April 2021

Top Story

Jobs Plan Includes HBCU Guarantees

Days after releasing a fact sheet with details of his American Jobs Plan, President Biden submitted a discretionary funding request to the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The funding request provides insight into the details of the Jobs Plan. The plan calls for a significant investment in higher education, research, clean energy, and upgrades to bridges and roads, and high speed broadband access that will create jobs, particularly in rural areas of the country.

Some of the investment in higher education would go to bolstering the capacity of minority-serving institutions and ensuring they are included in research initiatives. Half of federal research funding would be reserved for minority-serving institutions. A national lab focused on climate would be created at an HBCU.

Funds would also be directed to programs focused on restorative justice and women. Although the plan does not double the Pell Grant, something many higher education leaders and advocates have sought, it does request a significant increase. The president has also issued an executive order that raises the minimum wage for federal contractors, effective January 30, 2022. Vice President Kamala Harris has been promoting the plan in congressional and public meetings. Read more.

In Other News




Incubator for Future Presidents
The HBCU Executive Leadership Institute at Clark Atlanta University is accepting applications. The institute will prepare candidates to effectively lead HBCUs. The curriculum includes operations, budgeting, fundraising, board governance, human resource management, alumni relations, and development. Participants will receive coaching and be eligible for ongoing mentorship. Read more.


Proof of Vaccination
Many institutions had required faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated before the end of the spring term. In anticipation of a resumption face-to-face instruction and a re-opening of campus housing, that requirement is now being extended to students. Institutions must consider several factors when crafting their policy, including student demographics and vaccine availability. Some are avoiding the word mandatory and using strongly recommend instead. Others are providing access to the vaccine on-site. Although doing so triggers ethical questions, some institution are offering payment to students who can show proof of vaccination. However, institutions must take into consideration state statutes. In some states, such as Texas, a vaccine can only be declared mandatory if it has full FDA approval. At this time, all available vaccines have emergency use authorization. Read more.


Land-grant Funding
An investigation by the Tennessee State Treasury Department has found Tennessee State University (TSU) may have been shortchanged as much as $544,000,000 in land-grant funding. From 1956 to 2006, the state of Tennessee did not match federal land-grant appropriations to TSU, as required by law. The disparity is not unusual for 1890 land-grant universities, which are HBCUs. An Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) study found that from 2010-2012, 61 percent of the 1890 land-grant institutions did not receive the mandated matching funds from their respective states. This has a rippling effect. The institutions must use their own funds to support affected research and extension programs in order to maintain their land-grant status. Read more.


Strategic Direction Approved
The president of Bennett College and the chair of Bennet College Board of Trustees issued a joined statement on a Strategic Direction recently approved by the board. The approved Strategic Direction identifies the institution's priorities and provides a framework for planning and execution. Priorities for the framework include: a right-sized micro college model; a healthy, whole student experience, open to and for the future, data, measurement, and learning consciousness and conscience, and the new frontier of social justice, civil rights, and technology. The announcement also confirmed that despite legal victories, the Bennett Board of Trustees has withdrawn the institution's membership from SACSCOC. Read more.


Advances Toward Accreditation
Nearly 20 years after its accreditation was revoked, Morris Brown College announced it has received candidacy status with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). The college has also had fundraising success and recently unveiled an agreement with CGI Merchant Group under which some campus facilities will be converted into an upscale hotel and a hospitality management training complex. Read more.


Board and Foundation May Form New Relationship
The Lincoln University Board of Curators and the 62nd & 65th Regiments Legacy Foundation, formerly known as the Lincoln University Foundation, may forge a new relationship that would be mutually beneficial. Without a direct association with the university, the foundation has been able to disburse only a fraction of the funds it raised for students.Read more.


Ties with African Institution Renewed
Clark Atlanta University and University of Liberia signed a memorandum of understanding marking the continuation of their unique relationship. Under the agreement Clark Atlanta University and the University of Liberia will continue and expand cultural, education, and research exchange programs for students and faculty. The event can be viewed online. Additional information is available on the University Consortium for Liberia, the Consulate of the Republic of Liberia in the State of Georgia, and on the Clark Atlanta University websites. Read more.


Higher ED News


Higher ED Fall Plans Vary
Institutions vary widely on their approach to reopening safely in the fall. As reports continue to show that students want to return to campus, institutions are seeking ways to do so safely and legally. Some states, like Texas for example, have prohibited public institutions from requiring vaccination in cases where the vaccine has been approved under an emergency use authorization. Rutgers University is an institution that plans to require all students attending classes on campus in the fall to be vaccinated. The university will allow religious, medical, and online-only degree program exemptions. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) current guidance indicates vaccinated people should continue wearing masks and social distancing, some institutions have said they will waive that restriction. Other institutions say they will continue to enforce current safety protocols on both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated until it is clear how much protection the shots provide. To date, there is still not enough data to determine whether a vaccinated individual can transmit the virus. Elizabeth City State University plans a full return to campus for the fall with in-person instruction and facilities reopened.Read more.


