January 2021

Top Story

HBCU Presidents to Meet with Tech CEO

The presidents of Florida A&M, Howard, Morgan State, Prairie View A&M, and North Carolina A&T State Universities will meet with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The institutions are among several HBCUs that have relationships with the tech giant. Thurgood Marshall College Fund President Dr. Harry L. Williams arranged the meeting, which will take place virtually. The group will address conditions at the company. Concerns arose after a diversity recruiter and an artificial intelligence researcher publically alleged the company undervalues and mistreats women and HBCU recruits. Online response to the allegations of racism and sexism was swift. At least one company, HBCU 20x20, has already  severed ties. The situation is the latest to highlight the diversity problems that plague the tech industry's workforce, research, and productsGoogle, whose 2020 diversity report is available online, has not made a public statement regarding the issue. Read more.
Other News
Other News

Historic Inauguration
Two weeks after the failed assault on the US Capitol, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in without incident. During the Virtual Parade Across America part of the event, Vice President Harris was escorted by the Howard University Drumline and President Biden was escorted by the drumline from his alma mater, the University of Delaware. Bands from Grambling, Jackson State, South Carolina State, Southern, Texas Southern, and Florida A&M Universities also participated in the historic event, which was live streamed. A recording can be viewed online here.

President Acts Quickly
President Biden is using executive orders to frame his pandemic response and his administration's stance on the climate crisis and racism. Although he mentioned disparities in funding for minority-serving institutions, they were not included in any of his directives. The executive orders he signed:

establish a pandemic testing board,

halt construction of the border wall,

provide federal support for underserved communities,

end the so-called Muslim/Trump travel ban,

direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development to redress discriminatory policies,

stop the Department of Justice from using private prisons,

reaffirm federal commitment to tribal sovereignty and consultation, and

condemn anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander discrimination.

The president also proposed legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently residing in the US. The law would provide immediate access to green cards for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients, also known as Dreamers. Several leaders in higher education voiced support for the bill. Read more.

Pandemic Updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC released a report on the incidence of COVID-19 at institutions and their surrounding communities when they reopened for the fall semester. The CDC also updated its general recommendations, guidance on testing, and toolkit for colleges and universities. Read more.

HBCUs Participate in Plus Loan Alternative
Morehouse College, Tougaloo College, Florida A&M, Claflin, Clark Atlanta, Hampton, Prairie View A&M, Tuskegee, Claflin, South Carolina State, and Xavier Universities have agreed to participate in the Student Freedom Initiative (SFI). SFI will provide income-contingent financing as an alternative to Plus Loans. Juniors and seniors in STEM programs at participating institutions will be eligible to participate, providing they have borrowed the maximum amount of federal assistance (loans, grants, and scholarships). The student support components of the program, including mentoring and internships, will be available to students in all majors. The program is founded by Robert F. Smith and will start in the fall 2021. Read more.

College Scorecard Update
The Department of Education announced it now includes information on how borrowers from individual institutions are progressing in repaying federal loans and how overall borrower cohorts are doing at various intervals. Read more.

Final Numbers for Fall Enrollment
According to data analyzed by the National Student Clearinghouse, post secondary enrollment has fallen by 2.5 percent overall for fall 2020. Public two-year institutions saw the greatest plunge. The decline in freshmen enrollment was very steep. However, there was a bright spot in the statistics. Graduate enrollment for all types of institutions increased. Read more.

Wealthy Institutions Continue to Thrive
Statistics show admissions at wealthy elite institutions remained high and is, in some cases, higher than it was before the pandemic. Typically these institutions serve students from wealthy backgrounds. Institutions that serve students from more modest financial roots, are finding it harder to recruit students as many of those students have prohibitive financial concerns. There are HBCUs on both ends of that spectrum, with some enjoying record-breaking admissions and others struggling to enroll students. The latest application data from the Common App, show the number of first generation applicants declined despite an increase in the overall number of applications. Read more.

