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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lincoln U. taps former AAMU President as new leader

Robert Jennings,  was named the 13th president of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania last week.   Jennings previously served four years as president at Alabama A&M University. 

Lincoln University,  considered one of the nation's oldest historically black universities in the nation,  has an enrollment of about 2,500 graduate and undergraduate students.

He will replace Ivory Nelson, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Jennings served at Alabama A&M from 2005-08. 

By a vote of 7-1, Jennings was fired by the A&M board of trustees for a series of alleged misdeeds - including not following school procedure in hiring a former assistant and paying the assistant for time spent away from campus.

While at AAMU he is credited with raising $4 million for scholarships and the school's endowment, a first for a AAMU president.  He previously held positions at Wake Forest University in NC.
Jennings denied the charges and sued the board. That lawsuit was dismissed because the board has immunity from lawsuits.
Last year, he was a finalists to become president at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.

Jennings will begin work in January 2012

Monday, November 21, 2011

NCCU conducting a top-to-bottom review of its academic programs

N.C. Central University has undertaken a massive review of all its academic programs that could result in the merger, realignment or even elimination of some programs.

“Make no mistake about it, this [review] will impact all the work we do here,” Chancellor Charlie Nelms told the school’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday. “We are trying to determine exactly through this who are we? What are the things we do well and the things we do not do well? We realize we cannot be all things to all people.”

NCCU Provost Debbie Thomas emphasized that the effort would not “eliminate or compromise the educational core” of the university and instead would “insure its academic integrity.”

Friday, November 18, 2011

Improved retention helps Morgan grow past 8,000

The number of students attending Morgan State University is on the rise for yet another year.

The student body now is a little more than 8,000.

“We saw an increase in our SAT scores in the process, because we are saying to high-performing students all over this state and all over this country, ‘You need to look at Morgan,’” said university president Dr. David Wilson. "Instead of waiting for the students to identify themselves as having problems, we've been reaching out individually to any student with an academic or financial issue and saying, basically, ‘What can we do to assist?"
Morgan State leaders have also noticed that more students are coming to school and staying longer. The student retention rate is 72.9 percent -- a 4.5 percent increase over last year.  That's helping more students receive a diploma.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuskegee U. launches $250m Capital Campaign

Tuskegee University has embarked on a five-year, $250 million capital campaign, the largest in its 130-year history.
“The landscape of higher education is changing dramatically and Tuskegee University is faced with intensified competition for the best students, faculty and academic facilities. In order to continue and further our mission, we must have adequate resources,” said President Gilbert L. Rochon.
The “Programmed for Excellence” campaign will seek to raise a quarter of a billion dollars over the next five years. Funding from the comprehensive campaign will go toward student scholarships, faculty development, facilities and infrastructure, innovative partnerships, campus life, athletic programs, endowed professorships and more.
Overall, the campaign will facilitate Tuskegee University’s enhancement of its graduate and undergraduate academic curricula; increase enrollment and retention; expand student support; grow the endowment; incorporate cutting-edge computational and analytical instrumentation; upgrade academic and physical facilities; establish a large and small animal veterinary hospital; modernize infrastructure; facilitate health care access; stimulate regional sustainable development; attain preeminence as a research university; and expand its global footprint. 
Virgil E. Ecton was recently appointed vice president for federal affairs and director of the capital campaign. He will perform his duties in the university’s Washington, D.C., office. Ecton is the former vice president for university advancement at Howard University. Prior to his appointment at Howard, Ecton worked for the United Negro College Fund for three decades. As the senior executive vice president of development for the UNCF, he raised more than $1.6 billion during his tenure. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Tuskegee's Kellogg Hotel gets a makeover thanks to generous alums

The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University got a much needed makeover thanks to the efforts of two alumni, Matthew and Roberta Jenkins, who donated money to refurbish the lobby, bar and restaurant areas.
Two other alums, designer Vicki Carter and project manager Kathy Webb, planned and implemented the renovation on a pro-bono basis. The lobby features new animal print furnishings that can comfortably accommodate 40 people and an imported blown glass chandelier.
“This is a Neiman Marcus, over the top, fantasy gift for Tuskegee,” Carter said.
The 10-week project used a mix of existing and new fixtures to update the look of the hotel while embracing its history. For example, in the restaurant area, the old dining tables got a new and innovative look. The tops were redone with an automotive paint treatment resulting in a unique and glossy, deep chocolate finish that is durable and easy to maintain. Columns bearing quotes from university figures, past and present, remind diners of the university’s deep legacy.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Southern U System branches out online

The Southern University System has partnered with Education Online Services Corporation (EOServe Corp.) to implement multiple online degree 
programs for all campuses within the System.  