Push for More Pell
Pell Grants cover less than a third of the total cost of attendance and advocates have long sought a significant increase. In a recent letter, higher education leaders and advocates asked congress to revisit the matter. They are seeking to have the award doubled and indexed to inflation. Read more.


Title IX Review
To implement President Biden's Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity, the Department of Education has begun a review of Title IX. The Office for Civil Rights will issue a questionnaire and conduct a public hearing to solicit input. The review is expected to culminate in publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking. Until that time, the existing regulations remain in effect. Read more.


FASFA Completion Declines
Although the most recent data show some improvement, statisticians report the number of high school seniors submitting the FAFSA has fallen. The number from returning Pell Grant-eligible applicants has also declined. The numbers vary state to state and even within a state but a common variable is the difficulty filling out the form which many first-generation and lower-income applicants attempt to do themselves. Read more.


Policy Change Could Boost Enrollment
The Department of Education and many states encourage institutions to use transcript-withholding as a collections tool. However recent studies show this practice disproportionately harms low-income students. Although the debt may start out small, penalties and fees cause it to grow. Meanwhile the students are unable to re-enroll, transfer credits, or use their credentials to find work. Modification of the policies may boost re-enrollment efforts. Read more.






Suit Challenges Funding Ban
South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston filed suit against South Carolina seeking to have the Blaine Amendment struck from the constitution. The amendment prohibits religious and private educational institutions from benefiting from public funds. The plaintiffs say the amendment was an act of anti-African American racism and anti-Catholic bigotry. SCICU contends that the rule was used to deny private institutions $14,000,000 in federal coronavirus relief, including $2,400,000 that would have gone to the state's private HBCUs. Governor Henry McMaster had attempted to use a portion of governor's allocation of CARES ACT (GEER) funds to create a program called SAFE. That program would have helped families pay tuition at private K-12 schools and reimburse independent private collages during the pandemic. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled the program violated the state constitution's Blaine Amendment. Read more.


Students Demand a Response to Racism
HBCUs joined the country in condemning the racist attacks in Georgia and offered support for Asian, Asian American, and Asian Pacific Islander (AAAPI) students. However, many of those students say institutions should do more to combat anti-Asian racism, which has surged during the pandemic. They recently formed an intercollegiate  coalition, an alliance of student groups and organizations. Read more.


Immigration Issues Will Continue to Impact Enrollment
Despite the proliferation of virtual instruction and the availability of technical support, enrollment of foreign students fell by 16% last fall. Moody's Investors Service warns higher education may feel the effects of lower international student enrollment for several years. Roadblocks to recovery include continued COVID restrictions, the tighter immigration policies enacted by former president Trump, and intense competition from other countries, including nearby Canada. Read more.


Georgia Takes the Lead in Passing Voting Laws
Governor Kemp has signed SB 202, a bill widely criticized as supporting voter suppression. Members of the Atlanta University Center Consortium and other HBCU presidents, some of whom lead institutions where students have been embroiled in litigation over voting rights, have condemned the legislation. Higher education advocacy groups have also taken a stand. As other states move to pass similar laws, Georgia faced considerable criticism from professional sports organizations, and prominent African Americans in industry and Hollywood. Although corporations went on record as opposing the law, few have gone on record in support of voter protection legislation now before congress. Neither the For the People Act nor the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (formerly the Voting Rights Advancement Act) has received much in the way of public support from the nations largest corporations. Read more.


Stung Students Rebuffed
The Biden administration has asked a Federal Claims Court to dismiss a class action suit filed by students seeking to recoup tuition and fees paid to a fake university operated by the federal government. The institution was setup as a sting operation to lure foreigners tempted to misuse school admission for visas. Many of the students were recruited from colleges that had been accredited by ACICS. No classes were offered by Farmington and requests to transfer were ignored. Eventually, student visas were terminated and students were ordered to leave the country without reimbursement. Read more.




LinkedIn Account Information for Sale
Hackers are offering a database of LinkedIn user account information for sale online. While it does not appear that the database includes sensitive financial information, what is available could be used in phishing and identity theft campaigns. LinkedIn users are advised to change their passwords and the passwords of email accounts associated with their LinkedIn profiles. They are also advised to enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. Read more.


