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Ohio University and Eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities Form Alliance

Ohio University and eight historically Black colleges and universities have joined together in a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing the number of resources and educational options available to students at all nine schools.

The partnership emerged from a discussion Dr. Roderick McDavis, president of OU had with Dr. James Renick, the former president of North Carolina A&T University, and Dr. Andrew Hugine, former president of South Carolina State University, in 2005.

“We began talking about issues that related to students and faculty, pipeline issues and getting more people of color for administrative and faculty positions. Realizing that we were having similar issues, we said, ‘how about creating a consortium that would allow us talk about our issues of concern?’” McDavis says.

After a number of meetings and more conversation, the Interlink Alliance was born.

Through the alliance, nine inaugural members will share resources and talent to create new opportunities for faculty, staff and students. At the forefront of the agenda for the new alliance is faculty development, student leadership and Black male development. Among other activities, the collaborative will establish faculty- and student-exchange programs

“We wanted to assist our faculty in becoming better teachers in the classroom. Leadership development for all of our students is important. We might spawn some of the students into thinking about becoming university faculty. Lastly, we felt that the African-American male was an endangered species and that we needed to do something that would allow the matriculation and graduation of more African-American males throughout our institutions as well as others,” McDavis says.

While traditionally White institutions and HBCUs have forged a number of collaborative agreements in hopes of increasing diversity, mainly at traditionally White institutions, McDavis says that the Interlink Alliance will be different.

“This agreement represents something new in higher education. It will serve as a very real two-way street, with a meaningful approach and a design that will benefit every educational institution,” says McDavis.

The eight historically Black colleges and universities that OU plan to partner with are: Spelman College; Hampton University and Virginia State University; Wilberforce University and Central State University, both in Ohio; Johnson C. Smith University and North Carolina Central University; and South Carolina State University.

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