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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fisk U. president to retire

Hazel O'Leary announced yesterday her plans to retirement as president of Fisk University, effective at the end of the year.  O'Leary has been Fisk president since August 2004, and previously served as U.S. Energy Secretary from 1993 to 1997.
In a statement released Friday by the university, the 74-year-old O'Leary said Fisk has achieved top tier performance among liberal arts institutions in academics, student retention and engagement. She did not say why she chose this year to retire.  

For the past five years, she has been involved in a legal battle over whether the school can sell a $30 million stake in an art collection donated to the school by the late American artist Georgia O'Keeffe. 

To be fair, O'Leary inherited a school in debt and was  never able to devise a successful plan for turning it around.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ray Charles Foundation demands return of $3m gift to ASU

The Ray Charles Foundation is demanding the return of a $3 million gift given to Albany State University a decade ago because the college has yet to build a performing arts center in the late artist's name, the foundation says.
In 2001, Charles gave Albany State $1 million and donated another $2 million a year later after receiving an honorary doctorate from the college. Charles died in 2004 at age 73.
The money was given solely for the construction of the performing arts center, yet it only exists "on the drawing board and in an unapproved downsized plan," the foundation said in a statement.
Charles was specific on how the money was to be spent, said foundation president Valerie Ervin.

Albany State University spokesman Demetrius Love said the gift was never restricted and that the school continues to pursue additional funding for the building, which is expected to cost at least $23 million.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Johnson C. Smith Univ. teams up with Charlotte Law

Beginning this fall, Johnson C. Smith University and Charlotte School of Lawwill offer a dual degree program that will allow students to earn an undergraduate degree and a law degree in six years.
High-performing students at JCSU will be recruited for the program. Students will follow a schedule that allows them to complete their JCSU degree requirements minus major electives. Then, at the end of their junior year, qualified students can enter the law program at Charlotte Law. Full credits required for graduation at JCSU must be completed by the end of August following the students’ first year of law school.
Candidates for the program will be required to have a minimum SAT score of at least 900 and a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

$4M deficit catches SC State trustees off guard

South Carolina State University board members were stunned to learn about a projected $4 million budget shortfall, a deficit so severe that one trustee said the school was on life support.
Joe Pearman, interim vice president for finance and facilities, told the Board of Trustees' Finance Committee about the projected shortfall.
University leaders had hoped to have a $2.5 million surplus by June 30, the end of the school's fiscal year. Instead it will fall short about $4 million of breaking even.
Pearman told committee members that he expected a shortfall of about $3 million, which he attributed largely to the school's drop in tuition revenue from declining student enrollment. The University would also have to cover a $750,000 shortfall from the school's dining hall.
The Finance Committee and university President George Cooper will meet again to continue developing plans to deal with the shortfall.
The full board will meet Feb. 16. In a presentation to the committee, board member Maurice Washington said enrollment dropped from 4,933 students in June 2008 to 4,362 students in June 2011.
The school isn't bankrupt, he said, "but it's on life support."