IRS Scam Targets Higher ED
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warned institutions of higher education and their students that its name and logo are being used in a phishing campaign that targets .edu email addresses. Recipients of suspicious emails are warned not to click on any links. Individuals who believe their information has been compromised, can obtain Identity Protection PINs to prevent the filing of a fraudulent tax return in their name. Institutions that have been targeted or breached must report the incident by email (FSASchoolCyberSafety@ed.gov) or phone (202–377–4697). Read more.


FBI Warns of Ransomeware Attacks
The FBI said it has seen an increase in ransomware attacks against colleges, schools, and seminaries in several states. The hackers demand payment for decryption keys they allege will restore victim access and in some cases have threatened to sell sensitive data on the dark web. The FBI recommends taking preventative measures including: scheduling regular backups to equipment that is air gapped, password protected, and offline. Read more.


The Extent of SolarWinds Hack Remains Unclear
While it is known that the SolarWinds breach began months before being detected, the extent of the damage is less certain. Several, if not all, federal agencies and a large number of major firms are known to have been affected. In some cases, service providers, have not acknowledged the impact on their operations or provided any information to clients. Institutions should review their own disclosure obligations. They should make the appropriate inquiries to find out if their service providers use or used SolarWinds, if any data have been compromised, and if the vulnerabilities have been rectified. Read more.


Pulse Secure VPN
Hackers compromised Pulse Secure VPN, a tool popular with researchers and government. In some cases malware that bypassed two-factor authentication was installed. FireEye, the cybersecurity firm credited with discovering the SolarWinds hack, advises organizations to check the integrity of their Pulse Secure VPN installations, reset passwords, and contact the vendor's customer service for instructions. Pulse Secure VPN was acquired by Ivanti late last year. Read more.


In Memoriam

Robert "Danny" Flanigan, Jr.
Mr. Robert "Danny" Flanigan, Jr., respected executive vice president, treasurer and chief investment officer at Spelman College has passed. Mr. Flanigan began his tenure at Spelman in 1970 and is credited with helping the institution grow its endowment, manage its assets, and improve its facilities. We offer his family, friends, colleagues, and the community at Spelman College our deepest sympathies and pray for their strength during these difficult times.


Congressman Alcee Hastings
An alumnus of both Fisk University and Florida A&M University, Congressman Alcee Hastings has passed. He was the first African American federal judge in the state of Florida and later severed 15 consecutive terms in the US Congress where he was an advocate for civil rights and justice. WPG HBCU News offer our sincere condolences and prayers for his family, friends, colleagues, and the  communities at Fisk and Florida A&M Universities.



Deadlines and Information
Deadlines and Info


Financial Aid


Federal Pell Grant Program Reconciliation
The Department of Education provided specific information to assist financial aid and business offices in reconciling the Federal Pell Grant Program. Read more. The Department also published a Question and Answer sheet on the topic for reference. View PDF.


Heightened Cash Monitoring
The Heightened Cash Monitoring lists have been updated. Institutions participating in Federal Student Aid on a HCM1 basis are permitted to pay student credit balances after drawing down Title IV funds. This permission expires at the end of the payment period that begins after the COVID-19 national emergency ends. Read more


Application and Verification Guide
The Department of Education announced the Application and Verification Guide (AVG) of the 2021-2022 Federal Student Aid Handbook and the handbook itself are available. Read more.


Loan Death Discharges
The NSLDS Department of Education has updated the Death Status Conflict Report. The death discharge applied to one loan should be applied automatically to the student's other outstanding NSLDS loans in the system. Read more.


IRS Data Retrieval Tool Error
In instances where the IRS Data Retrieval Tool inaccurately reports adjusted gross income, institutions may accept a signed copy of the student's or parent's federal tax return to correct the FAFSA. For non-filers, the institution may accept a signed statement certifying that the student attempted but failed to obtain the VNF from the IRS. Read more.


Federal Student Loan Payment
President Biden extended the federal student loan payment suspension by executive order. Payments are suspended through September 30, 2021. Read more.


Data Sharing and SNAP Benefits
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to permit student eligibility until 30 days after the COVID public health emergency is lifted. Institutions may with prior written consent of the student, provide FAFSA data to state SNAP agencies if called upon to assist with verification efforts. Read more.


Unclaimed Student Credit Balances
In cases where an institution has assigned the Coronavirus Indicator to a Pell Grant, Direct Loan or TEACH Grant disbursement but is unable to disburse the funds (electronic transfers fail or a students fail to cash or deposit checks), a process must be in place to ensure the unclaimed funds never escheat to a state or revert to the school or any other third party. Those funds must be returned to the Department. Read more.