College Board Updates the SAT
Twenty subject tests and the optional essay have been cut from the SAT by the College Board. Subject tests were optional exams students could take to demonstrate mastery in subjects not covered by the SAT. Wider access to Advanced Placement courses have made them unnecessary. At the same time that more institutions are making the test optional or removing it as an admissions requirement, the pandemic has made it difficult for students to access testing sites. The College Board itself is facing the financial pressures of the pandemic, allegations of bias, and criticism of how it profits from the sale of student data. Read more.

ED Should Assess TRIO Programs
In a recent report, the Government Accountability Office recommended the Department of Education develop a plan to assess the effectiveness of TRIO programs. TRIO programs include Upward Bound, Talent Search, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, Veterans Upward Bound, a Training Program for TRIO Staff, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement, and the Upward Bound Math and Science programs. Read more.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for Students
In an effort to combat food insecurity, Congress extended eligibility for SNAP to college students. Eligibility requirements include minimum enrollment and maximum income caps. Read more.

ED Updates Heightened Cash Monitoring List
The Department of Education published an updated list of institutions that are participating in federal student aid under heightened cash monitoring provisions. Read more.

Grant Application Leads to Charges
Federal prosecutors arrested a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. He was charged with failing to disclose ties with and funding from the government of China in federal grant applications. The case is one of several lodged against academics in recent months. In most of the cases, the charges concern collaboration with the government of China. Read more.

HBCUs Continue Graduate Admissions
There were no HBCUs on the Chronicle of Higher Education's list of institutions that paused graduate admissions last fall due to the pandemic. The list included universities that paused graduate admissions on the institution level as well as those that limited the policy to select schools. In contrast, some HBCUs are launching new graduate programs, despite the pandemic. Others are partnering with other institutions to offer students accelerated pathways to graduate degrees. Read more.

Excess Tax-Exempt Organization Executive Compensation
The IRS published final regulations that impose a tax on specified executive compensation. The excise tax would be applicable to a tax-exempt organization that pays a covered employee or former employee remuneration in excess of $1,000,000 for a taxable year (or any excess parachute payment) effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. It is a tax on the employer not the employee. It is expected to impact elite private institutions that pay top salaries to athletic coaches. Read more.

White House Initiative on HBCUs
There's been much speculation as to the next executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs. Among the names suggested are Dr. Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, professor of psychology at Howard University, and Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, chair of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. There has been no indication from the president as to what names are on his shortlist. In the meantime, the White House Initiative on HBCUs has released a brief, highlighting the successes and lauding the contributions of individuals and organizations it worked with over the past four years. Read more.

Public Service Announcements Featuring HBCU Leadership Tout the Vaccine
In one such announcement, Howard President Wayne Frederick is shown getting vaccinated. In its recommendations for vaccine distribution, the National Academy of Sciences urged prioritizing partnerships with minority-serving institutions to promote the vaccine to Black, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian and Alaska Native, Hawaiian Native and Pacific Islander, and other communities in which vaccine hesitancy and skepticism have been documented. Prior to the availability of the vaccine, HBCUs had been in the forefront of testing and research. Now that the vaccine is available, they are participating in distribution as well as additional research and intervention strategies aimed at reducing health disparities in minority communities. Read more.


Deadlines and Information
Deadlines and Other Information


Financial Aid

Loan Programs
The Department of Education extended administrative forbearance status to January 31, 2021, for participants in the Federal Perkins Loan and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs. 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.


Underuse Penalties
Institutions returning more than 10% of total 2019-2020 Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or Federal Work Study allocation will not be subject to an underuse penalty. Automatic waiver of underuse penalty applies only 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.


HEAL Program Interest Rates
The maximum interest rates for HEAL Program Loans for quarter ending March 31, 2021, are available on the Department of Education website. View Chart.




Second Round of HEERF Funds
The Department of Education released the allocation table and information on the eligible use of funds for the second round of HEERF.

Institutions that have not fulfilled HEERF reporting requirements may have their round two awards delayed or restricted.
Note that 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 c(3).)


HEERF Data Collection Tool
The Department of Education opened a portal for HEERF Annual Report Data Collection on January 5, 2021. The portal will remain open through the deadline for submission, February 1, 2021. Read the memo here and more information on the topic here.


