April 2020
Breaking News

Help Is On The Way
Institutions Should Receive Funds Soon

The Department of Education announced it will begin distributing the financial aid portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, established by the CARES Act. Institutions must sign and return the Certificate of Funding Agreement first. The funds, which are earmarked as emergency financial aid for students, will then be made available. Institutions are not required to distribute the money equally. The Department of Education suggests using Pell Grant data to identify the neediest students but institutions have some discretion. Instructions for submitting the required forms are posted here. Read about it on the Department of Education  website.

Other News

First Come First Served Leaves Many Empty-Handed
Chamber of Commerce Recommends Expansion of Relief Programs

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program was expanded and infused with additional funding but barely a month into the expansion, the program has run short of money. The Small Business Administration will continue to process applications on a first come first served basis.


Another stimulus effort, the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) suffered the same fate. The PPP provided forgivable loans to small businesses, including nonprofits and colleges.  Congress has not agreed on another round of funding to revive either program. Read about it on the US Chamber of Commerce website.


Updated Guidance for Higher Ed

The Department of Education published guidance on enforcement and modification of rules governing institutions that participate in federal student financial aid. Several temporary changes were made, including modifications to rules governing enrollment, federal work study, distance education, and privacy and accessibility obligations. Most of the modifications will expire June 30, 2020. Read about it on the Department of Education website.


Clarification on Financial Responsibility 

The Department of Education has provided an FAQ regarding the financial responsibility requirements announced last fall. Although institutions may opt to implement some provisions early, the rules go into effect July 1, 2020. Read about it on the Federal Student Aid  website.


Advance Payments of Tax Credits

Employers may file to receive an advance on tax credits they are eligible to receive through the Families First Coronavirus Response (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Acts. Examples include: the Employee Retention Credit, the Qualified Sick Leave Credit, and Family Leave Wages Credit. Read about it on the Internal Revenue website.


States Urge Pause in New Title IX Rules

Attorneys general of several states appealed to Secretary DeVos to pause the update of federal regulations governing Title IX. They contend that administrators are already burdened with managing their COVID-19 response. The new rules would add additional and possibly unsafe obligations. Read about it on the Education Dive  website.


Virtual Assessments

The Department of Education is permitting accreditors to conduct virtual site visits during the COVID-19 crisis. The visits must be interactive. Read about it on the Department of Education  website.


Eyes on Zoom

The video conferencing platform Zoom has come under scrutiny. As colleges and universities moved programs online, faculty embraced Zoom as a quick, easy, inexpensive tool. Many fell prey to hijackers, who heckled, scandalized, and disrupted their meetings in attacks called zoom-bombing.  Zoom responded with an update that hardened its security and experts publicized protection strategies. However, it appears underlying privacy issues persist. The company has been sued in California where the disclosure of personal information is illegal. Read about it on the Bloomberg  website.


DACCA Students Eligibility for Aid Uncertain

Students who illegally immigrated to the US as children may not be eligible to receive cash relief through the CARES Act. The Department of Education has not yet released guidance on the issue and the CARES Act itself does not define a student. Read about it on the Inside Higher Ed  website.


HBCU Developing COVID-19 Antiviral

Meharry Medical College's infectious disease specialist, Dr. Donald Alcendor, is working on developing an antiviral drug that will not only prevent replication of COVID-19, but will be effective against viruses within that family. In 2016, Dr. Alcendor, Dr. Waldemar Popik and Dr. Atanu K. Khatua found a way to stop the Zika virus's genetic material from replicating in human cells. Read about it on the Diverse Issues in Higher Education website.


HBCU Forges Relationship with Medical College

Central State University and the American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine have signed a memorandum of understanding. It paves the way for qualified graduates of Central State to be automatically accepted into AUA's Medical School. Read about it on the Central State University  website.


Small Business Development Center Provides Relief

Florida A&M University (FAMU) hosts northwest Florida's Small Business Development Center. The FAMU Small Business Development Center closed on two emergency loans meant to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Under the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the Center can make short term interest-free loans of up to $50,000,000. Read about it on the Florida A&M University  website.


Modified Grading Systems

Grading systems at North Carolina A&T and many other institutions have been shifted to a pass-fail system for the spring semester. Early advice from SACSCOC included using a pass/fail combined with a free re-enrollment option. Some state systems, however, will stick to letter or number grades. Read about it on the Atlanta Journal Constitution  website.


Program Launch Planned

North Carolina A&T University announced it will offer a master of science in health psychology. The program will begin in the fall 2021 semester with an initial cohort limited to about 15 students. Read about it on the North Carolina A&T website.


National Institutes of Health Grants

The NIH released a list of funding opportunities and notices. Read about it on the National Institutes of Health  website.


