Bi News Briefs

At Central State: Prosecutors Resume Investigation; Fund-Raising Drive Benefits Needy Students

WILBERFORCE, Ohio
Prosecutors will resume their investigation
into whether there was any wrongdoing by former officials of Central
State University, which recently emerged from years of financial
troubles.

And in other news concerning the university, a fund-raising drive
has collected more than $25,000 to help keep more than 50 students from
being dropped from the school’s enrollment.

A task force of state and local investigators will review evidence
and determine whether to pursue indictments stemming from the
investigation, Steve Wolaver, assistant Greene County prosecutor, told
The Dayton Daily News last month.

Investigations by the state auditor’s office, state inspector
general, Ohio Ethics Commission, and State Highway patrol found
“examples of incompetence and negligence” at Central State, Wolaver
said. “But whether that translates into criminal conduct remains to be
seen.”

The state Office of Budget and Management took over the finances of
Ohio’s only public, historically Black university in 1997, and a new
administration was later installed.

Prosecutors put their probe on hold pending the outcome of a final
special state audit, which was released last month. The audit found
discrepancies in the books, unauthorized payments, and lack of
financial oversight between 1995 and 1997 at the school.

State Auditor James Petro said the audit contained no evidence of
serious criminal wrongdoing and dealt with mostly old and outdated
practices. Petro and other state officials have praised the
university’s current trustees and president, John Garland, for
correcting problems at the school.

As for the fund-raising drive: “The response has been phenomenal,”
said Tedd Miller, vice president for enrollment management at the
university.

The effort — which was organized by the Rev. Earl Harris, senior
pastor of Greater Allen AME Church — has attracted $11,587 from area
churches, $2,750 from business and labor organizations, $2,050 from
community organizations, and $8,870 from individual contributions
independent of the church appeals, Harris said. The pastor adds that he
is confident organizers will reach their goal of $55,000.

The students, who represent about 5 percent of Central State’s
enrollment, were notified in early November that they were being
dropped from school rolls because they owed money for tuition, room,
and meals (see Black Issues, Nov. 16). Many are juniors and seniors who
are close to graduation, university officials said.

It would take about $111,000 to pay all the students’ bills. A
donor who wishes to remain anonymous has offered to match every dollar
raised, Harris said.

Seventh Plaintiff Allowed To Join Race-Discrimination Suit

ATHENS, Ga. — A federal judge has allowed a White student who was
denied entry to the University of Georgia to join a lawsuit filed last
year by six people who contend that the state practices racial
discrimination with its university admission policies.

Craig Greene, a White Whitfield County student who applied for 1997
admission to the school, joined the suit last month in an effort by the
plaintiffs to shore up the race preferences complaint, arguing that he
“suffered pecuniary and emotional injury” when he was denied entry.

U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield of the Southern Circuit
granted the plaintiffs a legal victory in allowing Greene as a
plaintiff after the January filing deadline, according to court
documents, the Athens Banner-Herald said.

Greene graduated from high school with a 3.33 grade point average,
scored 27 on the ACT, in the 91st percentile nationwide, and “excelled
in an accelerated college prep curriculum,” according to court
documents. The plaintiffs say at least one Black applicant with lower
scores was admitted to the university last fall.

Atlanta attorney Lee Parks filed the suit in March 1997 on behalf
of a group of White and Black plaintiffs, including educators and two
students who said they were denied admission to the state’s flagship
institution, the University of Georgia.

The suit claims there is discrimination throughout the University
System, but it focuses largely on the state’s three traditionally Black
institutions — Albany State University, Fort Valley State University,
and Savannah State University.

The suit seeks the merger of some traditionally White institutions
with historically Black colleges and an end to race-based admissions
criteria.

Project Boosts Dramatic Growth Among Minority Business Professors

CHICAGO — In a report released here last month, an aggressive
doctoral candidate recruiting program celebrated the growing ranks of
African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans pursuing
Ph.D.s in business.

The study found there are 374 underrepresented minorities currently
enrolled in business doctoral programs. If these students complete
their studies within the next five years, it is projected that they
will increase by nearly 100 percent the 388 minorities who currently
hold doctorates in business.

“The decades-long absence of minorities in front of the classroom
is at last beginning to give way to a more diverse business school
faculty,” said Bernard J. Milano, director of The Ph.D. Project and
executive director of the KPMG Peat Marwick Foundation. Since 1994, the
project has been aggressively recruiting business executives to join
the ranks of professors. Currently Ph.D.s of color constitute only 5
percent of the nation’s entire business school professoriate.

The program’s first graduate, Dr. Alisa Mosely who is African
American, completed her doctorate last August and is currently an
assistant professor of management at Jackson State University.