Compliance Deficiencies May Delay Awards
Institutions that have not complied with CARES Act reporting requirements may experience delays in receipt of supplemental awards or may receive awards subject to restrictions until the reporting deficiency is rectified. Read more.


Pell Grant Schedules
The 2021-2022 Award Year Federal Pell Grant Program Payment and Disbursement Schedules are available in PDF and Excel formats. Read more.


Fiscal Year 2018 Draft Cohort Default Rates
The Department of Education distributed the FY 2018 draft cohort default rate notification packages. The time for appeals began on March 2, 2021s. View Announcement. The View Default Management Website. View Default Rate FAQ. View Default Rate Guide. View Default Rate Appeals User Guide.


HEAL Program Interest Rates
The maximum interest rates for HEAL Program Loans for quarter ending June 30, 2021, were posted on the Department of Education website. View Chart.


StudentAid.gov Website Enhancements
The Student Aid website has been redesigned to provide:

  • Direct Loan entrance and exit counseling.
  • Updated loan simulator.
  • An e-version of TEACH Grant Disclosure Statements.
  • The Borrower Defense to Repayment Application in Spanish.



EDExpress for Windows, 2021-2022
EDExpress for Windows 2021-2022, Release 2.0 is available for download. Read announcement.


Service Release 2.0 Available for EDExpress for Windows 2020–2021
A Service release is available for EDExpress for Windows 2020–2021. It resolves an issue in the EDExpress Direct Loan module that impacts some student records that have more than one Direct Loan record. You must have EDExpress 2020–2021, Release 2.0 installed on your PC before running the service release. Please verify you are updating the correct version. Read more.


Payment Process Compliance
An update by Nacha to its Automated Clearing House (ACH) rules may impact institutions of higher education. Under the updated account validation rule, institutions will be required to verify checking accounts before they can be used for web payments. Enforcement will begin March 19, 2022. Additional rules for data protection require data to be secure when it is at rest. Those rules go into effect June 30, 2021. Enforcement will begin June 30, 2022. Read more.


Addendum to the 2020 Compliance Supplement 
The Office of Management and Budget's Addendum to the 2020 Compliance Supplement provides additional audit guidance for programs with expenditures of COVID-19 awards. Information provided includes advice on the treatment of donated personal protective equipment and guidance on special reporting requirements mandated by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. Read more.


Lease Concessions
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) provided guidance regarding compliance with the updated lease accounting rules during the pandemic. Read more.


Tax Guidance
The IRS has provided guidance on deferred payroll tax obligations under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The Act extends the period that the deferred taxes are withheld and paid ratably. Read more.


Pell Grant Administrative Cost Allowance
The first Administrative Cost Allowance Payments for the 2020-2021 award year have been posted in the G5 system as an available balance. Read more.


Updated Clery Act Appendix for FSA Handbook
Other than the statutory and regulatory requirements included in the update, the contents do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public. The update is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the applicable statutory and regulatory provisions. Read more.


Work Colleges Program
The Department of Education provided information on the application process for institutions interested in participating in the Work Colleges Program. View Announcement.


Privacy Issues
Institutions of higher education are exempt from the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act recently signed by Governor Northam. However, other states are considering legislation and violations could be costly. Keep track of state privacy laws and ensure third party servicers and adopted technologies are in compliance. Read more.


Natural Disaster Policy
In light of the severe winter storms, the National Institutions of Health published a reminder that it considers late applications in cases of natural disasters or emergencies. Applicants must submit a cover letter providing details about the delay with the application, which should be submitted as soon as possible after the institution has reopened. Read more


Regulators Set End Dates for Libor
End dates have been set for the Libor interest rate benchmark. New York recently enacted a law applicable for contracts governed by NY law and congress is considering a legislative fix for LIBOR on the federal level. Last month the United Kingdom confirmed that LIBOR settings will cease at the end of the year. Read more.


Early Implementation
Institutions may implement the regulation permitting use of synchronous and asynchronous distance learning in the delivery of clock-hour programs by distance learning, if the relevant licensure body will accept distance learning hours to meet licensure requirements. (The regulation goes into effect on July 1, 2021.) Read more.





Round Three HEERF Updated in New Stimulus
President Biden signed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). Read more.


Guidance Related to HEERF Funds
In addition to a fact sheet, the Department of Education provided guidance related to HEERF I and HEERF II permissible use and guidance on expenses through the pandemic and calculating lost revenue.


Guidance Related to HEERF Funds
A FAQ provided an information update for HEERF II (updated March 19, 2021), information earlier published by the Department of Education. Guidance on permissible use and expenses through the pandemic and calculating lost revenue. The Department also published an FAQ update on lost revenue for HEERF I, II, and III .


