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In Brief: ACE Names First Woman President

Molly Corbett Broad, former president of the University of North Carolina, has been named president of the American Council on Education, the higher education association announced Tuesday.

Broad, currently a professor in the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will become the first woman to lead ACE since its founding in 1918. Succeeding David Ward as president, Broad becomes the 12th ACE president effective May 1. She is charged with building relations between the higher education community and a new administration next January and confronting growing pressure from Congress for colleges to act to keep tuitions affordable.

“I am delighted to announce the selection of Molly Broad as the new president of ACE,” said Board Chair Ricardo R. Fernández, president of Lehman College, The City University of New York. “She clearly has the passion, intellectual strength, and diverse experience to articulate a policy agenda for all of higher education, from community colleges to research universities.”

Broad was president of the 16-campus University of North Carolina from 1997 to 2006. Under Broad’s leadership, UNC experienced unprecedented enrollment growth – minority enrollment grew at more than double the rate of the overall student body – and the system’s historically minority campuses received special state funding that allowed for significant academic and operating improvements. 

She formerly served as senior vice chancellor for administration and finance at the California State University system from 1992 to 1993 and as executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer from 1993 until her election as UNC’s president. Prior to her tenure at CSU, Broad was the chief executive officer for Arizona’s three-campus university system and has served as the State Higher Education Executive Officer (SHEEO) in two states: Arizona and North Carolina.

The Pennsylvania native graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a baccalaureate degree in economics from Syracuse University. She holds a master’s degree in the field from The Ohio State University.

“It has been my great privilege to serve a wide array of America’s institutions of higher education,” Broad said. “Serving the American Council on Education, at this point in my career, is an extraordinary opportunity to draw on all that experience and to help advance these institutions that are both central to our nation’s future and enriching to the students and communities that we serve. It is, indeed, an honor to follow in the footsteps of many great leaders in ACE’s history.”

Tuskegee Experiment Legacy Keeps Much-needed Blacks From Participating in Medical Trials

The legacy of the notorious Tuskegee experiment – that Blacks mistrust physicians and hold deep-seated fears of harm from medical research – persists and is largely to blame for keeping African Americans from taking part in clinical trials, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins.

In a report to be published in the journal Medicine online this week,  experts in the design and conduct of medical research found that Black men and women were only 60 percent as likely as Whites to participate in a mock study to test a pill for heart disease. Results came from a random survey of 717 outpatients at 13 clinics in Maryland, 36 percent of whom were Black and the rest White.

Among the survey findings:

– 25 percent of Blacks thought their physician would be willing to ask them to participate in a study even though the study might harm them, while only 15 percent of Whites thought the same;

– 28 percent of Blacks, but 22 percent of Whites, felt their physician would willingly expose them to unnecessary risk;

– 58 percent of Blacks, and 25 percent of Whites, thought that physicians use medications to experiment on people without the patient’s consent;

– 8 percent of Blacks did not feel comfortable about questioning their physician, while 2 percent of Whites were similarly inhibited.

When researchers removed respondents who had feelings of distrust toward physicians from the analysis, the number of Blacks and Whites willing to participate in medical research became the same, at roughly one-third of those asked.

“Our results strongly suggest that the problem is the lack of trust and that it may be fixable by communicating better with patients and taking actions that improve mutual respect and understanding,” says Dr. Neil R. Powe, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of its Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research.

“There is enormous irony that, without African-American subject participation in clinical trials, we are not going to have tested the best therapies we need to treat African Americans,” says Powe, the study’s senior researcher. “So long as the legacy of Tuskegee persists, African Americans will be left out of important findings about the latest treatments for diseases, especially those that take a greater toll on African Americans and consequently may not have ready or equal access to the latest medicines.”

Asian Pacific Fund Honors Two Asian American Deans

Dr. Norman C. Tien, dean of the engineering school at Case Western Reserve University, and Frank H. Wu, dean of the Wayne State University Law School, have been awarded the Chang-Lin Tien Education Leadership Awards by The Asian Pacific Fund. Each will receive an unrestricted grant of $10,000.

In its second year, the awards program honors the legacy of Chang-Lin Tien, the first Asian American to head a major American research university. Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, from 1990 to 1997, Tien was a founding member of The Asian Pacific Fund’s Board of Directors. The fund created the awards program to recognize rising Asian American leaders in higher education and to support their development and advancement.

Tien’s son, Dr. Norman Tien, the Nord Professor of Engineering at Case Western Reserve’s Case School of Engineering, is also the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Condensed Matter Physics and a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award. A first-generation Chinese American, Tien received his bachelor’s degree from UC, Berkeley; his M.S. from the University of Illinois; and his doctorate from the University of California at San Diego.

Frank Wu, the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, formerly was on the law faculty at Howard University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.

“Under his leadership, Wayne State Law School has transformed itself in a few short years,” said Richard Bernstein, a member of the Wayne State Board of Governors. “It is a diverse institution, which embodies a spirit of social justice, scholarship and inclusion, which mirrors the ideals exhibited by its dean.”

Asian Americans hold just 1.5 percent of university president positions.

–Diverse staff

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