Northern Colorado to Hire VP for Diversity Post

GREELY, Colo. — The University of Northern Colorado plans to hire
an assistant vice president for academic and multicultural affairs,
ending a dispute between school President Hank Brown and a minority
advocacy group.

The university’s Black/Latino Coalition members had demanded the
college fill the vacant post to promote a campus diversity plan. Brown
said there was no money available to pay for the new executive.

Last month, officials said they will finance the position with
monies that had been earmarked for a retiring assistant vice president
of student affairs. That job will not be filled.

Coalition President Hermon George was pleased with the decision, but added, “We’re not home yet.”

“This is an efficient way of managing the positions at the least cost for the university,” Brown said.

The new vice president will oversee campus cultural centers, the
CUMBRES teacher-preparation program, the Center for Human Enrichment
and various recruitment and retention efforts, a campus spokesman said.

New York Prison Funding Increases as Education Funding Decreases

NEW YORK — Between 1988 and 1998, the state of New York’s prison
allocation has increased by $761.3 million while funding for education
has decreased by $615 million, according to a study by the Correctional
Association of New York and the Justice Policy Institute.

New York State of Mind?: Higher Education vs. Prison Funding in the
Empire State, 1988-1998, also found that people of color and nonviolent
offenders have been hardest hit by the state’s shifting priorities.

The education funding decrease roughly matches the cost of keeping
the state’s nonviolent drug offenders in prison ($680 million) under
the Rockefeller Drug Laws. In fact, more African Americans have entered
prison for drug offenses that have graduated from the State University
of New York every year since 1989, the study found. For example, in
1997, 4,727 Blacks entered prison on a drug offense in New York but
only 4,054 left the SUNY system with a degree. And, almost twice as
many Latinos were incarcerated for drug offenses (4,459) as graduated
from SUNY (2,563) in 1997.

“The money we spend locking up non-violent drug offenders would be
better spent educating those young people in New York’s universities,”
said Robert Gangi, executive director of the Correctional Association
of New York.

The cost of housing per prisoner for New York taxpayers is $30,000
a year. That, according to the study, is enough to pay for the tuition
of nine students at either SUNY or the City University of New York.

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NC A&T Improves Nursing School Exam Performance

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Three years after implementing stricter
admission standards and graduation requirements, North Carolina A&T
nursing school graduates showed improvement on the national licensing
exam.

Nursing school graduates who took the national licensing
examination for the first time this year passed at a rate of 87
percent, just one percentage point below the state average, according
to the N.C. Board of Nursing.

After falling almost steadily since 1990, A&T’s pass rate hit
79 percent in 1996, 12 points below the state average. If a school’s
pass rate falls below 75 percent, it risks losing its accreditation.

The school increased the minimum grade point average required for
admission to the nursing school from 2.6 to 3.0. The average class size
was cut nearly in half. A review of the curriculum was launched.

“The nursing school has been a major focal point of the university
for the last 17 years,” said Chancellor Edward Fort. “We’re not going
to let it go.”

Xavier Maintains Lead for Blacks Attending Medical School

NEW ORLEANS — For the sixth consecutive year, Xavier University
has placed more African Americans in Medical School than any other
institution of higher education in the nation, according to the
Association of American Medical Colleges.

Xavier had 95 of its students accepted into medical college in 1998
— more than twice as many as runner-up Howard University, which placed
43 of its students.

The other institutions rounding out the top 10 were: Morehouse
College (35), Spelman College (34), Harvard University (32), the
University of Michigan (22), the University of North Carolina the City
University of New York (20), University (18), and Yale University (18).

Racist Acts Feed Fear, Controversy at Cornell Campus

ITHACA, N.Y. — Cornell University students living in a residence
primarily for African Americans — called Ujamaa — have received
threatening telephone calls laced with racial slurs. Black students,
the anonymous caller said, “should get off campus.”

And a Black residence hall supervisor has received threatening
messages on his answering machine that included references to the Ku
Klux Klan.

Cornell President Hunter Rawlings says other incidents of racial
tension on campus have been more subtle. A cartoon printed by the
student newspaper, The Cornell Review, depicted a house owned by the
Native American student program as a gambling casino.

The Review defended the cartoon as a parody, but Rawlings said it “reflects the group stereotyping that all of us deplore.”

“These incidents, and others like them, are totally intolerable,”
Rawlings said last month in Syracuse newspapers. “This is not the first
time we have experienced such incidents on this campus…. But we will
speak out in the face of those who would seek to divide this community
rather than bring it together.”

No arrests have been made since the threatening calls, but the
university has increased campus security. Harold Craft Jr., vice
president for campus services, said lighting also has been improved
around Ujamaa and Akwekon, the Native American center.

