The Executive Leadership Council recently held its annual winter general membership meetings, with a focus on sustainability and growth for historically black colleges and universities.
When HBCU leaders decide that they want to break the mold, they have to go so far beyond the norm, that its almost appears like a stunt. But its not a stunt; it truly is what must be done for a campus to gain a foothold in changing public perceptions and attracting more resources.
The question that must be asked is can HBCUs fiscally manage in these turbulent and uncertain times and still remain relevant as many state legislatures have continued to decrease funding to institutions of higher education?
The situation at Lincoln University and President Jennings' comments should give us pause and force us to reconsider the messages that we give to young women about rape and sexual assault. Are we supportive, or do we blame the victim? Do our college and university policies protect the survivors (in this case, women), or do they merely protect the institution?
The leadership dilemma for HBCU presidents is that of broadening access while also advancing high academic standards and strengthening outcomes. The data suggest that this will be a steep climb for most HBCUs.
Not so long ago, historically black colleges and universities were just a thorn in the side of the Obama administration. We will soon long for those days, because signs of the administrative shift from disregard to attempts at dismantling HBCUs, are growing in frequency and impact seemingly every year.
The Secret Service bungles cost the job of the director, ignited loud cries for a total overhaul of the service, and a guarded vote of confidence in the service from Obama. But the problems with the service, and the breeches, are only the tip of the iceberg in assessing the peril to Obama.
All of the most recent protests in Ferguson over the slaying of Michael Brown seem recent since the protestors have all asked for the same thing: That is to slap the cuffs on Darren Wilson, the officer who gunned down Brown on August 9.
This year, no one is safe when it comes to the ridiculous onslaught of ignorance about to people of color. Whether it was the media, celebrities, or members of our own community, the backwards advice and excuses for the degrading of our people was annoying.
Know the balance between deference toward authority and personal dignity. At times, you will have to exercise restraint in the face of humiliating circumstances. At other times, you will be compelled to take a stand. Both options require courage, but the outcome is unpredictable.
On this issue, Marylanders and supporters of equity in higher education nationwide, can't be caught with our hands up.
Republicans should explain poverty using more words than "single mother" and "culture." The unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, a town with 75 percent African-American citizens and double the poverty rate of Missouri, is a testament to the economic segregation faced by black citizens.
Waiting for HBCUs to "do right" or "do better" before giving our support only prolongs the 'do wrong' culture and resentment of the same.
Note: The following guest blog was written by George M. Johnson, an advocate for change in Higher Education in the African American Community. He is t...
I wanted to continue the legacy of brave students of color who proved that we are just as smart and deserving, if not more, than those elite and privileged that for many years dominated these institutions.
If we assume our own inherent potential and value as students and remain critical, we can begin to see the challenges that seek to obstruct us more vividly, call them out more pointedly, and work together across institutions to create change more triumphantly.