Special Edition for Fall 2023
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HBCU President calls for Federal Help Against Racist Attacks

Edward Waters University President Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., called on the federal government to provide funding for HBCUs to protect against racist attacks. The university may have been the original target of Ryan Christopher Palmeter, the 21-year-old white male who murdered Angela Michelle Carr, Anolt Joseph Laguerre Jr., and Jarrald De'Shawn Gallion in a racist attack over the weekend.  Palmeter, who was not from Jacksonville, had been spotted on the Edward Waters’ campus just minutes before he committed the murders. Although President Biden and Vice President Harris issued statements and condolences, as of this writing, neither addressed the question of federal funding for HBCU security. On the state level, however, Florida will provide funding to bolster security at Edward Waters University. Perhaps not accidentally, the murders occurred near the anniversary of Axe Handle Saturday, an attack on black protesters in Jacksonville in 1960. It was also close to the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.  The investigation by the Jacksonville police force led by Sheriff T.K. Waters, is ongoing. The FBI is investigating the murders as a hate crime and amid an increase in racist attacks, is seeking to verify that Palmeter was not part of a wider plot.  



Higher Education

MOVEit Breach Fallout Continues

The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) did not use the file transfer app MOVEit. However, TIAA contracted with Pension Benefit Information, who did use the app. When MOVEit was hacked, TIAA's data was compromised. The class action lawsuit filed against TIAA illustrates the devastation that can result when a vendor or a vendor's vendor is hacked.  Initially, fewer than 100 colleges and universities were reportedly impacted by the MOVEit hack. However, that number will probably rise because  the breach included data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The state university systems of Georgia and Missouri, and the institutions under the Johns Hopkins umbrella are believed to have been compromised. In addition to academic downtime and the cost of data restoration and victim notification, institutions could also face higher insurance costs, lawsuits, fines, and forfeiture of eligibility to participate in government programs. Data breaches cost institutions an average of $3,650,000 in 2023. That is down slightly from $3,860,000 in 2022


AI Chatbot Vulnerability

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found advanced commercial AI Chatbots are vulnerable to adversarial attacks. Adding customized strings of information to ordinary prompts can cause the programs to generate forbidden responses. Researchers likened the scenario to a buffer overflow attack. The vendors patched their software for the particular attacks outlined in the research but have not found a way to defend against random similar attacks. This comes as many institutions are developing policies to govern how chatbots and AI in general are used on their campuses.


More Affirmative Action Lawsuits

The American Alliance for Equal Rights filed lawsuits against two law firms for their diversity fellowships. The group, which is backed by Edward Blum, founder of Students for Fair Admissions, alleges the diversity fellowships violate the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. Legal experts warn that the affirmative action ruling could be interpreted broadly and used against universities for scholarship programs and employers for hiring practices. Experts advise university administrators to review their written policies and procedures and their insurance policies. Insurers may not fully cover legal costs. They may reject the claim outright by contending that clients should have adapted their programs to comply with the new law. The Department of Education (ED) published resources for institutions seeking to advance diversity within the confines of the ruling.


Housing Crunch

The affordable housing crisis gripping the United States has not spared higher education. Inflation, high interest rates, labor and material shortages, and an increase in the number of students seeking housing have contributed to the crisis. Many students who stopped out during the pandemic are returning. Some institutions were able to meet projected housing needs but others have not  Trying an innovative approach, one college asked selected students to take the semester off in exchange for a stipend. With enrollment soaring at one HBCU, some students were moved into dormitories converted from shipping containers. The housing has a modern look and may remain in use after construction on the new dormitory is completed.


Financial Instability and Program Realignment

Low enrollment has led public universities to slash programs. Preparations to phase out four academic programs are underway at the State University of New York at Potsdam. Bachelor programs getting the ax include computer science, geography, and speech. A graduate program in college teaching will also be phased out. West Virginia University recommended eliminating 32 programs, ending its language requirement for all majors, and completely shuttering its world language department. The cuts would reduce the faculty by 7 percent. Dickinson State University president has proposed restructuring the institution’s nine academic departments into four schools. St. Andrews University is an example of an institution that cut humanities programs, added athletic teams, and created majors in nursing, occupational-therapy assisting, and sports management in an attempt to stay afloat. Such strategies aim to mitigate the negative impact that changes in demographics, the political landscape, corporate influence, and the economy has had on some institutions.