 “Today’s student seeks a variety of learning options," said SUS President Ronald Mason. This is just another of them.

Southern University online, will offer  students the opportunity to receive Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sciences, and Masters degrees from the University.  No word yet on which particular degrees will be offered, the program should be up and running over the next 12 to 24 months. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Kimbrough named President of Dillard U.

Walter M. Kimbrough, Ph.D., will take over as president of Dillard University on July 1, 2012. 
 “We are thrilled to bring such an energetic, visionary leader to Dillard,” says board chair Joyce M. Roché. “Dr. Kimbrough is uniquely well-suited to help the university build on its strengths and chart a strategic course for the future.”
Kimbrough joins Dillard after serving for seven years as president of Philander SmithCollege in Little Rock, Ark., where he orchestrated a remarkable revitalization effort. Under his leadership, the college dramatically increased student recruitment and graduation rate. The university also adopted a new mission and greatly raised its stature by focusing on its core values and history as anHBCU and a charter member of the United Negro College Fund.
Kimbrough, who is among the youngest college presidents in the nation, is known for his active use of social media to engage and stay connected with students. “The depth of Dr. Kimbrough’s dedication to students is inspiring,” says Dr. Roché. “He is successful because he puts students’ success above all else.”
Prior tobeginning his tenure at Philander Smith, Kimbrough served for four years as the vice president for student affairs at Albany State University in Albany, Ga. He also served as director of student activities and leadership at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and held administrative posts at Georgia State University and Emory University.
Kimbrough received a bachelor of science in agriculture with a major in biology from the University of Georgia. He earned a master of science in college student personnel services from Miami University and a doctor of philosophy in higher education from Georgia State University. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

State Senator Calls for Dismissal of SC State President

SC State Sen. Robert Ford, a member of the Legislative Black Caucus, has asked the Board of Trustees at South Carolina State University to remove President George Cooper, citing the board's grade of D+ for the university's leader.
"It is time for a change," said state Sen. Robert Ford in a statement.
Sen. Ford says Cooper has had ample time to enact an agenda, but he "instead continues to earn poor grades on his leadership abilities."
This latest turn of events with Cooper is in a long line of events stretching back to 2010. In July 2010, the Board of Trustees voted to fire Cooper, but he was later reinstated after two new board members voted to reinstate him.
Ford is threatening to get Gov. Nikki Haley and members of the General Assembly involved if the board does not act in removing Cooper.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Savannah State opens new Student Union

Savannah State University recently gave students, alumni and  faculty a look at its new student union building.  The new $11.75 million building will house new office suites, study lounges, a dance studio, meeting and events space with video projectors and smart technology, and a food court.

Students voted in 2009 to pay an extra $150 a semester to pay for the building.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SC State plans $100 million Capital Campaign

South Carolina State University is planning its first capital fundraising campaign.  The full University Trustees will consider the idea on September 29, after a trustee committee approved the plan last Thursday.
Trustee Matthew Richardson says the campaign probably will start next year.
South Carolina State vice president Anthony Holloman says state support for the school has dropped dramatically.
Money raised from the campaign would go for need-based scholarships, building an endowment, as well as faculty development and perhaps a new student fitness and wellness center.

Monday, September 12, 2011

UDC receives $200,000 Kaiser Permanente Workforce Grant

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States has awarded  the University of the District of Columbia a $200,000 workforce grant, as a part of its mission to invest in the future of health care and help build communities that sustain good health.  The workforce development grants will support an estimated students with scholarships, equipment, and educational training in nursing, allied health, and health technology.
At UDC Kaiser hopes to build capacity in health related programs and purchase simulation equipment to enhance instruction.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Southern University pushes its faculty for pay cuts

