Create a free Diverse: Issues In Higher Education account to continue reading

Are HBCUs Necessary

As a new school year begins, historically black colleges have been making news.

The United Negro College Fund sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Andrew Bremberg, the White House domestic policy council director, on August 23, asking them to postpone a conference between leaders of HBCUs and the Administration until it demonstrates a commitment to such institutions.

The UNCF said the meeting should not be held until a director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs is in place and the administration has developed a “meaningful plan of actions with concrete commitments to invest in and advance HBCUs.” Leaders of HBCUs met with the president in the Oval Office on February  27 in a highly publicized photo op but have little to show for it.

Meanwhile, Cheyney University won a chance for survival after the Pennsylvania state university system agreed to forgive $30 million in loans if the university balances its budget for the next four years.

The reprieve will allow the nation’s oldest historically black university, founded in 1837, to maintain its accreditation.

“Cheyney University cannot survive without accreditation, period,” Cynthia D. Shapira, chair of the board of governors, said. “And today’s serious actions give Cheyney the path forward.”

Howard University also made news by inviting former FBI Director James Comey to deliver the keynote speech at its opening convocation to welcome the class of 2021 on Sept. 22 and appointing him to fill its endowed chair in public policy for the school year. In that post, he will deliver a series of lectures to the Howard community. Comey plans to donate $100,000 he would receive from the endowment fund to a scholarship fund for Howard students who have been in foster care, according to the university.

These developments come at a time when the role and relevance of black colleges have often come into question. One of our selections from for back-to-school reading offers ammunition for the debate on whether historically black institutions of higher learning still matter.


How Black Colleges Empower Black Students, by Frank W. Hale, Jr. and Karen A. Holbrook, $22.46, (List price:  $24.95), Stylus Publishing, ISBN: 9781579221454, pp. 288.

In this book, contributors from HBCUs detail strategies that help them attract, retain and graduate students who often come from low-income households and are not always fully prepared for college work.  The book also underscores the relevance and necessity of having colleges that focus on this vulnerable population of students and produce successful graduates. At the same time, this volume addresses challenges HBCUs must confront to continue to be a force in the education of tomorrow’s students.


Here are some other books from recommended for back-to-school reading:

Black Boys Can Make It, $26.95, (List price:  $29.95), by Cheron Byfield, Stylus Publishing, ISBN: 9781858564319, pp. 168.

Challenging the narrative that black males do not or cannot achieve academic success, this book documents the success of black men in higher education in the United States and the United Kingdom in higher education. The book seeks to examine factors that contributed to the students’ achievements, as well as obstacles that could have derailed their education.


Creating and Maintaining Safe College Campuses, by Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Melvin Cleveland Terrell, Constance B. Clery and Gregory Roberts $58.50: (List price:  $65), Stylus Publishing, ISBN: 9781579221249, pp. 286

The job of keeping campuses safe has become increasingly complicated in a diverse climate, and this book is meant to make sure college and university staff are up to the challenges. In the wake of the recent violence surrounding campus protests, this book offers timely advice on handling hate crimes and confronting discrimination on campus, as well as on other safety issues, such as binge drinking and sexual harassment. It offers perspectives on different types of institutions and provides guidelines for administrators, faculty and policy makers.


University Students Behaving Badly, by Deborah Lee, $26.95, (List Price: $29.95), Stylus Publishing, ISBN 9781858563695, pp. 192.

This book explores issues related to student conduct toward faculty, including sexual harassment, bullying and violence, based on research funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The author examines the reasons for poor behavior and suggests ways to improve behavior. offers discount prices on a variety of academic titles to enhance your knowledge and to provide resources for course work. Through its partnerships with leading publishers – representing university and independent presses large and small – brings you scholarly and academic titles that you will not find elsewhere about diversity, education, history and many other topics. Visit to purchase books

A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics
American sport has always served as a platform for resistance and has been measured and critiqued by how it responds in critical moments of racial and social crises.
Read More
A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics