Category Archives: HBCUs


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…


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…


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…


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 …


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…


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…


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 …


Black Professors at Kentucky State Vote No Confidence in Faculty Senate’s President

Updated (4/7/2017, 2:31 p.m.) with comment from the president of the Faculty Caucus of Color.

Members of the Faculty Caucus of Color at Kentucky State University have voted to express the “highest confidence” in Karen Bearden, chairwoman of the Board of Regents, but no confidence in Kimberly Sipes, president of the Faculty Senate.

Last month the Faculty Senate at the historically black university, in Frankfort, Ky., voted no confidence in Ms. Bearden following a rocky presidential search. Black …


Faculty Leaders at Howard U. Surprise Colleagues With No-Confidence Vote

Updated (4/5/2017, 2:20 p.m.) with further details about faculty concerns over the vote.

Leaders of the Faculty Senate at Howard University, a historically black institution in Washington, D.C., have voted to express no confidence in Wayne A.I. Frederick, the university’s president, and Anthony Wutoh, its provost, to the chagrin and bewilderment of some of their colleagues, The Washington Post reports.

The vote by the Faculty Council, a leadership body of the senate, took place on Friday. In a l…


President of Morehouse College Has Not Been Ousted, It Says

Morehouse College has not removed its president from his job early, a college spokeswoman told The Chronicle.

In an email, Cathy C. Tyler, executive director of strategic communications at Morehouse, said a report of his ouster was “not true.”

An article posted on Monday by HBCU Digest, a website for news and commentary about historically black colleges, suggested that John Silvanus Wilson Jr. had been ousted three months earlier than his expected departure. In January, Morehouse’s Board of Trus…