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).) Read more.


Special Provision for Minority-Serving Institutions
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.




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 CARES Act reporting deficiency is rectified. Read more.


William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program Reconciliation
Federal Student Aid republished guidance to assist institutions with mandatory monthly internal and external reconciliation of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. 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 (see page 117) and guidance on special reporting requirements mandated by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (see pages 12 and 65). Read more.


Title IX Guidance
A memo from the Department of Education Office of the General Counsel has indicated that in some cases Title IX protections do not extend to LGBTQ students. However, President Biden's Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation may result in a revision of FAQs and current interpretation of the law. 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.


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


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.




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. Note 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 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 with additional reporting functionality in the spring. Read more.


1098-T Tuition Statement Forms
Note that CARES Act grants are disaster relief payments. Thus, they are not included in student gross income and should not be reported to the IRS. The deadline to provide students with 1098-T forms is January 31, 2021. The Deadline to file Copy A with the IRS is March 1, 2021, if filing by paper or March 31, 2021, if filing electronically. Read more.


Audit Extension Under the Single Audit Act
The deadline for completing and submitting a single audit reporting package is up to six months beyond the normal due date in cases where the single audits have not been filed with the Federal Audit Clearinghouse as of March 19, 2020, and the normal due dates were from March 30, 2020, through June 30, 2020. Institutions that have due dates from July 31, 2020, through September 30, 2020, were granted an extension of up to three months beyond the normal due date. Institutions that submit their audits after the normal due date must do so no later than 30 calendar days after the date of the audit report. Institutions must maintain documentation of the reason for any delayed filing. Read more.


Foreign Ownership, Control, Gifts, and Contracts
Twice per year institutions must report ownership and control by foreign sources as well as gifts from and contracts with foreign sources that value $250,000 or more. The deadlines for reporting are January 31, 2021, and July 31, 2021. The Department maintains a web portal to facilitate reporting.




Title IV Flexibilities and Waivers
Federal Student Aid published a table of flexibilities and waivers applicable to TitleIV programs due to the pandemic. 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.

PPP Updates

Second Draw Loans
The SBA is accepting applications for Second Draw PPP Loans. Recipients of an original PPP loan can apply for a Second Draw provided they can demonstrate a minimum reduction of 25% in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020, have no more than 300 employees, and have used or will use the full amount of their original loan (for authorized uses). Read more.

Revenue Reduction Calculation
The Small Business Administration published a FAQ on calculating revenue reduction and maximum loan amounts for Second Draw Loans. The document also lists acceptable documentation. Read more.


Deductibility of Business Expenses
The Small Business Administration announced that ordinary and necessary business expenses paid with a forgiven or forgivable PPP loans are tax deductible.  Read more.

PPP Borrowers May Face State Taxes
Many states automatically align their tax code with the most current federal code but not all do so. Some states may tax forgiven loan proceeds. Read more.

Grants, Awards, and Gifts
Grants, Awards, Gifts
Claflin University's Center for Social Justice received a $525,000 grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc. to support its programs. The Center was established in May 2020 and will advocate for social justice. Read more.

North Carolina A&T State University received a $5,500,000 grant from Corning Inc. as part of a five-year partnership aimed at preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and education. The funds will be used to provide scholarships and internships, and to create career opportunities. Read more.

The UNCF received a commitment of $1,200,000 from Credit Suisse to establish an endowed scholarship program. The Credit Suisse Scholars Program will provide scholarships for students attending HBCUs in North Carolina. Read more.

Prairie View A&M University has received $1,000,000 from Halliburton to create the Halliburton Business and Engineering Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide scholarships to eligible juniors and seniors majoring in accounting, management, information systems, finance, and engineering. Read more.

The Episcopal Church has launched its 2021 Absalom Jones Fund Campaign. Proceeds from the campaign will benefit St. Augustine’s University and Voorhees College, the only institutions remaining from the original 10 Episcopal HBCUs. The campaign commemorates Absalom Jones, the first African American to be ordained by the Episcopal Church. Jones was an abolitionist who co-founded the Free African Society in 1787. Read more.