Higher Education Salaries

The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) released its research on salaries in the higher education sector. The study found increases year over year, particularly in non-exempt staff positions. However, adjusted for inflation, the salaries are still lower than they were before the pandemic. 


Flak Over Spending and Financial Transparency

A Wall Street Journal article critical of spending on campus upgrades by flagship public universities ignited a call for governing boards to provide stricter financial oversight and data transparency. The article tied high tuition and massive student debt to unfettered spending.


State of Facilities Report

Gordian released its State of Facilities Report for 2023. The researchers found increases in maintenance deferral and increases in the use of technology that may lessen the need for classroom space. 


Sharing, Partnerships, and Mergers

Mckinsey & Company published an article on collaboration and consolidation in higher education. It offered advice on overcoming the obstacles that institutions may encounter when considering mergers. Higher Education Today published an article on course sharing. It was the third in a series on how the sector has evolved to include alternative providers and new business models. Part one focused on the various types of alternative providers, the needful standards and taxonomy. Part two delved into networks, hands-on learning, the social and economic impacts of emerging technology, and the role alternative providers may play.


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Department of Education


New and Pending ED Rules

Rules the Department of Education published last year went into effect July 1, 2023. These include restoration of Pell Grant eligibility to incarcerated students; a prohibition on mandatory arbitration agreements; a prohibition on requiring borrowers to waive their right to join a class action lawsuit related to a borrower defense to repayment claim; updates to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program; requirement that employers of  teachers in the PSLF program must credit adjunct and contingent faculty a minimum of 3.35 hours of work for every credit hour taught with full-time employment set at 30 hours per week; and a prohibition on including veteran and military service member awards when calculating compliance with the 90/10 rule. 


Marijuana on Campus

Although several states permit possession and use of marijuana for medical conditions or for recreation, the federal government does not. This is made clear on the federal campus drug prevention website and in its campus compliance guide. Experts advise institutions to comply with the federal rule to prevent losing access to Federal Student Aid and research grants. Institutions that want to accommodate students’ medicinal use, can suggest off-campus housing. Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) launched a blog to share related research and strategies.


Food Insecurity

An analysis of recent data from the Department of Education shows nearly a quarter of all undergraduate students are victims of food insecurity. The rate for black students is a whopping 35%. In all but one of the racial categories, men fared better than women.  Administrators should note that students enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) under the pandemic rules may no longer be eligible. Congress is considering legislation that makes it easier for students to apply for benefits. Until then, students will have to apply on their own and may be subject to work requirements. 


Prison Education Program Info.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) published a guide to the Prison Education Program’s approval process. Additional information can be found in the FSA knowledge center



Registration for the 2023-2024 IPEDS data collection fall cycle opened on August 9, 2023. Participation is mandatory for all institutions that participate in federal student aid. Data collection for fall includes enrollment, completions, and institutional characteristics.  Changes to the survey include updates to reporting on outcome measures, dual enrollment, incarcerated students, and student gender. Visit the National Center for Education Statistics to view additional information including instructions, forms, and FAQs. An institution that does not report on time or whose reporting is inaccurate or incomplete will be considered noncompliant and reported as such to Federal Student Aid. Fall data collection is open from August 9, 2023 through October 18, 2023. The Association for Institutional Research published several tutorials to help in both completing the surveys and using the data.  


Grant Available

The Department announced it is accepting applications for the Postsecondary Student Success Grant Program (PSSG). The purpose of the PSSG program is to improve student retention, credit accumulation, transfers (including successful transfer of completed credits), and completion. HBCUs are eligible for the grant. The deadline for submitting an application is September 25, 2023 and the deadline for intergovernmental review is November 24, 2023. 


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Maryland OKs Duplicative Program at PWI

Despite protest by Morgan State University President Dr. David K. Wilson, Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has approved a Ph.D in Business Analytics program at Towson University. The program may violate the 2021 settlement between the state and four state HBCUs. Maryland HBCU Advocates says the Ph.D in Business Analytics program at Towson will harm the Ph.D in Business Administration at Morgan State University. The MHEC initially found the program to be duplicative and denied the request. However, it later reversed course and approved the program. The state’s legislative black Caucus has weighed in and is expected to introduce a bill that would make the program approval process more equitable and transparent. However, it is unclear if the program in question will be allowed to continue.