Southern University “likely” will ask to declare a financial emergency next week unless nearly all of the faculty agree to furloughs and shorter termination notices, the chancellor said Wednesday.
Southern’s new chancellor, James Llorens, said the budget shortfall proved larger than expected and greater demands are being asked of the faculty. But some of faculty members are balking at the requests, essentially creating a standoff with Southern’s administration.
Declaring a financial emergency, called exigency, allows the administration more leeway to lay off tenured faculty and axe academic programs. Exigency is generally considered a serious blemish that could scare away current and potential employees.
Southern faculty are receiving “voluntary furlough and program discontinuance” agreements to sign. The wording includes furloughs equaling 10 percent of their annual pay across-the-board for all Southern employees.
The agreement does not guarantee that exigency, which would allow the university to force furloughs, will not be declared.
Llorens said unless 95 to 100 percent of the faculty voluntarily sign the agreement, university administrators would have no option but to call exigency. “I understand this is a difficult situation. It’s nothing we go into lightly,” Llorens said.
After initially agreeing to furloughs of up 10 percent last month, Southern Faculty Senate President Sudhir Trivedi said the extra demands and lack of guarantees change everything.
“They refuse to be fair and equitable, and that is why our offer is not on the table anymore,” Trivedi said, noting that the executive committee of the Faculty Senate unanimously opposes signing the agreement.
“We will fight in every possible way against financial exigency,” Trivedi said. “If they are bluffing, I am calling out their bluff.”
Llorens said he plans to meet with faculty leaders Thursday.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Atlanta church steps in to help Morris Brown pay debt

Cascade United Methodist Church, in Atlanta, presented a $22,000 check to Morris Brown College Sunday to help the college paying off a $500,000 debt to the U.S. Department of Education.

The funds represented the exact amount needed to help the 130-year-old college eliminate its federal government debt.

The U.S. Department of Education's offer to settle the college’s multi-million dollar debt with an amount of $500,000.

With Cascade’s donation, Morris Brown will have more than enough funding to pay the settlement, due Wed., Aug. 24th.

“We recognize the historical significance of Morris Brown College to our community and the world,” says Rev. Dr. Moss.  “We are grateful that our Cascade members have answered the call during these tough economic times. We are called to be a light in the community so we are pleased to participate in this vital way.” 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

McClaurin out at Shaw U.

Irma McClaurin, Shaw University's third president in three years, has stepped down.   Neither McClurin or the university would say what led to the resignation, both said it was a mutual decision.  McClurin is Shaw's 15th president and the school's first femaie leader.  She held the job less than a year.  She was hired Sept. 6.

"Shaw University has seen many changes and experienced challenges in the last six months. And with change comes transitions," the university said in a statement issued today.
In June 2009, Dorothy C. Yancy took over as interim president after the abrupt announcement that President Clarence Newsome was taking a one-year leave of absence and would not return.
Shaw in 2009 announced that it was drowning in more than $20 million in debt. In 2010, the university was given a $31 million federal loan to keep its doors open.
On April 16, the school suffered more than $3 million in damages after a tornado touched down on campus. More than 27 buildings were damaged.
The school mounted a rapid recovery. Classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 17, with all classrooms and residence halls open.
On Sunday, McClaurin said Shaw's financial burden had prompted her to seek new investors.
McClaurin said she planned to take her "Imagining More" campaign - an effort to improve upon prior blueprints - to private investors and alumni across the country.
"We still have a funding challenge," she said Sunday. "The goal is to boost donations more aggressively."
Board members referred questions about the resignation to Willie Gary, chairman of Shaw's board of trustees. Calls to Gary were not immediately returned. 

Monday, August 01, 2011

Work continues on new dinning facility at Hampton

Hampton University is completing construction on a new $25 million, 100,000 square-foot cafeteria.  The university broke ground for the new waterfront dining facility in September 2010 and expects to complete it by June 2012.   The 3-story facility will house two dining halls, one for students that will seat 1,500 and another for special University dining and entertainment events that will seat 1,150.
The building is designed to offer views of downtown Hampton through a 3-story convex glass curtain wall that will be the length of the building. The facility is surrounded by a terrace where eaters can dine outside when weather allows.

Hampton has been raising money for the new cafeteria since late 2006 and planned to break ground when reaching $25 million.  In May 2010, the University needed only $1.4 million more and a hard push was made to raise the rest by late 2010.   Officials are still encouraging alumni to donate toward the project.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fire Damages Tuskegee U. Dorm

A fire on the Tuskegee University campus has severely damaged a residence building.  News video showed large flames and thick, black smoke pouring from the roof of the West Commons apartments, described as a dormitory-style building.

University officials say the blaze began shortly before 5 p.m. Investigators say they believe lightning from a thunderstorm is a possible cause, though an official cause had not yet been determined.

Authorities say three students lived in the building during the summer session but were not in the complex when the fire started.

