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They’re on the Job

They’re on the Job

Marketability and competitiveness seem to be the two themes consistent in many of the articles in this issue, which I guess is appropriate since this is Black Issues’ annual careers edition.
What can Black colleges do to attract and retain Black faculty and students? What can other employers do to attract and retain Black talent? What do we have to do be more marketable and competitive as professionals?
Obtaining the skills so we’re not left behind in this information age is one way. It is crucial that we are trained and have the skills to compete in this Silicon Valley-like world of ours. And it’s probably even more important that we offer and provide our future generations with the skills and tools so that they are not left standing on the wrong side of the digital divide.
Reading Black Issues Senior Writer Ronald Roach’s story, “Mastering Technology’s Tools and Techniques,” it’s comforting to know that Black colleges, as well as the private technology industry, are on the job.
At Atlanta’s historically Black Morris Brown College, administrators are providing every faculty member with a laptop computer as a proactive and “pragmatic approach to motivating faculty to embrace the use of advanced information technology.” Morris Brown also is one of the first HBCUs to require its undergraduate students to purchase laptops to get students “proficient and comfortable” with the Internet and the latest information technology (see story, page 28).
And at two technology conferences held in Atlanta last month, several Black colleges got together, with support from the technology industry, to highlight issues and brainstorm ways to reduce the gap between the information haves and have nots.
Stepping back from strictly addressing technology deficits, Editor-at-Large Cheryl D. Fields in our Faculty Lounge section, takes a look at whether HBCUs can compete for Black faculty.
Black students no longer have to attend Black colleges and universities. And Black faculty and also have plenty of options as far as where to teach and even the option of skipping academia for the private sector. With often higher salaries, better resources and more research opportunities offered at non-HBCU institutions, Black college officials are exploring ways to attract and retain Black faculty (see story, page 39).
They, too, on are the job.
Our cover story by BI correspondent Ronald Taylor features several Black academics that are seriously on the job — simultaneously holding down both an academic career and public office.
As is evident in those featured in this issue, many people with good ideas, initiative and drive and determination are “on the job” — looking for ways to improve and increase opportunities for the African American community and thus society at large.
A famous quote by former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca, is, “Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then, by God, do something. Don’t just stand there, make it happen.”
After reading our annual careers edition, you will see that there are people out there making it happen every day. They are on the job.

Hilary Hurd
Assistant Editor

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