COVID Policies

In COVID-19 Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2023, the American College Health Association offers guidelines for creating vaccination, masking, testing, surveillance, isolation, long COVID, and travel policies. The association also released the results of a COVID management survey which provides insight into the plans institutions have in place. Tuskegee University is requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test for its campus and is providing a wealth of information for students. The Atlanta University Center Consortium (Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Clark Atlanta University, and Spelman College) is using an alert system that monitors COVID related risk, adjusts protocols accordingly, and informs the campus community using four color-coded alert levels. 


Washington Monthly College Rankings

Several HBCUs appeared in the top 50 colleges and universities in Washington Monthly's 2023 College Guide and Rankings. The magazine rates institutions according to their public service and contributions. It bills itself as the answer to the beleaguered U.S. News & World Report whose methods and values have been widely criticized. 



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Federal and State

Direct Pay Update

The IRS updated the FAQ page for elective pay (also known as direct pay) regulations contained in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The act provides certain tax-exempt entities, including 501(c)(3) organizations, the ability to receive payment equal to the full value of clean energy tax credits under specified conditions. Although the law went into effect January 1, 2023, the various federal agencies are still hammering out implementation details and some rules are temporary and could be revised. The updated guidance and online briefing eases some of the uncertainty tax professionals saw in the statute. Of particular concern was the eligibility of public universities that did not have the 501(c)(3) status and the pre-filing requirement. The IRS is still accepting comments on the implementation of the law.


New Federal and State Laws

Recent laws passed by state and federal legislatures include the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act  (PWFA) and Louisiana’s Act 264, which requires colleges and universities to display the national motto (In God We Trust) in every classroom. Under the PWFA employers must accommodate employees whose ability to work has been temporarily impacted by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published a notice of proposed rulemaking to work out how best to implement the PWFA. Resources currently available for employers include a webinar and a resource page.


The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released updates to mandatory posting requirements. The DOL poster update includes a section on nursing mothers’ right to pump breast milk at work. The updated EEOC poster provides information regarding unlawful discrimination in the workplace.


The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in Stericycle Inc. reversed the standard set in Boeing Co. The new stricter standard allows the NLRB to consider work rules on a case-by-case basis. The standard prohibits any rule that could dissuade employees from exercising their rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Pundits say many employers will have to revise their policies and employee handbooks.


Homeland Security

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an update to the Form I-9 and a summary of the changes. With the discontinuation of COVID waivers, employers are required to complete an in-person examination for documents previously faxed, emailed, or viewed remotely during the pandemic. In some cases, an alternative procedure will satisfy the required physical examination. An institution that employs an F-1 student with a STEM OPT extension must enroll in E-Verify and be sure all applicable sites and students are properly verified


Contract Compliance and Affirmative Action

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs updated its FAQ page to verify that the ruling does not relieve federal contractors from their affirmative action obligations. Federal contractors must comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity statute (Executive Order 11246), the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), and the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503). 


Student Visa Denial

Although enrollment of international students rebounded in 2022, the number of visa denials increased. Over 200,000 international students, largely from India, were denied visas. 


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Federal Student Loan

Income-driven Repayment

ED announced applications for the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan are available online. The SAVE plan is an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan bases repayment calculations on income and family size and changes the way payments are counted toward forgiveness. 804,000 borrowers will have their loans automatically canceled


Career Colleges and Schools of Texas (CCST) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education seeking to strike down the borrower defense to repayment rule update that went into effect July 1, 2023. The court granted the injunction, that preventing the Department from implementing its update to the borrower defense to repayment rules until the lawsuit is heard. In the lawsuit, CCST alleges the ban on arbitration agreements and the relaxation of borrower defense to repayment rules will harm its members by increasing the likelihood a loan will be discharged. The Department of Education reserves the right to claw back the cost of loan discharges. The updates to the IDR fix the way payments are counted toward forgiveness and prohibit loan servicers from policies deemed abusive.


