent to the university,” she said.

“I am stepping down as Chancellor so that the university may pursue its core mission of educating students.”

Mrs. Bryan was reportedly asked to resign after meeting with UNC President Erskine Bowles and Fayetteville State Board Chair Friday morning at his office in Chapel Hill, sources said.

FSU has been in the news recently for controversy with its nursing program and a state audit of its finances.

Dr. Lloyd D. Hackley, a former chancellor of FSU and N.C. A&T, is being discussed as a possible interim chancellor, the sources said.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Coca-Cola Foundation donates $200,000 to La. HBCUs

The Coca-Cola Foundation announced today that it will continue its mission to assist Hurricane Katrina victims by providing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the Gulf Coast region with a $200,000 grant. Ten students from each of the HBCUs selected – Dillard University, Grambling State University, Southern University System Foundation and Xavier University of Louisiana – will receive $5,000 to further their education. Ingrid Saunders Jones, chairperson of The Coca-Cola Foundation, will present the award to the HBCU Presidents during the 2007 Essence Music Festival Presented by Coca-Cola in honor of the landmark event’s return to New Orleans.

“We are inspired by the perseverance of those affected by Hurricane Katrina who remain steadfast in the journey to complete their education,” said Ms. Jones. “We at Coca-Cola hope this gift will encourage students not to allow the disaster to destroy their dreams of becoming the best and brightest, no matter what career path they choose.”

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners shipped more than 30 million servings of filtered water, juice, sports drinks and other beverages to relief organizations including the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency and foodservice partners such as Aramark, and pledged $5 million in cash to organizations such as the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army and the Coca-Cola System Hurricane Katrina Employee Relief Fund.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Howard-Vital to lead Cheyney University

Dr. Michelle R. Howard-Vital, interim chancellor of Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, N.C., has been selected to serve as the next president of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s (PASSHE) Board of Governors made the selection today at the conclusion of a national search. Dr. Howard-Vital will begin her tenure at Cheyney on July 30.

She will replace Mr. Wallace C. Arnold, who has served as the University’s interim president since January 2004.
Dr. Howard-Vital was named interim chancellor at Winston-Salem in July 2006. Previously, she was associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She also spent two years at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, as dean of University College and associate vice president for academic programs. She began her academic career in 1975 as an English instructor at Central YMCA Community College in Chicago.

“Dr. Howard-Vital has had a long, distinguished career in higher education,” said Board of Governors Chairman Kenneth M. Jarin. “The experience she brings to Cheyney will be invaluable as she prepares to lead the University into the future.”

Dr. Howard-Vital earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in English education from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bank of NY establishes endowed scholarship at Spelman

The Bank of New York has put up $1 million to provide financial support to academically deserving women studying computer and information sciences, economics and mathematics at Spelman College. The endowment will also create a lecture series to expose students to prominent speakers on a broad range of topics relevant to people of African descent and others around the world. The first scholarships will be awarded during 2008-2009 academic year with the launch of the lecture series.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Spelman because so many – 87 percent – of our students are in need of financial aid, and the lecture series will enrich the learning experience for all,” said Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum. “I want to thank the Bank of New York and CEO Thomas Renyi for recognizing in a tangible way the tremendous potential of our students to contribute to today’s global economy and for joining with Spelman as an integral partner in their success.”

The Bank of New York focuses its philanthropic involvement on ensuring access to the four essential building blocks of a strong community – educational opportunities, wellness resources, the arts and humanities, and housing. The Bank has been actively involved in supporting the mission of Spelman College since 1996.

“This donation to one of the country’s leading educational institutions highlights our philosophy of contributing to organizations that provide individuals with access to high quality educational opportunities and enrich their ability to contribute to society in lasting and meaningful ways,” said Thomas A. Renyi, chairman and chief executive officer of The Bank of New York.