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HBCU Leaders Meet to Plan Financial Futures

HBCU Leaders Meet to Plan Financial Futures


Chief financial officers from 50 historically Black colleges and universities gathered in Dallas last month to assess the financial challenges facing their institutions and to work toward solutions.

The purpose of the meeting, a three-day summer institute sponsored by Nissan and the Educational Testing Service (ETS), was to ensure that HBCUs thrive in the 21st century, at a time when many higher education institutions are facing economic challenges. The institute, which is in its 15th year, serves as a resource to present HBCUs with the necessary tools to assess viability in a competitive marketplace. Chief financial officers are able to share ideas, work together and establish a strong foundation for future cooperation. They also are provided access to expertise and consultation with global leaders in the corporate world as they prepare to assess the challenges before them and plan and enrich their future success.
In this year’s opening session, Jim Morton, senior vice president of finance and administration for Nissan North American Inc., and Kurt Landgraf, president and CEO of ETS, welcomed the HBCU fellows and challenged them to let their institutions’ strong missions guide their financial strategies. Keynote
speaker, Dr. James Renick, chancellor of North Carolina A&T University, discussed the new paradigm for higher education and the imperative role for the HBCU CFO.
“HBCUs historical objective of educating future leaders and promoting cultural collaboration to effect positive change in the community is a goal that Nissan shares,” Morton said. “We recognize that the viability of HBCUs, and of all Americans, is only as rich as the leaders we groom to perpetuate its legacy.”
“HBCUs have a special challenge to remain faithful to their important missions while meeting the demanding requirements of administrative and financial management,” Landgraf said. “ETS’s own mission is to help advance quality and equity in education, and we are honored to be a part of the Nissan-ETS HBCU Summer Institute partnership, contributing not only to the future of HBCUs, but to the future of our nation.”
Dr. Norman Francis, president of Xavier University of Louisiana and chairman of the institute, emphasized the importance of ­HBCUs. “Seventy percent of all African American college graduates in the U.S. attended an HBCU. The proportion of HBCU degree awards at the post-baccalaureate level have tripled in the last 30 years,” he said. “In order to maintain and improve this contribution, we must equip ourselves with the financial direction to sustain success.”

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