The Department of Education was also facing a lawsuit filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance on behalf of the Cato Institute and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. These organizations have been at the forefront of opposition to student debt relief and the repayment pause. They alleged the Department of Education did not have the authority to update the income-driven repayment program. However, finding they lacked standing, US District Judge Thomas Ludington dismissed the case. The lawsuit could have delayed debt relief for over 800,000 borrowers who had been in repayment for decades. The Department announced it will begin discharging loans right away.


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Tennessee State University President Dr. Glenda Glover announced she will retire at the end of the spring 2024 semester. A Tennessee State University alumna, Dr. Glover has led the university since 2013. Dr. Glover is one of the few African American women to have earned the combination of Ph.D, CPA, and JD degrees.Henceforth, she will dedicate her time to addressing racism on a national level.


Philander Smith College named Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson interim president. She takes the reins from Terry Esper who served as executive in charge following the resignation of Dr. Roderick Smothers. 


Bethune Cookman University named Dr. William Berry acting president. His appointment follows the departure of Dr. Lawrence Drake, who had served as interim president since June 2022.  Dr. Berry is an accomplished professor, journalist and business manager. He also serves as provost for the university.  


Florida A&M University named Dr. Felicia McGhee associate dean of curriculum and student success for its new School of Journalism & Graphic Communication. Dr. McGhee hails from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s communication’s department.  


Meharry Medical College named Dr. Sonja Harris-Haywood dean of the Meharry Medical College School of Medicine. Dr. Harris-Haywood previously served as associate dean of curriculum integration at Northeast Ohio Medical University college of Medicine. 


Texas Southern University announced the Interim Dean for the College of Transdisciplinary Studies Dr. Aisha Moultry has been named to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Emerging  Leaders Program. 


Howard University announced alumna Phylicia Rashad, dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, will step down at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year. Dean Rashad assumed the role in May 2021.


Allen University named Dr. W. Franklin Evans director of Boeing Institute on Civility and Vice President of Innovation. His duties will include oversight of the Waverly Wall Museum and the Dominion Energy Palmetto African American Hall of Fame. He previously served as president at Voorhees University and at West Liberty University. 


Moorehouse College named Dr. Derrick Brooms executive director of the Black Men’s Research Institute. Dr. Brooms will leave the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where he served as professor and department head of its Africana studies program. The college also named Dr. Robbie Morganfield executive director of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. Dr. Morganfield comes to the college from North Carolina A&T State University where he chaired the department of journalism and mass communication.


Talladega College promoted vice president and chief of staff, Dr. Kenyatta Shamburger to the position of senior vice president and chief operating officer. However, he will continue to perform the duties of chief of staff. He previously served at  HBCUs Philander Smith University and Morehouse College and also served at Iowa State and Clemson Universities.


Bluefield State University named Dr. Sarita A. Rhonemus as interim provost and Dr. Ted Lewis as president of its Beckley campus. Bluefield University has branches in Beckley, Welch, and Lewisburg, West Virginia. 


North Carolina Central University named Mr. Joel T. Faison chief information officer. The position is part of the university’s Executive Leadership Team. Mr. Faison previously served in a similar capacity at Shaw University. He also served at William Peace University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Fisk University named Ms. Holly Rachel executive director of the Darrell S. Freeman Sr. Incubation and Innovation Center. Ms. Rachel is an active member of Blacks in Technology and was instrumental in the development of the center.


Jackson State University named alumna Ms. Gwendolyn Caples interim vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the JSU Development Foundation, Inc. Ms. Caples previously served the university as assistant vice president of institutional advancement and external affairs.


University of the Virgin Islands named Ms. Karen M. Carty director of athletics. She is the university’s first female athletics director. She previously served as assistant commissioner for strategic communication for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). She also served as the executive producer for MEAC’s digital network.


Morehouse College named alumnus and former NBA player, Harold Ellis athletic director. Mr. Ellis played for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets before embarking on a career as a professional coach in the league. 


Prairie View A&M University named Mr. Anton Goff athletics director. Mr. Goff previously served as director of athletics for St. John’s University, for the University of Hartford, and Bowie State University. He comes to Prairie View from Northern Illinois University, where he served as senior associate athletics director.