University officials say they are trying to find housing for students affected by the fire.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SSU hires former UGA A.D as "consultant"

Former University of Georgia athletic director Damon Evans has been hired as a "consultant" at Savannah State University the newest member of the Mideastern Athletic Conference.  Evans will consult on athletic matters.
The hiring come on the heals of  the dismissal of Marilynn Suggs as SSU athletic director.  Evans has indicated he is not interested in the job. 
Evans was hired by Savannah State president Cheryl Dozier to take a look at the university's troubled athletic department, including its administration and fundraising.
While taking the athletic director position might have seemed like a big step down after a six-year stint as AD at Georgia, Evans could have used the job as a springboard to a comeback of sorts.
Evans succeeded Georgia's head football coach Vince Dooley as athletic director for the Bulldogs in 2004. That came tumbling down on June 30, 2010 when he was arrested for DUI. He resigned from Georgia five days later. He pleaded guilty to the charge and received probation, community service and a $750 fine.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Alabama State economic impact approaches $1B annually study says

The results of a one-year study which measured the economic impact of Alabama State University showed that the school has a nearly $1 billion impact on its region.

The study, conducted by the Washington Economics Group, of Coral Gables, Fla., shows that the University's operations and related activities have a $901 million impact on the state's economy and in particular the economy of the three counties that comprise the River Region. The study further reported that the University “is a powerful catalyst of economic development for the state and for the River Region in particular.”

"We want to share this news because our long-term development secures a bright future for our children and grandchildren," ASU President William H. Harris said. "We want others to know the importance of the University so they will become partners with us. These numbers reinforce the importance of Vision 2020."

In addition to the annual $901 million state-wide impact, the University generates 10,500 jobs.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Howard Opens New Center for Drug Research and Development

The Howard University School of Pharmacy recently opened a new Center for Drug Research and Development in a renovated area of the school’s basement. The Center will provide 4,900 square-foot of dedicated space for faculty, students and outside companies to develop new drugs and drug products.

“This is a significant occasion,” said Beatrice Adderley-Kelly, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences. “This allows our faculty to be on the cutting edge of research and allows the school to partner with industry to develop new drugs.

Emmanuel O. Akala, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Pharmacy, will serve as the program director for the new facility, which was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources.

Included in the center’s numerous work spaces are a Formulation Laboratory, where active and inactive pharmaceutical ingredients are handled; an Aseptic Laboratory for developing drugs for intravenous use, and a Manufacturing Laboratory, where capsules and tablets are produced.

The center also contains an Analytical Laboratory to check to insure that products have the correct amount of active ingredients, and a Quality Assurance Laboratory for a final check of the products and packaging area, where drugs will be packaged and labeled.

Friday, June 24, 2011

SACS Rejects Fisk U. Financial Plan

Financially troubled Fisk University was dealt another setback Thursday in its efforts to remain a significant player in higher education when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools rejected the Nashville university’s financial update and added more items to the important agency’s list of concerns about the historic school’s viability.

At its summer meeting in Charlotte, N.C., which ended Thursday, SACS continued its “warning” status for Fisk until December, giving it six more months to address a variety of issues or face being placed on probation or dropped from membership in the widely respected regional accrediting body.

Fisk has been on warning status from SACS for more than a year, with the Atlanta-based agency repeatedly citing the school’s weak financial condition as the key reason for refusing to grant Fisk a clean bill of health. In its final statement Thursday, SACS expanded the scope of its concerns to include questions about whether Fisk’s administrators were qualified to lead, the qualifications of its academic officials and the school’s compliance with Title IV education programs.

SACS general rules grant schools 24 months to address “warning” status matters. In the case of Fisk, which has been in warning status 18 months, the SACS decision Thursday means Fisk needs to comply with SACS’s issues by December or the agency would be forced to place Fisk on probation or drop it from membership in SACS.

Removal from membership could result in Fisk being disqualified from receiving federal financial aid for its students, some 90 percent of whom rely on financial aid to go to college. Higher education analysts say such an outcome could essentially doom the historic school, a fixture in Nashville since the Civil War and home of the world famous Jubilee Singers.

Fisk had been hopeful its stepped up fundraising efforts would turn SACS around, had no immediate comment on the SACS action.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A&T to offer new Ph.D. in nanoengineering

The UNC board of governors on unanimously approved N.C. A&T’s request to plan a doctoral program in nanoengineering. The new degree program will be the fourth and final degree program that will make up the joint school, a venture between A&T and UNCG.

“It’s very important to our evolution as a school,” Jim Ryan, dean of the joint school, said about the board’s approval. “I’m looking forward to having both our nanoscience and our nanoengineering programs firmly established.”