But some students and faculty say the university itself fosters
racial tension with some of its new school policies, such as the
administration’s decision to house all freshmen together within five
years.

School officials say the policy will bolster class identity and
improve student retention. Critics said it would hurt Ujamaa, Akwekon,
and the Latino Living Center, and limit housing options for minority
students.

The university also issued a report this semester which, in part,
recommended that Cornell’s ethnic study programs — including Latino,
Native American, Asian, and African American studies — be housed in
the same building and work more closely together.

Advocates said the move would give ethnic studies a greater
collective voice. But many people in those programs saw it as a means
to limit their autonomy and presence. The recommendations created a
debate on campus and resulted in a three day sit-in at the College of
Arts by students. Last month, the university gave in and removed the
recommendations from the report.

Remediation Apparently Needed for Older Students as Well

WASHINGTON — Nearly half of all freshmen enrolled in remedial
college courses are older than 22, and more than one-quarter are over
age 30, according to a study released by the Institute for Higher
Education Policy.

The report suggests that a substantial number of adults use
remedial education programs, not just high school graduates who may be
unprepared for college.

Some states in recent years have sought to phase out remedial
education programs at the college level, believing that it is high
schools’ job, not colleges’, to ensure that students are prepared for
college.

The study, paid for by the Ford Foundation, found that 46 percent
of freshmen in remedial courses were older than 22 — the age at which
most people receive their bachelor’s degrees. Of entering freshmen in
remedial courses, 27 percent were over the age of 30.

College students at all levels enrolled in remedial courses. The
majority — 56 percent — were freshmen, 24 percent sophomores, 9
percent juniors, and 9 percent seniors.

The percentage of students enrolled in remedial courses has
remained about the same over the past years, the study found: in the
fall of 1989, 30 percent of freshmen took remedial reading, writing or
math classes, compared with 29 percent in the fall of 1995.

Seventy-eight percent of higher educational institutions that
enrolled freshmen in 1995 offered at least one remedial reading,
writing, or mathematics course, the study found, and 100 percent of
public two-year institutions did.

Rhode Island Students Say Cartoon is Racist

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Students at the University of Rhode Island
said a cartoon in the campus newspaper was racist, and they planned to
stage a protest.

The cartoon, published earlier this month, depicted a Black student
entering an all-White classroom at the University of Texas Law School.

In the drawing, the student is greeted by a professor at a podium,
who says, “If you’re the janitor, please wait until after class to
empty the trash. If you’re one of our minority students, welcome!”

Students, including members of the Brothers Unified for Action
(BUA), called for the resignation of the editors of The Good Five Cent
Cigar.

“The cartoon is clearly offensive to people of color, especially
African Americans,” said Marc Hardge, a BUA member. “It merely goes to
show the racism that is inherent on this campus.”

Fran Cohen, director of student life, said she and other staff members plan to write letters to the campus newspaper.

“As a university, we strongly support free speech,” Cohen said. But
staff members are also concerned “about anything which seems to
perpetuate racial stereotypes. And we’re concerned about anything which
makes our students feel less than welcome on our community.”

Howard Student Named Rhodes Scholar

WASHINGTON — Among the 32 American students selected earlier this
month as Rhodes scholars is the first American-born honoree from Howard
University.

Carla J. Peterman, a history major, turned down Yale and Rutgers to study at her mother’s alma mater.

Rhodes scholarships provide two or three years of study at the
University of Oxford in England. The Rhodes scholarships, the oldest of
the international study awards available to American students, were
created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and
colonial pioneer.

The Rhodes scholarships pay all college and university fees, and
provide a stipend to cover necessary expenses while in residence in
Oxford as well as during vacation. The total value averages about
$25,000 a year.

Peterman says she wants to study international development as part
of her plan to help poorer countries prosper without pollution.

NACME Honors Corporate Assistance

NEW YORK — The National Action Council for Minorities in
Engineering acknowledged the Exxon Corp., General Electric Co., and IBM
for “giving of their time, resources, energy, and expertise to support
the NACME vision, drive effective public policy, and prepare students
for leadership in a technology-based economy.”

These were the sentiments of Dr. George Campbell Jr., NACME’s
president and CEO (far left), expressed at a ceremony here last month
honoring the corporations’ outstanding commitment to diversity in
engineering. Receiving the awards are (left to right): Lloyd Trotter,
president and CEO of GE Industrial Systems; Nicholas Donofrio, senior
vice president for Technology and Manufacturing at IBM; and Harry J.
Longwell, senior vice president and director of Exxon. Also pictured is
Dr. William A. Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineers.

COPYRIGHT 1998 Cox, Matthews & Associates



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