Jackson State University confirmed Athletic Director Ashley Robinson will continue leading its athletics program—putting an end to rumors that he was leaving.


LeMoyne-Owen College announced Head Coach Bonzi Wells has accepted a position as the assistant coach at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Coach Wells, a former NBA player, leaves the college after two seasons with an overall 34-22 record. At Georgia Institute of Technology, he will work with Head Coach Damon Stoudamire, a former Portland Trailblazers teammate.


HBCU Law Enforcement Executives and Administrators announced the 2023-2025 executive leadership team and regional vice presidents at its annual training conference in New Orleans, LA.  Chief Debra William of Clark Atlanta University was named president and Chief Damon Williams of North Carolina Central University was named vice president.

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Florida A&M University’s Florida Small Business Development Center at FAMU received a $3,000,000 grant from the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. The university will add $1,000,000 to the grant and use the funds to establish the Florida Panhandle Capital Readiness Collaborative. The collaborative will provide technical assistance and programs to promote underserved small and minority owned businesses. 


The Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation will offer scholarships to descendants of Jesuit and Catholic slaveholding in the US. The foundation will partner with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to administer the scholarships. The program will run for five-years during which it will provide need-based scholarships of up to $10,000.


The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will invest over $33,000,000 in capacity building projects at 1890 land-grant institutions. The funds will be administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture through 82 research, extension, and education projects.


The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has been selected to administer $400,000 in scholarships offered by the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation. The foundation created the scholarships to address the legacy of Jesuit and Catholic slaveholding in the US. 


The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta launched a reverse scholarship program that will repay student loans. The program will initially provide $300,000 to pay off the loans of a small group of borrowers. Parents who went into debt to finance their children’s education will be included. The pilot program will target borrowers who live in specific neighborhoods and plans to expand in the future.


Savannah State University received a $1,038,533 National Science Foundation grant to research the quantities and movement patterns of micro plastics on the coast of Georgia. The 3-year grant will support the work of four undergraduate students and two graduate students. 


Alabama A&M University received $750,000 to participate in the Increasing Land Access Program, a USDA initiative. In collaboration with Alcorn State University, Southern University, and Tennessee State University, Alabama A&M will provide technical assistance to underserved farmers. The aim of the program is to increase the number of farmers of color in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The university also received a 3-year $700,000 award from the Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program. The funds will be used for student support initiatives.


Jackson State University announced Cadence Bank will establish an academic scholarship at the university’s College of Business. $60,000 in scholarships will be awarded over three years.


The Department of Education is accepting grant applications for the Research and Development Infrastructure Grant Program (RDI). The deadline for transmittal of applications is October 2, 2023 and the deadline for intergovernmental review is November 30, 2023. A notice to this effect was published in the Federal Register.


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Philander Smith College officially completed the transition to University status. The institution announced its intention to become a university when it launched a master of business administration program—its first graduate program. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Philander Smith University was founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1877 as Walden Seminary. 


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities selected Dr. Aisha Morris Moultry to participate in their 2023 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). Dr. Moultry is the interim dean of the College of Transdisciplinary Studies and a professor of pharmacy practice and administration at Texas Southern University. She joins 34 of her peers in the six month hybrid program. The ELP is designed to help academic and administrative leaders hone their skills and become effective leaders. 


Virginia Talent + Opportunity Partnership recognized Norfolk State University as one of the best employers for interns in the state of Virginia. The award celebrates employers who provide high quality internships that help students advance toward life and career goals.


South Carolina State University honored Head Football Coach Emeritus Willie E. Jeffries by embedding his name in the turf on Willie E. Jeffries Field in Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. The field was named in honor of Coach Jeffries in 2010, the year he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In addition to two stints as head coach at South Carolina State University, he also served at Howard University and was the first Black coach of a PWI Division I Football team. 


Lincoln University hilltop campus was included as a stop on a walking tour organized by the Historic City of Jefferson, a non-profit, and Lincoln University. The walking tour began at the Soldier’s Memorial, a monument to the Black Civil War veterans who founded the institution. Booklets featuring information about the historic buildings on campus were available. Award-winning author and Jefferson City historian, Michelle Brooks spoke briefly about the university’s founding. 


