Category Archives: HBCUs

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Howard U. Students Protest During James Comey’s Convocation Speech

James Comey, the former FBI director, was met with songs and protest chants at Howard University on Friday as he gave the convocation address, a video on the Politico site shows.

In the video, student protesters can be heard singing “We Shall Not Be Moved” in the back of the auditorium. In an interview, Jaquatte Williams, a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism, said that Mr. Comey could not be heard over the sound of the protesters and that he waited at the podium for the students to stop.

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Trump Administration Taps New Leader for Black-College Initiative

Johnathan Holifield, a consultant and former NFL player, has been appointed executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges, the White House announced at the opening ceremony of the annual black-college summit on Monday. News of Mr. Holifield’s appointment was first reported on Saturday by HBCU Digest.

Mr. Holifield will start on October 2, and his office will be housed in the White House, alongside a deputy director and an assistant, a Trump-administration offici…

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Former FBI Director Comey Will Hold Endowed Chair at Howard U.

James B. Comey, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is headed back to campus this fall. He has been named as the opening convocation speaker at Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C., and appointed the 2017-18 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy, according to a university news release.

Over the course of the year, Mr. Comey will lead a lecture series that includes five lectures with an array of speakers, the release…

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Here’s What Betsy DeVos Told the Associated Press About Higher Ed

Since being confirmed as Education Secretary in February, Betsy DeVos has not regularly spoken with the media. Last Wednesday, however, she sat down for a 30-minute conversation with the Associated Press to discuss a range of topics, including campus sexual assault and whether or not the department plans to take action on race-conscious admissions.

Here are the higher education takeaways from the interview:

Consumer Rules

The department announced in June that it would “pause” and re-regulate the…

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President of Financially Troubled Bethune-Cookman U. Will Retire Early

Edison O. Jackson, president of the financially troubled Bethune-Cookman University since 2012, announced on Tuesday that he would be retiring a year before his contract expires, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported. The news comes just days after the revelation that the university planned to proceed with a dormitory-construction contract costing $306-million over 40 years even though Mr. Jackson’s signature on the document had been forged.

According to the newspaper, the historically black u…

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Despite Forged Signature, Bethune-Cookman U. Proceeds With $306-Million Dorm Contract

A $306-million contract to construct new dormitories at Bethune-Cookman University is moving forward — even though the university president’s signature on the contract was forged, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

The contract was first made in 2014 with the company TG Quantum, which was created specifically to bid on the dorm project and did not have any other business contracts before its deal with Bethune-Cookman. The contract included an aggressive financing agreement that amounted to…

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Morehouse College’s Interim President Dies Suddenly

William J. Taggart, interim president of Morehouse College, has died, the university confirmed on Thursday.

Mr. Taggart had been appointed interim president in April, after the college’s governing board voted to remove the then president, John S. Wilson Jr., three months before his contract was due to expire. The board also voted to remove its chair, Robert C. Davidson.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Interim President William J. ‘Bill’ Taggart, a beloved colleague, father, and …

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Black Student’s Stabbing Death at U. of Maryland Is Being Investigated as a Hate Crime

A 23-year-old black student due to graduate this month was fatally stabbed over the weekend while visiting the University of Maryland at College Park, and now his death is being investigated as a possible hate crime, reports The Baltimore Sun.

The university police said on Sunday that Sean Urbanski — the University of Maryland student arrested in connection with the death of Richard W. Collins III — was part of a Facebook group known as “Alt-Reich Nation,” the newspaper reported. Mr. Urbanski ha…

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Texas Southern U. Cancels Commencement Speech Over Protest Concerns

Texas Southern University, a historically black college in Houston, has canceled a commencement address by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, after a petition demanded he be blocked from speaking and rumors of protests swirled. The petition cited several reasons some students found Mr. Cornyn to be an unacceptable speaker, including his support of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, voter-identification laws, and a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, among other issues.

“Texas Southern…

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DeVos Will Deliver Commencement Address at Bethune-Cookman U.

Updated (5/1/2017, 8:17 p.m.) with comment from Secretary DeVos.

Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, will be the keynote speaker during commencement exercises this month at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“Much like Dr. Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman University, Secretary DeVos deems the importance of opportunity and hope for students to receive an exceptional education experience,” says a university news release announcing Ms. DeVos as the …