Ryan said the nanoengineering program could be ready to accept doctoral students by January. The board of governors must give final approval before the program is implemented.

Ryan said the joint school will be one of a small number of schools that offer doctoral degrees in nanoengineering.

Nanoscience is the study of atoms and molecules smaller than 100 nanometers. Area educational and business leaders say the school and its activities will contribute to economic development in the Piedmont Triad.

The school offers master’s degrees in nanoscience and nanoengineering, and a doctoral degree in nanoscience.

UNCG is offering the degrees in nanoscience, while N.C. A&T is offering nanoengineering degrees.

The school’s inaugural class enrolled last fall. The joint school is under construction on East Lee Street at the Gateway University Research Park’s south campus. Students are studying in a temporary space on the research park campus.

The school’s scientists have taken on important projects, including working on a prototype for a handheld device that could help detect mild brain injuries.

Friday, June 10, 2011

'Bama State searching for a Prez

Alabama State University has a sitting president with a contract that expires in August 2012, but the school's Board of Trustees has reconvened it's presidential search committee and said it is "highly likely" the school will have a new president when the process concludes.

Trustee Marvin Wiggins, who is leading the search committee, said they have not talked to the sitting president about extending his contract, only saying that trustees are working hard to bring in a quality leader to run the university.

"If he (the sitting president) applies for the job, that's his call," Wiggins said. "But right now we're preparing because of the expiration of his contract in August 2012."

Elton Dean, chairman of the Alabama State University board of trustees, said "it's just time" to begin the search.

"That was our plan pretty much when we suspended the search. That was our plan -- not to discontinue, but to suspend," Dean said. "Now it is almost a year out before the president's contract is up. We wanted to get the ball rolling again before that time."

"We don't think finding a president is going to be that easy so we wanted to give ourselves enough time to do a proper search," Dean said.

When asked how likely it was that Alabama State University would have a new president after the search, Wiggins said "highly likely."

ASU President William Harris, through a university spokesman, declined to comment on the situation.

Harris was president of ASU from 1994 to 2000. He returned in 2008 as interim president after the departure of Joe Lee. Harris has also served as president of Paine College and Texas Southern University.

Wiggins said Harris was initially the interim president and, as part of negotiating his contract extension, Harris "felt better with the title being president instead of interim president."

"All we did was change the title," the trustee said. He said there were no other new terms or benefits.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Former Hampton football Coach files $7 million lawsuit against University

Former Hampton University football coach Jerry Holmes, who was fired in 2009 amid allegations he was seeking another job, is suing the school for nearly $7 million.

Holmes claims that statements made by HU athletic director Lonza Hardy and then-director of human resources Angela Dunn were false and have damaged his professional reputation. Holmes was dismissed following his only season as head coach on Jan. 26, 2009.

Then, Hardy told local newspapers in the Hampton area that Holmes was terminated because he was networking for a professional assistant coaching position at the Senior Bowl all-star game in Mobile, Ala. Holmes denied he ever interviewed for another position.

The lawsuit claims Hardy knowingly or with reckless disregard made "materially false statements" with the intention of "humiliating" Holmes. The suit claims the statements were "willfully designed by defendant to discredit plaintiff in his profession."

The suit, filed by attorney Steve Forbes in Hampton Circuit Court, seeks $6.5 million in actual damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

Holmes, was the secondary coach for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League last fall.

In its response dated Feb. 14, Hampton University requested the suit be dismissed. HU claims that each alleged false statement "either was not published, was privileged, constituted opinion, did not prejudice (Holmes) in his profession, or by its plain and natural meaning was not defamatory."

In particular, the response argues that all correspondence from Hardy and Dunn were sent directly to Holmes and copied only to "university employees who were in a position to have a need to know." Dunn was never quoted in the media.

Holmes signed a two-year contract to be HU's head coach on Dec. 31, 2007, replacing longtime coach Joe Taylor after serving as an assistant for the previous four seasons. The contract stipulated Holmes could be terminated for violating NCAA rules or making negative comments about the athletic department or university to the media. There was no mention of interviewing for other jobs.

The Pirates went 6-5 in Holmes' only season. On Jan. 26, two days after the Senior Bowl, Holmes received from Hardy a letter of dismissal. Hardy claimed that Holmes not only told his assistant coaches of his attempts to leave, he encouraged them to do so. Hardy called that "highly unprofessional and disrespectful" to HU.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Howard U. Class of 2011 includes Three Fulbright Scholars

The Howard University Class of 2011 includes three Fulbright Scholars – Antonino Eugene Lyons II, Jessica A. Cooper and Manjot Kaur Jassal – who will spend next year in Brazil and India respectively.