Claflin University artist-in-residence, Dr. Leo Twiggs was awarded the Virginia Theological Seminary’s Dean’s Cross at Grace Cathedral Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The award is the Seminary’s highest honor and was bestowed in recognition of his work.


West Virginia State University extended an offer of help to Alderson Broaddus University students. The HBCU said it will waive application fees and expedite the enrollment process so students can continue their education without interruption. Alderson Broaddus University announced it will close. The faltering university was facing extreme financial pressures and was no longer authorized to award degrees.


The University System of Maryland Consortium Pathway to Professions Initiatives for Inclusive Excellence held the 2023 Pathways to Professions Leadership Academy. The Department of Education awards the Pathways to Professions grant. The grant is used to support teacher diversity and inclusion initiatives and promote the profession throughout the state. Dr. Yi-Ping Huang of Coppin State University is the lead researcher.


On the anniversary of his passing, the US Postal Service premiered the John Lewis forever stamp at Morehouse College. Postal officials, the Ebenezer Baptist Church choir, Alfre Woodard, Senator Raphael Warnock, Senator Jon Ossoff, and many associates and admirers of the civil rights icon attended the service. Around the country, others also commemorated John Lewis’s life. The American Baptist College and Fisk University communities participated in a march down Rep. John Lewis Way in Nashville, Tennessee. The late senator was an alumnus of both institutions.


Edward Waters University was awarded the UNCF ICB UNITE 2023 Student Champion Award for student success at the recent UNCF Annual summit for Black higher education. The university was honored for improving student retention.


Delaware State University hosted its 13th annual HBCU Philanthropy Symposium. This year’s theme was Assessing Today: Planning for Tomorrow. Attendees included representatives from UNCF, TMCF, ECMC, CASE, professional sports foundations, publishers, the mass media, and several HBCUs.


Florida A&M University raised $25,746,316 during its 2022-2023 fundraising campaign. The feat marked the third year in a row that the university exceeded its goals and broke its own fundraising record. A dip in alumni giving was offset by donations from corporations and foundations. 


Claflin University hosted Publishing 200: How to Sustain Publications for HBCU Humanities Faculty Members in a Post-Covid-19 Era organized by the UNCF-Mellon Faculty Teaching and Learning Institute. The program included workshops designed to assist participants in developing strategies for finding time for research and selecting the appropriate peer-reviewed publication.


Media Mentions


The Washington Post published an article on two new HBCU presidents. Dr. Wayne A.O. Frederick and Ronald Mason, Jr. JD, are passing the baton after nearly a decade of service at Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia. Dr. Frederick is leaving the Howard University presidency in the hands of Dr. Ben Vinson III, a historian. Dr. Vinson is currently serving as provost and executive vice president at Case Western Reserve University. He will begin his tenure on September 1, 2023. Dr. Maurice Edington has already begun serving as president of the University of the District of Columbia. He hails from Florida A&M University where he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer.


The Grio published an article about the recent Supreme Court ban on affirmative action in college admissions. The article featured the reactions of several HBCU presidents including Dr. George T. French, Jr., president of Clark Atlanta University, Dr. Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University, Dr. James E. K. Hildreth president of Meharry Medical College, Dr. David A. Thomas, president or Morehouse College, and Dr. Helene D. Gayle, president of Spelman College. 


The New Journal & Guide published an op-ed penned by Hampton University President LTG Darrell K. Williams, Rtd. In Learn, Lead, & Lift: HBCUs Will Continue To Thrive Amid Diversity Debate , President Williams expressed the need for both increased support of HBCUs and diversity initiatives that ensure Black students are not perfunctorily excluded from PWIs. 


Local stations around the country covered move-in day. Some HBCUs welcomed their largest cohort of students. HBCUs, in general, have bucked the tide of falling enrollment trending in the higher education sector. Edward Waters University and Wilberforce University were among those featured by local news stations.


HBCU advocates, Ms. Aja Johnson and Dr. Zillah Fluker, published an article on working with the board of trustees and other stakeholders at Talladega College. Dr. Fluker is the director and Ms. Johnson is the senior program manager for the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building Executive Leadership vertical. The article was published on Medium.