Expansion of Permitted Uses for Second Round Student Financial Aid HEERF Funds
Institutions must disburse the same amount of student financial aid that they were required to disburse in the first round of HEERF. Institutions are permitted to include students exclusively enrolled in distance education. Funds provided as financial aid grants to students can be used for any component of the cost of attendance including tuition, food, housing, health care, mental health care, and childcare. (See Section 314 Part c3) Read more.


Use of Previously Awarded Funds
An institution awarded funds under the CARES Act may use those funds under the revised terms and requirements included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. (See Section 314 d (2)). MSIs may use prior awards provided under Titles III, V, and VII of the Higher Education Act to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the pandemic. (See Section 314 Part d (1)). Read more.




Direct Loan Closeout
The Direct Loan established data submission (closeout) deadline for the 2019–20 program year is Friday, July 30, 2021. This is the last processing day of the program year, so all school data must be received and accepted by this date to be included in a school’s final Ending Cash Balance for the year. Read more.


Coronavirus Indicator
The Department of Education extended the deadline for adding the Coronavirus Indicator for disbursements of Title IV funds for the 2020-21 Award Year to September 30, 2021. The Coronavirus Indicator should be set only after confirming no further changes to a disbursement will be necessary. Read more.


Return of Title IV Reporting
The deadline for reporting funds not returned under the Return of Title IV (R2T4) requirements due to CARES Act relief is September 30, 2021, for all award years. The COD website will be updated soon. Read more.


Campus-Based Deadline Dates for the 2021-22 Award Year
The Department of Education released deadline dates for the 2021-2022 award year for campus-based programs View the announcement and download the PDF.





Title III or Title V Non-Federal Share Requirement Waiver
HBCUs automatically qualify for the waiver of the campus-based non-federal share requirement. However, this does not include the 50% federal share limitation for FWS wages paid to students employed by a private, for-profit organization, or the 80% federal share limitation for the administration of the Job Location and Development (JLD) Program. Read more.


Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement
The requirement for the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement--Borrower Completion is waived for the 2021-2022 award year. The process will continue to be available on the updated studentaid.gov website. However, completion of the acknowledgement is not required. View Announcement.


Underuse Penalties
An automatic waiver of the underuse penalty applies to 2020–2021 allocations. Institutions are permitted to continue paying FWS wages to students whose employment was interrupted by a COVID-19 related event until the end of the payment period that includes the last date that the COVID-19 national emergency is in effect. View Chart of Waivers.

Grants, Awards, Gifts

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster awarded $6,000,000 from the state's Governor's Emergency Education Relief funds (GEER) to the University of South Carolina. The university will partner with Benedict College to establish Apple computer labs strategically located to facilitate use by local school districts, HBCUs, the technical college system, and communities that lack broadband access. Read more.

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has been awarded $3,000,000 from the US Department of Agriculture for conservation research. Read more.

Morehouse College received $2,000,000 from the Ray Charles Foundation to provide scholarships through the Morehouse Student Success Program to outstanding business majors. Read more.

Winston-Salem State University's Simon Green Atkins Community Development Corporation was awarded a grant from the Small Business Administration to establish a woman's business center. The center will provide classes and mentors, and facilitate access to SBA grants and loans. Read more.

Southern University at Shreveport was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to support its dual enrollment program for high school students. The program includes development of four dual enrollment courses. The courses will allow high school students to earn credits tin engineering technology that will be accepted at any of the Southern University System institutions. Read more.

Virginia Union University has received $250,000 gift from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation to renovate its historic Industrial Hall. Read more.

Johnson C. Smith University has received a $194,000 grant from the National Archives to create a virtual 3D model of African-American neighborhoods in Charlotte, North Carolina that were destroyed under urban renewal programs. Read more.

South Carolina State University announced it has received formal recognition of its Samsung STEM Scholars program under a memorandum of understanding signed with Samsung Electronics America, Inc. The corporation will provide scholarship awards, internships, training opportunities, and career mentoring to qualified students. Read more.

Hampton University announced President Dr. William R. Harvey has donated funds to establish the annual Norma B. Harvey Character Award. The endowment will provide a bonus to a faculty member whose actions demonstrate and encourage good character. Read more.

Howard University announced the establishment of the David McGruder Scholarship for Service and Justice scholarship. The scholarship was created in memory of alumnus David Neal McGruder, Esq., and will be used to support students who fight for equity and justice. Read more.

Grambling State University College of Business announced the establishment of an endowed scholarship honoring the memory of alumna Shirley A. Clay. The Shirley A. Clay Endowed Memorial Scholarship was presented by her son and daughter, Ahamad Clay and Maisha Clay. Read more.

