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Black College Leadership Under Scrutiny

It is a pity that these two officials must be punished for engaging in practices that must have been shared with the institution that has oversight responsibility for Morris Brown College — the African Methodist Episcopal Church (see “Morris Brown President Sentenced to Five Years Probation,” Jan. 25). I find it curious that they failed to assist this AME institution, despite their much-needed institutional advancement needs. The AME’s denial of involvement and knowledge and perhaps, too, its willingness to make sacrificial lambs of its appointed officials to atone for their own misdeeds, should be especially noted. One has to wonder how the leaders of Wilberforce, Paul Quinn, Edward Waters and Allen colleges feel.

— Eugene A. Eaves
Durham, N.C.

I am saddened by the news of the defendants at Morris Brown, but I am glad that it is all finally over. Hopefully, this unfortunate situation will serve as a warning to other Black colleges to immediately implement internal controls for monitoring the proper use of federal funds, if such controls are not currently in place. Additionally, steps must be taken to ensure financial stability. Too often, it seems, HBCUs are in the position of juggling funds — borrowing from Peter to pay Paul — in order to survive because financial strategic planning exists on paper only. It is crucial that planning for the future become a priority, rather than simply focusing on existing for the moment.

— Evelyn A. Ellis
Huntsville, Ala.

Bishop State Community College operates like most of Alabama’s other two-year institutions (see “Trying Times for Bishop State,” Dec. 28). It operates like a fiefdom willfully controlled by its president. Its evolution has been the result of decades of legislative and state board indifference. Employment and promotional opportunities have been based largely on fraternity, sorority and social relationships and less on bona fide administrative skills and experience.

— Rep. Joseph Mitchell
State Legislator, District 103, Mobile, Ala.

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