Former president of Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Ruth J. Simmons has written her memoir, Up Home: One Girl’s Journey. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Published by Random House, the book will be released September 5, 2023.


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Delaware State University (DSU) and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) created a center to help HBCUs support adult learners. The TMCF-DSU Joint Center for HBCU Non-Traditional Completion will specialize in helping other HBCUs apply best practices DSU developed during a three-year pilot program for near-completers and adult learners. 


Texas Southern University’s (TSU) professional pilot program is now accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). TSU joins Elizabeth City State, Florida Memorial, and Hampton Universities as HBCUs accredited by AABI. Texas Southern University has the only AABI accredited program in the state of Texas. 


Alabama A&M University signed a memorandum of understanding with Huntsville City Schools to establish a dual enrollment program this fall. The program will enable students in the Huntsville City School system to earn college credits as they take courses taught by university faculty.  


Meharry School of Applied Computational Sciences and Fisk University joined forces to organize the Collaborative Interactive Data Science Academy over the summer. Aimed at high school students, the program provided access to some of the innovative technologies used by NASA. The program was funded by a grant from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education project. 


Bluefield State University announced the formation of a partnership with the Council for Aid to Education (CAE). The partnership will run for four years during which CAE will make student assessments using performance tasks that measure and improve skills such as critical thinking, writing and problem solving.

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Edward Waters University announced it will advance to its final year of provisional status in the NCAA Division II. As a full member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the university will be eligible to compete in post-season games at the end of its provisional status. 


Baseball great, Ken Griffey, Jr. and the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation launched the inaugural HBCU Swingman Classic. Both Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. attended the exhibition game which was held at the Mariners’ stadium in Seattle, Washington. The game was broadcast on the MLB Network and marked the beginning of baseball’s All-Star week.


Senator Ted Cruz released a draft of legislation that would regulate Name Image and Likeness (NIL), compensation, employment status, recruiting, transfer, and eligibility, rules in collegiate sports. The proposed legislation would modify rules already in place such as the Sports Agent Responsibility Act. It would protect the NIL rights of student-athletes and create a unified set of rules all institutions, conferences, and states would be required to abide by. According to Higher ED Dive, the NCAA favors Senator Cruz’s proposal. He is the ranking member of the committee that has jurisdiction over athletics.


NCAA President Charlie Baker published an open letter to NCAA members reviewing accomplishments and listing upcoming changes. Changes on the horizon include the creation of a health insurance fund that will provide resources for student-athletes whose injuries continue to require treatment after their college playing days are over. Post-eligibility injury insurance will provide coverage for two years after the student-athletes complete their college athletic experience. 


ESPN Events will broadcast the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship contest featuring the top HBCU Division I and II marching bands. The competition will occur December 15, 2023 the day before the Cricket Celebration Bowl. Both event will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. 


Sportico has begun publishing a graphic database of athletic department finances at select public institutions. 


The Athletic published an article by Chris Vannini on how television deals, realignment, and collapsing conferences have impacted college football. 


Investment firm, Sixth Street and JP Morgan Chase are reportedly in talks with Florida State University according to an article in Sportico. The university is looking for a way to raise money. Private equity does not play a role in college sports yet, although its presence in professional sports continues to grow. NCAA conference instability and frenzied realignment may make such alliances routine in the future.


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Deadlines and Information



The Fiscal Operations Report for 2022-2023 and Application to Participate for 2024-2025 (FISAP) is available on the COD website. The deadline to submit the form is Friday, September 29, 2023. All institutions that had Campus-Based expenditures for the 2022–2023 award year and schools that wish to request funding under the Campus-Based programs for the 2024–2025 award year must submit the FISAP electronically on the COD website. Federal Student Aid (FSA) has posted a PDF of the FISAP and provided instructions and a desk reference. Please be sure you have the correct address for the FSA Partner and School Relations Center.


End of Pandemic Waivers

FSA published detailed information on the end of the COVID-19 waivers and flexibilities. The page also contains a table listing the deadlines for the coronavirus indicator and the return of Title IV funds for award years 2019-2020 through 2023-2024. 