Morris College alumnus, Mr. Jerry Hannah, established a scholarship in honor of his mother and his aunt. The award will be used to provide financial assistance to students in need. Read more.

The Beta Tau Alumni Association has committed $500,000 to Xavier University of Louisiana to support an endowed scholarship, student internships a speaker series, and other events and organizations. Beta Tau is the Xavier University of Louisiana chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Read more.

Savannah State University received a donation from alumnus Mr. Cyrus Jackson to provide enough free hand sanitizer to each HBCU in the nation, to distribute to their entire student population. Read more.



University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences (SAFHS) named Alicia Dorn extension specialist, project/program manager-communications. In this capacity Ms. Dorn will work with the dean of SAFHS to determine priorities and oversee the production of materials that communicate those priorities. Read more.

North Carolina Central University named Dr. David H. Jackson, Jr., Ph.D., provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. Dr. Jackson is currently serving as associate provost for graduate education and the dean of the School of Graduate Studies Research, and Continuing Education at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. He was selected following a competitive, national search and will begin his tenure on July 1, 2021. Read more.

Fayetteville State University Chancellor Darrell T. Allison named his leadership team. Wendell Phillips was named vice chancellor for external affairs and military relations. He is a former member of the Maryland state legislature. Bruce Rosengrant has been named vice chancellor for university advancement. He is chief development officer for the University of Southern Mississippi. Samantha Hargrove was named chief of staff. She has served as the director of marketing communications for the University of North Carolina System. Siobhan Norris was named assistant vice chancellor for Military affairs. She is an US Army veteran and has served in the University of North Carolina System. Minda Watkins was named deputy chief of staff and secretary to the university. Prior to this appointment, she had managed the office of the president in the University of North Carolina System. Wesley Fountain was named director of community relations and economic partnerships. He previously served the institution as director of constituent and community relations. Terrance Robinson was named special assistant to the chancellor. He previously served at the university as the legal assistant and budget manager in the office of the chancellor and police and public safety. Read more.

Grambling State University named alumnus Dr. Gourjoine M. Wade as interim vice president of student affairs. He currently service as associate vice president and dean of students. Read more.

Howard University named alumnus Timothy L. Millner as executive director of Physical Facilities Management. He comes to the university from the University of the District of Columbia where he served as director of Capital Planning and Construction. Read more.

South Carolina State University named Viticus Thomas assistant director and transfer coordinator for the Department of Admissions and Recruitment. The department also named alumna Amber Nelson as admissions counselor. Mr. Thomas specializes in community relations, graduate admissions, and transfer admissions. Nelson specializes in customer service and social media management.Read more.

Shaw University named Kevin Sullivan vice president for Real Estate and Strategic Development and Terrance Dixon vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success. Mr. Sullivan has extensive experience in real estate development and public-private partnerships in higher education. Mr. Dixon will serve as the first vice president for enrollment management and student success. His experience includes service in a similar capacity at Morehouse College. Read more.
Howard University named Dr. Dana A. Williams dean of the Graduate School. She had been serving as interim dean and had previously served as chair of the Department of English. Read more.

Tougaloo College named alumna Dr. Whitney McDowell-Robinson vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Services. She recently served at he college as director of Career Pathways/Career Services and Director of International Studies. Read more.

Howard University named James Rhee the John H. Johnson Endowed Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship. She recently served at he college as director of Career Pathways/Career Services and Director of International Studies. In addition to teaching a course on impact investing, Mr. Rhee will host an entrepreneurship series and serve as senior advisor to the Center for Women, Gender, and Global Leadership. The John H. Johnson Endowed Chair for Entrepreneurship was established by Linda Johnson Rice in memory of her father John H. Johnson of the Johnson Publishing Company. Read more.

The Council of Independent Colleges welcomed new board members including Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, president of Philander Smith College. Dr. Smothers was elected to serve a three-year term. Read more.

South Carolina State University Board of Trustees elected alumna Dr. Macie Smith as a member. Dr. Smith is an author, expert social worker in gerontology, and an award winning educator. Read more.

The United Negro College Fund elected Milton H. Jones chair of its Board of Directors. Mr. Jones is the first African American to hold that position. He is currently vice-chair of the Meharry Medical College Board of Trustees, treasurer of the Board of Directors of 100 Black Men of America, and co-chair of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Read more.



Thurgood Marshall College Fund senior executive fellow, Dr. Patricia Ramsey has been named president of Medgar Evers College, effective May 1, 2021. Read more.

South Carolina State University 1890 Research and Extension was awarded a Certificate of Commendation from the American Association of School Librarians. The award was bestowed upon the program in honor of its work in the areas of literacy, youth advocacy, and community service. Read more.