Moratorium on Sports Impacts Finances

Sports are not exempt from the havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Competitions are cancelled for the spring semester as athletic directors scramble to plan for the fall. Some are considering shortened seasons consisting only of conference games. But that can mean cancelling popular exhibition games that generate significant revenue. Read about it on the HBCU Sports  website.


Sector's Credit Rating Downgraded

Moody's has given the higher education sector a negative credit rating. They anticipate higher education will see lower enrollment, fewer foreign students, a decrease in gifts, and a decline in income from sports and student services due to the pandemic. Read about it on the Inside Higher Ed  website.

Grants Coins Photo
Grants, Gifts, & Awards

Ed Releases COVID-19 Allocation 

The Department of Education released a listing of the amount each institution of higher education will receive under the CARES Act. The list is available online here. Details including a letter from Secretary DeVis, a certificate of Agreement, and information on the formulas used are available on the Department of Education website.


States Get Grants

Secretary DeVos announced that funds will be made available to to state governors through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A list of state allocations is online. Read about it on the Department of Education  website.


Bethune-Cookman University Receives Large Donation

Thomas and Joyce Moorehead donated $250,000 to Bethune-Cookman University. The Moorehead family has close ties with Buthune-Cookman University. Mrs. Moorehead is an alumna. Billye and Hank Aaron donated $250,000 and the foundation, Chasing the Dream Foundation, which the Aaron's founded, donated $104,000. Read about it on the Bethune-Cookman University website.


Grant to Develop Air Vehicle

North Carolina A&T University will lead a team of researchers from Purdue University and Georgia Tech to develop air passenger taxis. The project is funded by NASA. The HBCU will receive $8,000,000 over four years. Aurora Flight Sciences, Alaka’i Technologies Corp., General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Northrop Grumman Corp will participate in the project. Read about it on the North Carolina A&T University website.


Grant to Conduct Pre-Clinical Study

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $1,800,000 grant to a team studying the effects of ginger on airway smooth muscle. Dr. Shengmin Sang of North Carolina A&T University's Center for Post-Harvest Technologies and his colleagues at Columbia University will evaluate the active components of ginger with a few to developing new medicines for asthmatics. Read about it on the North Carolina A&T University website.

Events Microphone Photo
Most conferences scheduled for April and May have been cancelled or moved to a virtual platform due to restrictions and concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Contact the event sponsor to verify the details of previously published notices.

 Women’s Leadership Success in Higher Education

Date: April 20-22, 2020

Location: Online Virtual

Information: Registration

Deadline Stopwatch Photo
Deadlines and Information


Item:  Guide to Applying for CARES Act Grants (Emergency Financial Aid Grants)

Info:  Instructions for Submitting the Recipient’s Funding Certification and Agreement and Application Forms

Ref:  CARES Act Funding Guidance

Data:  Calculations and Amount Breakdown


Item:  Campus-Based Programs

Info:  Final Funding Authorizations for the Campus-Based Programs


Item:  Federal Work Study Required Community Service Waiver

Info:  Instructions for filing the waiver request

Date:  Deadline is April 20, 2020


Item:  Title II Reports on the Quality of Teacher Preparation

Info:  Webinar on IPRC reporting

Date:  Deadline is extended to May 29, 2020


Item:  Department of Education Addresses Accessibility

Info:  Webinar on online education and website accessibility rules.


Item:  Department of Education Addresses Privacy

Info:  Webinar on FERPA and Virtual Learning during the COVID-19 Emergency


Item:  IRS Waives Penalties

Info:  Penalties for failure to deposit employment taxes are waived for some employers.


Item:  National Science Foundation Conference

Info:  Request for conference proposals (Build and Broaden (B2) - Enabling New Social, Behavioral ad Economic Science Collaborations with Minority-Serving Institutions)

Date:  Deadline extended to June 8, 2020.


Item:  IPEDS Spring Data Collection

Date:  Deadline for Keyholders is April 22,2020. Deadline for Coordinators is May 6, 2020.


Item:  Postponement of Requirement

Date:  Effective date for the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is postponed to 2021.


Item:  Department of Education Guidance

Info: Latest guidance for interruptions of study due to COVID-19.


Item:  Flexibility for Career and Technical Education Leaders (Perkins V)

Info:  Perkins V Programs COVID-19 FAQ

Note:  Perkins Collaborative Research Network


Item:  Enforcement of Accreditation Regulations During COVID-19 Crisis

Info:  Temporary Flexibilities


Item:  Common Origination and Disbursement System

Ref: The Technical Reference for 2020-201 is available here.

Codes: Instructional Program Codes have been updated and must be used for the 2020-2021 award year and forward.

Date:  System will be updated and unavailable April 24-26.

Note:  Federal Student Aid released procedural reminders for the 2020-2021 award year.