FAFSA Simplification Update

FSA published an updated 2024-2025 FAFSA Specifications Guide. They also provided a Power Point presentation and a PDF preview of the 2024-2025 FAFSA form. 


The FAFSA Simplification Act restores Pell Grant eligibility for students who received eligible loan discharges. FSA published a notice explaining how Pell Grant restoration for eligible loan discharges will work. The notice provides details on the procedure financial aid departments should follow in cases where a student’s total eligibility used (TEU) exceeds 100%.


Implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act will conclude during the 2024-2025 award year. FSA provided a short glossary of key terms and a summary of changes institutions can expect to see. Significant changes to need analysis formulas include:


• Transition from the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to the Student Aid Index (SAI) which can be a negative number (minimum of -1,500); 

• Removal of the number of family members in college from the eligibility calculation

• Elimination of alternate EFCs for enrollment for a period other than 9 months and

• Elimination of the Simplified Needs Test (SNT) and Auto-Zero calculations 


For a complete rundown of FAFSA Simplification implementation see the FSA announcement. In addition, a question and answer page containing information and helpful examples regarding SAI, the awarding of other financial assistance (OFA), and Pell Grant calculation is maintained by the Department of Education.


FSA released the following guide and supplements:


2024-25 Draft Student Aid Index (SAI) and Pell Grant Eligibility Guide


Supplement – EFC to SAI Crosswalk 


Supplement – EFC to SAI Scenarios 


Supplement – Eligibility for Max or Min Pell Grant Resource 


Supplement – Pell Formulas and Enrollment Intensity



Other changes that in the FAFSA are explained in this Dear Colleague Letter published last November 2022. The letter included a FAQ section.


FAFSA Applicant Tax Information

Please note that per the FUTURE Act, the Department of Education will get federal tax information (FTI) directly from the IRS for FAFSA applicants, and if applicable, for their parents, and spouses. The FAFSA applicant must approve and consent to the disclosure of their and FTI. If they do not consent they will not be eligible for Federal Student Aid.


Prison Education Program

FSA posted a factsheet (FAQ) on the Prison Education Program (PEP) approval process. It provides eligibility details, links to the PEP application form and other useful information. 


Pre-dispute Arbitration

Federal regulations that went into effect July 1, 2023 include a prohibition on pre-dispute arbitration agreements and class action bans. Refer to the FSA announcement for information on the verbiage that must be used to comply with the new statute and details on the arbitral and judicial records that an institution may need to submit to the Department of Education.



See the Federal Register for the complete list of the 2023-2024 award year deadlines



Compliance with recently updated federal cybersecurity rules is required for participation in Federal Student Aid programs. Information and resources available include: FSA cybersecurity webpage, ED’s Cybersecurity Incident Planning for Institutes of Higher Education; the latest draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework; Homeland Security’s Cyber Incident Reporting Factsheet; ED’s Media Sanitization and Disposal Best Practices; and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s Performance Goals update and Shield Up Guidance for CEOs, and FSA’s guidance for customers of Progress Software on handling the MOVEit breach.



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Event: 2023-2024 NCES IPEDS Updates Webinar

Date: September 7, 2023

Location: Virtual

Information: Details


Event: African American Board Leadership Institute

Date: September 7th, 9th, 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, 2023

Location: Virtual

Information: Details


Event: Transforming Enrollment through Courageous Leadership

Date: September 19, 2023 

Location: Virtual

Information: Details


Event: Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference

Date: September 20-24, 2023 

Location: Washington, DC

Information: Details


Event: Conducting an Enterprise Assessment

Date: September 21, 2023

Location: Virtual

Information: Details


Event: 2023 National HBCU Week Conference

Date: September 24-28, 2023

Location: Arlington, VA

Information: Details 


Event: Innovation and Public-Private Partnership in Higher Education

Date: September 27-29, 2023

Location: Arlington, VA

Information: Email your request for an invitation


Event: CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo

Date: October 1-3, 2023

Location: New Orleans, LA

Information: Details


Event: 2023 QA Elevate Virtual Retreat

Date: October 6, 2023

Location: Virtual

Information: Details


Event: TRACS 2023 Annual Conference

Date: October 25-27, 2023

Location: Orlando, Florida

Information: Additional Details



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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.

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