Shaw University alumnus and Board of Trustees members Sean Woodroffe and Jermaine Simmons were recently honored. Mr. Woodroffee was named to the boardiQ African American Hall of Fame. The recognition is in appreciation of his leadership. Mr. Simmons was promoted to audit director for Wells Fargo Wealth and Investment Management and is a member of its leadership team. Read more.

Paul Quinn College President Dr. Michael Sorrell was named chair of the Dallas Foundation's Board of Governors. He has been an active member since 2015 and is on the foundation's Community Philanthropy Committee. Read more.

Morris College Board of Trustees will unveil a sculpture of the late Dr. Luns C. Richardson, who served as president from July 1, 1974, through June 30, 2017. The bronze statue will honor the legendary president who guided the institution through an era of growth and development. Read more.

Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction has been selected to perform in the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ® in New York City in 2022. The band, which was selected from over 100 applicants, will represent the state of South Carolina. Read more.

Grambling State University was recognized by HBCUgrow for outstanding leadership.This is the third consecutive year the university has earned  distinction for enrollment, launching Louisiana's first 4-year degree program in cybersecurity, and forging a partnership with Magic Johnson's SodexoMAGIC. Read more.

Norfolk State University assistant vice president for Human Resources Dr. Karen Hills Pruden was honored by the Virginia Beach Coalition during the group's Leading the Charge for Equity program. Dr. Pruden was praised for her leadership of the Virginia Beach NAACP and her work with the Mayor's African American Roundtable. Read more.

Nashville, Tennessee held its inaugural HBCU Day on March 12, 2021. The day celebrated HBCUs and highlighted the contributions of the city's four HBCUs: Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College, and the American Baptist College. Deputy Mayor Brenda Haywood presented an official proclamation recognizing the holiday signed by the mayor. Read more.

Johnson C. Smith University Concert Choir and the Johnson C. Smith University Alumni Choir held their first virtual spring concert. The event is available for viewing on YouTube. Watch.

West Virginia State University announced research conducted at the university has been published in the Plant Journal. The article, Altered chromatin conformation and transcriptional regulation in watermelon following genome doubling, was authored by Marleny Garcia-Lozano, Dr. Umesh K. Reddy, Dr. Padma Nimmakayala, Amnon Levi, Ramesh Katam and Carlos Lopez-Ortiz. The study has uncovered positive effects of doubling the chromosomes in seedless watermelons. Ms. Garcia-Lozano recently graduated and is currently at the Max Plank Institute in Germany where she is pursuing a Ph.D. Read more.

ED Surge featured an article by St. Philip's College vice president for student success, Dr. Mordecai Brownlee on the emergence of Hispanic-Serving Institutions. The article urged institutions seeking to acquire the HSI designation to do more than just increase the number of Hispanic students. They should provide services tailored to those students and resources to facilitate economic mobility. Institutions aspiring to a acquire the HSI designation include several HBCUs. However, Paul Quinn College was the only HBCU featured on the most recent list of emerging HSIs. Currently, St. Philip's College is the only HBCU that is also an HSI. Both institutions are in Texas. Read more.



Allen University signed a memorandum of understanding with Richland School District Two. The agreement creates a community academic impact partnership that will foster interest in STEM programs. It will provide mentoring, advising, and other resources for students in the district. Read more.

Xavier University Of Louisiana announced it is developing graduate degree programs in genetic counseling and health informatics. The university is working with Ochsner Health as part of a long-term strategy to improve healthcare in the state. It will be the first university in the state to offer a genetic counseling training program. Read more.

Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication will host a three-day institute of digital media training for HBCU students. Twenty-five students will be chosen from the pool of applicants to attend the Dow Jones News Fund HBCU Digital Media Institute. Students from all HBCUs are eligible to apply. Read more.

United Airlines has partnered with Hampton University, Elizabeth City State University, and Delaware State University to provide a pathway for their aviation students to train at the United Airlines Elite Aviate Academy. Upon completion of the program, students will be guaranteed a job with United. Read more.

Fisk University announced it has created a program to encourage four-year bachelor's degree completion. Students enrolled in the program pledge to follow the institution's Roadmap to Success, an optimized plan for completion. Successful participants will be eligible for automatic admission into specially priced master's degree programs. Read more.

Southern University at Shreveport and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center have collaborated to open a regional branch to support small businesses in northwest Louisiana. The center will provide resources to help local businesses, particularly those impacted by the pandemic. Read more.

Grambling State University School of Social Work's planned 18-hour post-baccalaureate certificate program in Advanced Supervision has been approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The program aims to improve the performance and retention of state employees. Enrollment begins in the fall 2021. Read more.

