All posts by Marybeth Gasman


A Response to Critics of Tenure

In the past month, I’ve been in at least four meetings in which tenure has been heavily criticized by those who do not have it or operate outside academe.

As an educational historian, I have written extensively about tenure and academic freedom, especially within the black-college environment. As a professor, I think about my own tenure weekly. I may do this more often than most professors due to the fact that I write a lot of op-ed essays and I’m fairly outspoken. I’m grateful to have tenur…


Leadership, the University Brand, Abuse, and Our Duty

What does it take to be a leader? I think it takes bravery, strength, discretion, integrity, intelligence, the ability to bring people together around a common cause, and charisma. What does it take to be a leader in American higher education? It takes all of these qualities plus the ability to figure out when the bottom line must be sacrificed for the overall education and good of society and its individual members.

We’ve read many stories as of late about the sexual abuse at Penn State and t…


Research-Focused HBCU’s Should Pay Attention to Fayetteville State U.

According to a 2008 report by the Congressional Research Service, many HBCU’s face difficulty competing for federal research dollars with other research universities. Federal trend data reveal that research-performing HBCU’s have not shared proportionately in the distribution of federal research and development (R&D) dollars going to colleges and universities. Although funding to HBCU’s has increased in the past 10 years in absolute terms, it remains only a small fraction of the total awarded to…


Debunking the Myths About Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

This past Wednesday, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund Summit took place in Washington, D.C. The Summit is aimed at educating and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI’s) as well as educating majority communities about the diversity of AAPI’s.

The summit came on the heels of the recently released Pew Research Center report titled The Rise of Asian Americans, making the gathering bitter sweet. On the one hand, it is important to have the issues of AAPI’s disc…


How to Treat Your New Faculty Colleagues

The fall semester is around the corner and at colleges and universities throughout the nation, new faculty members will be starting their jobs very soon. Being a new faculty member is both exciting and scary. It’s exciting because your whole career is out in front of you waiting to be fulfilled. It’s scary because you are walking into a new environment that already has a well-established culture, you rarely know anyone, and these new people are going to judge your performance, in many cases,…


For the Love of Writing

It’s summer and that means it is the time when most faculty members (and a lot of graduate students) are writing a bit more often than usual. I’m one of those people that writes all year, but I kick things into high gear in the summer. The fact that I do not have to teach in the summer and there are fewer students on campus gives me significantly more time and the ability to concentrate at a higher level.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been finishing a new book with my co-author Nelson Bowman I…


What Presidents Can Learn From Walter Kimbrough

I often write about Walter Kimbrough, the current president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., and future president of Dillard University in New Orleans. I write about him because he is a model president. He is a president of a historically black college and university (HBCU), but his leadership should be studied by all presidents as well as those looking to lead in the future. Kimbrough is about to make the move to Dillard, which has struggled financially and in terms of enrollmen…


Shame on Those Who Tolerate and Perpetrate Hazing

Today I read an article about Asya Trowell, a student at Penn State who was pledging Omega Essence, a little sister group to Omega Psi Phi fraternity (the fraternity is not recognized by the campus but it still exists).* Asya’s experience being hazed in the process of pledging made my blood boil (please read about it here). I know that some people (including my friends) will be mad at me for writing this essay, but frankly I don’t care. I commend Asya for speaking up and fighting back against …


An Attack on Black Studies and Black Scholars

Yesterday, one of my former African-American Ph.D. students, Valerie Lundy Wagner, sent me an e-mail message asking if I had seen a post by Naomi Schaefer Riley, a blogger for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Valerie is now an assistant professor and faculty fellow at New York University and was a Ford Fellow while a doctoral student. Valerie does work related to racial and ethnic minorities and college achievement. She was deeply offended by Riley’s blog post, which ridiculed black scholars…


White House Briefing on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

In April, the White House hosted a National Philanthropic Briefing focused on introducing foundation leaders to the strengths and challenges of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and its director, Kiran Ahuja, also challenged the participants to think about the possibilities for the future of AAPIs in the United States.

If you have not been paying attention, you might wonder why the White House would foc…