Item: Notice of Rulemaking

Info: Secretary DeVos has published changes to the rules related to distance education in the Federal Register.  

Date:  Deadline for comments is May 4, 2020


Item: COVID-19 Action Documentation Recommended

Info: The Department of Education recommends that institutions document , as contemporaneously as possible, any actions taken as a result of COVID-19.  

Appointments Photo

Interim President Appointed

Pending approval by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Dr. R. Charles Byers will serve as West Virginia State University's interim president. He takes the reins from President Anthony Jenkins, who has accepted the presidency at Coppin State University. Read about it on the West Virginia State University website.


Appointment in the Department of Human Sciences

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff appointed Dr. Jane Andayi Opiri as an assistant professor for the Department of Human Sciences. Dr. Opiri will teach, conduct research, collaborate with businesses, and advise students. Read about it on the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff website.


University Finds Leader for College of Law

Florida A&M University named Deidré Keller, JD, dean of the College of Law. The College had been without a permanent dean since 2018. Professor Keller is currently the associate dean for academic affairs at the Ohio Northern University's Claude W. Pettit College of Law, where she is a tenured professor. Read about it on the Florida A&M University website.


Vice President for Academic Affairs Named

Johnson C. Smith University named Dr. Karen D. Morgan as senior vice president for Academic Affairs. She is currently at New Jersey City University, where she serves as interim provost for Undergraduate Experience, interim director of the Lee Hagan Africana Studies Center, and an associate professor of Mathematics. Read about it on the Johnson C. Smith University website

Vice Chancellor Named 

Elizabeth City State University appointed Lisa McClinton vice chancellor for business and finance. Ms. McClinton is a certified public accountant and an experienced auditor. Read about it on the Elizabeth City State University website.


Financial Aid Director Takes Office

Rochelle D. King was named director of financial aid for Johnson C. Smith University. She has served as a director and assistant director of financial aid at Livingstone College and Shaw University. Read about it on the Johnson C. Smith University website.

Accreditation Expert Named Chief Administrative Officer

Morehouse School of Medicine named Monique Guillory, PhD, chief of staff and chief administrative officer. Dr. Guillory is an evaluator for institutional accreditation for the Middle Stats Commission for Higher Education. She has 25 years experience in higher education administration. Read about it on the Morehouse School of Medicine website.


Curator Named for Museum

Hampton University Museum named Kenlontae’ Turner Curator of Collections. He will be responsible for exhibits and for managing the museum's permanent collection. Read about it on the Hampton University website.


HBCUs Appoint Athletics Directors

Experienced administrators have been tapped to lead the athletic programs at two HBCUs. Curtis Campbell was named athletics director by Morehouse College. He has extensive experience, having managed successful teams and large well-funded programs. Mikki Allen was named athletics director for Tennessee State University. He also has extensive experience and most recently served as assistant director of athletics for Player Relations and Development at the University of Tennessee.


New Leader for Hampton U Online

Hampton University named Valora Richardson, Ph.D. director of Hampton U Online. Dr. Richardson will work to increase the scope and reach of Hampton U Online. She has substantial experience in technology enhanced teaching and learning. Read about it on the Hampton University website.

Kudos Medal Photo  

HBCU Offers Use of Campus Facilities

Delaware State University offered use of several of its properties to Governor John Carney in the event the state needs them. The offer included roughly 1.6 million square feet of space that could be used as sites for testing, care, storage, and meetings or press conferences.


Community Rallies to Help Students

The HBCU community mobilized to help students stranded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The response in South Carolina was typical of HBCUs everywhere. Allen University provided tablets and keyboards to help students transition to online study. Benedict College provided food, luggage, and transportation for students who had no way to get home. Claflin University started a COVID-19 emergency relief fund for students. Lincoln University donated over 50 cases of personal protective equipment to nearby Chester County Hospital and Penn Medicine.


President Honored
Talladega College Board of Trustees voted to honor Dr. Billy C. Hawkins by naming the new student center the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center in recognition of his leadership. Enrollment has doubled, athletic programs were reinstated, and the College launched a graduate program and constructed new facilities under his tenure.


Thank You
WPG HBCU Forum Photo

Notice: WPG, the publisher of this newsletter, would like to thank the attendees, speakers, and facilitators who made our Annual HBCU Forum a huge success. You can view video clips on our YouTube channel and see photos on our website. We hope to see you next year!


WPG Special Report


Moving Through and Past COVID-19

Without exception, the coronavirus pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives. After sending students home, in an effort to stem the spread of the disease, colleges and universities, face grave uncertainties. In this unique crisis, many have found their existing disaster recovery plans inadequate. WPG has prepared a white paper to share insights with HBCU administrators and trustees. Click here to downloadPandemic Disruption—Business Continuity for Brick and Mortar Colleges and Universities.

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