Lyons, received a degree in supply chain management, will work to prepare small Brazilian businesses for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. He will also teach English. In preparation for Brazil, Lyons will study Portuguese at the Middlebury Language School in Vermont.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Congresswoman's "earmark" improves Edward Waters Col

A $2 million earmark by Jacksonville, FL Congresswoman Corrine Brown has made much needed improvements to Edward Waters College.

Brown, a democrat, made a point of saying the improvements were the result of a congressional earmark, which funds specific projects at a lawmaker's request.

"There's a lot of negativity about earmarks," Brown said. "But this project would never have happened without it."

Yesterday, the school and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority marked the end of the $2 million improvement project. About $1.4 million came from the federal government; $600,000 came from the state.

Brown's earmark added new sidewalks, bus shelters, lighting, landscaping and improved drainage and signals and even the college seal in the roadway.

Edward Waters President Nat Glover said the improvements made the area safer and more attractive to future students and their parents. And he said he hoped the project would lead to a neighborhood revitalization.

"Our first goal is the campus," he said. "But we also hope this spurs improvements in the community."

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hampton U. receives $1m gift from it's President

Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and Mrs. Norma B. Harvey have donated $1 million to Hampton University to be used as incentives to increase faculty salaries. This is the second $1 million gift they made to the University. For the academic year 2011-12, every Hampton University faculty member will receive at least a three percent increase.

The Harveys’ donation will provide additional funds to faculty members who have received grants, published articles in refereed journals, and provided significant service to Hampton University. Under this arrangement some faculty members may be able to receive salary increases up to eight percent.

In 2001, President and Mrs. Harvey donated $1 million to fund a scholarship, dedicated specifically for high school students from Hampton and Newport News interested in becoming teachers.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Southern University Baton Rouge chancellor chosen

The Southern University System's Board of Supervisors has chosen James L. Llorens as the next chancellor of its Baton Rouge Campus.

Llorens currently serves as the assistant chief administrative officer for the Office of the Baton Rouge Mayor-President. Before that, he was dean of graduate studies, chair of Southern's political science department and associate professor of public administration on the Baton Rouge campus.

"Having worked in both state government and academia, Llorens has a clear understanding of what it takes to lead the Baton Rouge campus," Darren Mire, chairman of the SUS Board, said in a Friday news release.

The board voted 11-4 for Llorens, one of three finalists named by a search committee last week.

System President Ronald Mason Jr. expressed his displeasure with the outcome after that meeting, but said he would follow the process.

Mason had praised Michael Sorrell of Paul Quinn College in Dallas and Philander Smith College President Walter Kimbrough as two rising stars in the historically black college community. Kimbrough was invited to interview, but withdrew his candidacy. Sorrell was not among the three semifinalists.

Llorens is a native of Alexandria. He received his B.A. from Loyola University, MS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. He will replace Kofi Lomotey, who resigned under pressure in November, effective June 30.

Llorens was among the finalists for chancellor in 2008 , when Lomotey was chosen.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Morris Brown to settle $10 million in fed debt

Morris Brown College is expected to settle nearly $10 million in debt for pennies on the dollar in an agreement pending with the U.S. Education Department.

In the April 7 letter, obtained by The Associated Press, the Education Department said it will forgive more than $9.4 million in debt, provided Morris Brown pays the remaining $500,000. The deal would help the college overcome a major hurdle in its efforts to regain accreditation.

Morris Brown College President Stanley Pritchett said the settlement agreement could be finalized as soon as May 1 and that the payment would be due within 90 days of the signed deal. The letter, signed by Department of Education counsel Russell B. Wolff, says the agreement must also be approved by the Department of Justice.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Former SU athletic director files suit

Former Southern University Athletic Director Greg LaFleur, who was fired three days after his April 3 arrest on a misdemeanor prostitution count in Houston, is suing the school for breach of contract.

LaFleur contends in a lawsuit that Southern fired him “before giving him written notice and an opportunity to refute the alleged cause’’ for his termination.

LaFleur is seeking damages, including his base salary for the remaining term of his contract, which he says was to expire June 30, 2013.

The suit was filed Thursday in Baton Rouge state court.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yarbrough out at SSU

The Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia has voted not to renew the contract of Savannah State University President Earl G. Yarbrough yesterday. The Regents did not give a reason for its decision and held deliberations behind closed doors.