Prairie View A&M University announced it will endow the Toni Morrison Writing Program using a portion of the funds donated by MacKenzie Scott, who had been her student. The program will include an annual appointment of a Toni Morrison Writer-in-Residence, who will work to promote the legacy of African American writers. Read more.

Xavier University Of Louisiana announced an agreement with Lehigh University College of Business to create a pathway for students to earn master of science in management. Qualified liberal arts and STEM field majors completing their four-year degree at Xavier will be eligible to enter Lehigh's, MS Management program where they can earn a master of science degree in ten 10 months. Read more.

Virginia Union University announced it has partnered with the National Institute of Economic Development to launch the Women's Business Center of Richmond. The center will provide technical assistance, training, and other resources for entrepreneurs. It was made possible by a grant funded through the SBA. Read more.

South Carolina State University announced its 1890 Research & Extension program will open a new research and demonstration farm. The farm will provide training, support and information to the local community. Read more.

Meharry Medical College announced it has launched a School of Applied Computational Sciences. Beginning in August 2021, the school will offer master of science degrees in data science and biomedical data science. Read more.

Fort Valley State University announced an agreement with Grand Valley State University in Michigan to create a pathway for students to earn a master's degree in engineering or computer science within five years. Students will be eligible to pay Michigan's in-state tuition rates. Read more.


Edward Waters College Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Paul A. Bryant named Toriano Morgan head football coach. Coach Morgan's experience includes successful seasons at Virginia State University, Dillard High School, and Virginia Union University. Read more.

Tennessee State University Director of Athletics Dr. Mikki Allen named Eddie George head football coach. George had a successful career both on the collegiate level and in the NFL. Read more.

South Carolina State University Athletic Director Stacy L. Danley named Tony Madlock head coach for men's basketball. Madlock had a distinguished collegiate career at the University of Memphis where he has been serving as assistant coach since 2018. He takes the reins from Murray Garvin. Read more.

Bluefield State College's football team resumes play for the first time in over 40 years. Led by Coach Tony Coaxum, it will play an eight-game season in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). Read more.

The Texas Southern Tigers and the Norfolk State Spartans benefited their respective programs by taking home wins in the early rounds of the NCAA Tournament. It was the first time in its history that teams from two HBCU conferences— the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC), won games in the same NCAA tournament. The wins will bring funds to the conferences through the NCAAs unit system. Read more.

The NCAA has retained a law firm to evaluate its practices and policies after facing widespread criticism over inequities in treatment of its men's and women's basketball tournaments. Read more.

The US Supreme Court heard arguments on student athlete compensation via conference call. By and large the justices seemed to be supportive of the athlete's arguments and skeptical of the NCAA's position. Read more.

The NCAA is Poised to Update its Policy to permit transfer students to play immediately. Under the old rules transfer students who played on football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and men’s hockey teams were required to sit out a year. The Board of Directors will vote on the measure. Read more.


Event:WCET's 2021 Leadership Summit Series
Date:May 4, 2021

Event:Road to Recovery Spring Symposium Seminar
Date:May 26-27, 2021

Event:National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable Summit
Date:June 3-5, 2021

Event:American Association of University Administrators Leadership Seminar
Date:June 7-10, 2021

Event:AAC&U Improving and Accelerating Quality and Equity Initiatives at Scale
Date:June 14, 2021


Event:Leadership in Higher Education Conference
Date/Location:October 7-9, 2021 Baltimore, Maryland
Date/Location:October 11-December 31, 2021 Virtual

Event:2021 Federal Student Aid Training Conference
Date:Nov. 30–Dec. 3, 2021

Event:African American Board Leadership Institute Board Talks
Date:On Demand

Event:Transfer Student Success Cultivating Partnerships Between 2 and 4 Year Institutions
Date:On Demand ($)

About This Publication
WPG HBCU News is a monthly email published by the Wesley Peachtree Group, CPAs (WPG) as a service to the sector. It provides short summaries of news articles, government regulations, and announcements found online.

WPG HBCU News is available at no cost to HBCU administrators, trustees, and senior stakeholders. It is not intended as legal or financial advice. WPG's staff, writers, editors,  publishers, web hosts, e-mail distributors, and others involved with the production and presentation of this newsletter are not liable for errors, omissions, losses, injuries, or damages arising directly or indirectly from use of this newsletter or any information presented therein.

WPG is a full-service accounting firm with clients in the private business, education, government, faith-based, and not-for-profit sectors. We specialize in higher-education with a particular emphasis on minority-serving institutions. Our support for HBCUs includes the WPG HBCU News (this publication) and the Annual WPG HBCU Forum. We welcome your feedback.
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