Yarbrough is a finalist to lead Southern University Baton Rouge.

The 64-year-old Yarbrough received the highest ranking among candidates for the Southern University post and is expected to be interviewed later this week, along with five other candidates.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Southern fires AD following arrest

Southern University Athletic Director Greg LaFleur was fired Wednesday following his arrest Sunday night on a misdemeanor prostitution count in downtown Houston.

SU Chancellor Kofi Lomotey announced LaFleur's dismissal in a university news release Wednesday night, a little more than 72 hours after the 52-year-old LaFleur was arrested during a prostitution sting.

Lomotey said his decision to fire LaFleur, who was hired in 2005, is one that had to be made - and made quickly - for the overall stability of Southern's athletic program.

He said the school will launch a nationwide search for a new athletic director.

LaFleur, a former LSU and NFL tight end, was attending the NCAA men's Final Four in Houston last weekend seeking potential candidates for the va-cant SU basketball job.

Houston police said LaFleur was arrested at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. According to the criminal complaint filed by Houston police, LaFleur is accused of so-liciting a person to engage in "sexual intercourse for hire."

After his arrest, LaFleur was taken to the Harris County Jail. He was released on a $500 bond at noon Monday and is scheduled to appear in the Harris County Criminal Court on April 11.

Attempts to reach LaFleur on Tuesday and Wednesday were unsuccessful because the voicemail on his cell phone was full.


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Xavier U of LA to construct new 4,500 seat arena

Xavier University of Louisiana announced plans last week to construct a 4,500-seat Convocation Academic Center that will serve as the home for XULA athletics and other large campus events. Construction is expected to begin in May with anticipated completion in summer 2012.

The Convocation Academic Center also will contain classrooms, offices and meeting spaces. A regulation-size auxiliary basketball court also will be included to add flexibility in scheduling practices for the basketball and volleyball teams.

"This new arena will be a tremendous addition for Xavier athletics," XU Athletics Director Dennis Cousin said. "It will upgrade our already excellent programs and take them a notch higher. It will be a big boost to us in recruiting."

"There also are plans to construct tennis courts in the near future not far from the Convocation Academic Center," Cousin said. "This will give our nationally ranked tennis teams the ability to not only practice on campus but to also host dual matches, something we haven't done in decades."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Howard MBA Program Ranked in Top Ten

The Howard University MBA program has been named sixth on the U.S. News and World Report list of "10 M.B.A.s With Most Financial Value at Graduation." The list ranks the 10 business programs where graduates earn the most in their first year relative to their debt load. Howard is the only Historically Black College and University on the list and is also listed in the top 100 schools in the U.S. News Business School ranking.

"The School of Business is proud that we continue to be recognized among leading business schools," said Dean Barron H. Harvey, Ph.D. "This honor validates the hard work of the faculty, staff, students, alumni and corporate partners who provide tremendous support and continue to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of academic excellence."

The Howard University School of Business, as it is known today, was founded 40 years ago, but its roots date back to 1870, when the Board of Trustees of Howard University approved the establishment of a school of Commerce in conjunction with the Freedman's Saving Bank and Trust Company.

In 1970, the present-day School of Business was founded, with Dr. Milton Wilson as Dean. Over the years that followed, the School of Business' prominence within Howard University grew, as the school became the second largest among schools and colleges within the University in terms of enrollment, and firmly established its reputation for excellence in both the academic and business communities.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NC Central among the most popular in the nation

The law school at N.C. Central University, along with Yale and Harvard, has been selected as one of the nation's most popular law schools.

U.S. News & World Report ranks NCCU ninth on its new list, which is headed by Yale, followed by Brigham Young University and then Harvard. Central is the only North Carolina law school on the popular list.

The list is based on the percentage of students admitted to a particular school who actually choose to enroll there. For 2010, the NCCU law school had an admission yield of 49.6 percent. Of 415 applicants accepted by the school, 206 subsequently enrolled there. By comparison, around 80 percent of the applicants accepted by Yale chose to go there.

Other schools in the ranking included Southern University, Liberty University, the University of Oklahoma, Regent University, the University of Memphis, and the University of New Mexico.

This isn't the first time the NCCU law school has been highly ranked.

It had previously been rated as the nation's best value for law schools for two years in a row by National Jurist Magazine.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuskegee to offer three new degree programs

Tuskegee University is primed to offer three new academic programs this fall after their board approved the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Master of Public Health and Master of Science in Public Health degree.

“The approval of these programs is in line with the president’s vision and mandate to increase enrollment,” said Dr. Luther S. Williams, Tuskegee provost.

The information technology degree will be offered in the College of Business and Information Science.

“The IT program takes advantage of the growing IT workforce needs on a national and global basis,” Williams said. “Tuskegee University will be a major producer of IT professionals, subsequently increasing the enrollment of CBIS.”

The public health programs will be offered in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health. The degree programs in public health will prepare students to face the current public health and disparity issues that disproportionately affect the rural, disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S.

Williams said most of the programs have faculty in place. Recruitment efforts have been approved to find additional instructors.

The Board also authorized approval for Tuskegee to research and develop several other programs the Master of Arts in Humanities-Bioethics; Master of Science in Psychology; Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering; Ph.D. in Veterinary Science; undergraduate degree in civil engineering; undergraduate degree in forensic science; and undergraduate degree in mass communication.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sessoms: UDC hurt by DC policies

UDC President Allen Sessoms says his efforts to revitalize the school are hampered by some DC policies, including the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program, which since 1991 has been giving residents up to $10,000 to attend colleges in other states and up to $2,500 to attend private universities in the city.

“The program is a disincentive for students who want to go to UDC,” said Mr. Sessoms. “The District’s high school graduates get zero dollars to attend UDC but the program pays instead for them to attend Michigan, Virginia or Maryland or other states, and the money is not needs-based. Even residents who attend private universities in the District receive tuition assistance. They’re going to Trinity, American, George Washington, Princeton.”

The competition posed by those tuition grants and more prestigious degrees is heightened by the city’s consistently high unemployment, illiteracy and dropout rates, and failure to meet the demands of the 21st-century global labor market.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dillard University president stepping down

Dillard University President Marvalene Hughes announced her plans to retire in the next few months.

Hughes was hired less than two months before 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded by Hurricane Katrina, has been credited with spurring the institution's post-Katrina recovery and helping Dillard to regain its footing.

Prior to coming to Dillard, Hughes served as president of the University of California at Stanislaus, where she oversaw more than $70 million in infrastructural campus improvements, and was credited with increasing enrollment by 40 percent and achieving many national rankings for the first time in the institution's history.

Dr. Hughes received her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University and her Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Hughes took over the helm at Dillard in July 2005 and said it has been a challenge to serve the institution and help rebuild the historically Black school since Hurricane Katrina.

"It has been challenging and rewarding to serve 'Fair Dillard' over the past six years," Dr. Hughes said. "It was an honor to play a role in rebuilding Dillard, following its devastation at the hands of Hurricane Katrina. Because of your faith in Dillard's rich legacy, together, we have not only preserved the heritage of this stellar institution, but brought it to new heights, positioning Dillard for greater achievements in the 21st century.

"In the months ahead, I will be working tirelessly to sustain and build upon our many successes, and to identify new opportunities to secure Dillard's future," Hughes continued. "We will continue to focus heavily on fundraising to enable us to rebuild Dillard's entire campus.

Dillard University is expected to soon begin its search for her successor.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Alabama State cafeteria fight leads to arrest

A cafeteria fight on the campus of Alabama State University has lead to a full investigation and one arrest by campus police.

The fight involved two groups of students, and resulted in no serious injuries. The fight involved hundreds of students was videotaped and is making its way around the web.

For the moment, ASU Police are not releasing any specifics because they don't want to jeopardize the investigation.

They did tell us the altercation involved only students.

"Most important is that the safety of our students, staff and our faculty is paramount so it's going to be investigated and anyone who is found to be in violation of ASU's zero tolerance policy on violence will be dealt with judiciously," stated ASU's Police Chief Huey Thornton.

Since it's early in the investigation, Thornton says he can't say who was involved or how many students.

Link to fight vide here

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

JSU Professors Create Possible Prostate Cancer Treatment

A team of researchers at Jackson State University have created a possible treatment for prostate cancer using particles that are about 80,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

But their potential is massive, said Paresh Ray, who led JSU’s research team.

“The particles can be used in three ways: detecting the cancer cells, killing them and monitoring the treatment to see if it is working,” he said.

It’s that monitoring capacity in particular that is new, Paresh wrote in an article published recently in The Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Reading over an abstract of Ray’s report, Dr. Charles Pound, chief of urology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said, “This could be something that is so novel and exciting that they win the Nobel Prize.