Philander Smith College received $300,000 in unrestricted funds from Microsoft to support its Workforce Innovation Strategic and Economic Public Private Partnerships (WISE P3), a workforce development initiative. Read more.

Elizabeth City State University received a $75,000 grant from the University of North Carolina System to support research aimed at identifying the strain of COVID-19 infecting people in the northeastern part of the state. The data will be used to develop new vaccines. Read more.

Denmark Technical College received $20,000 from Ellucian to provide scholarships to students to help cover the cost of attendance. Read more.

Jarvis Christian College received $2,000,000 in technology tools and training from IBM. Specially designed courses will be offered to faculty and students and cover topics such as the Internet of Things and enterprise design thinking. Read more.

HBCU Data Science Consortium Alabama A&M University, Bowie State University, Florida A&M University, Johnson C. Smith University, Morehouse College, and Norfolk State University have formed the HBCU Data Science Consortium, a network of HBCU researchers. Each member of the consortium received a $100,000 seed grant from the National Science Foundation South Big Data Hub. The consortium will provide a platform to promote collaboration in the HBCU community. It will host a monthly virtual workshop for researchers, faculty, and industry partners. The consortium will hold its inaugural workshop on February 19-20, 2021. At that time it will accept applications for mini-grants. Read more.

Propel Center Apple and Southern Company announced they have gifted $25,000,000 each to help launch the Propel Center, a global HBCU campus. The center will support the entire HBCU community virtually, on site at its Atlanta University Center, and at partner institutions. The center itself was designed by Ed Farm. Hosting partners include Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Morris Brown College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Tennessee State, Jarvis Christian College, and Texas College. Read more.


The US Congress appointed Benedict College President Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). NACIQI advises the Secretary of the Department of Education on matters concerning accreditation and the recognition process for accrediting agencies, and on institutional eligibility for participation in federal student aid. Dr. Clark Artis was nominated by Congressman James E. Clyburn. Read more.

Virginia Union University named Dr. Karl Jackson and Dr. Tim Wenzell faculty development fellows within the Division of Academic Affairs. As Fellows, they will lead efforts to support faculty engagement in research and professional development. Read more.

Clinton College named Jocelyn Biggs associate vice president of enrollment. Ms. Biggs comes to Clinton College from Virginia Union University. She has previously served at Bennett College, Livingstone College, and Johnson C. Smith University. Read more.

Voorhees College Voorhees College Board of Trustees named Dr. Ronnie Hopkins interim president. Dr. Hopkins was serving as the institution's provost and vice president for academic affairs. He is Voorhees College's accreditation liaison and a tenured professor of English. Read more.

Stillman College named Mr. Chavis Paulk vice president for finance and administration. Mr. Paulk comes to the College from the state of Georgia where he served as a director of analytics in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. Read more.

Edward Waters College named Dr. Jame'l Hodges vice president for student success and engagement. Dr. Hodges comes to Edward Waters from Virginia State University, where he served in a similar capacity. Read more.

Texas Southern University The Texas Southern University Board of Regents has finalized preparations and officially launched its presidential search. The search committee includes Marc Carter, Mary E. Sias, Stephanie Nellons-Paige, Pamela Medina, Dr. Judith Craven, Dr. Needha Boutte-Queen, Joan R. Bullock, Keith Scott, Khaniya Burley, Harry E. Johnson, Milton Carroll, John Hofmeister, and Dr. Laura Murillo. . Read more.

Dillard University named Rebecca Armstrong-English director of the Office of Alumni Relations. Ms. Armstrong-English helped found a middle school, where she served as director of operations. Read more.

Florida A&M University named alum Keith Miles director of the Office of Communications. Mr. Miles had been serving on an interim basis since February 1, 2020. He previously served as deputy athletic director, a legislative liaison, and manager of internal communications. Read more.

Benedict College named alumnus Jacob Koon as dean of students. At the time of his appointment, Mr. Koon was director of residential life. He had previously served as residential life coordinator, area coordinator, and assistant director of residential life. Read more.

Knoxville College named Mr. Leonard Adams interim president. His predecessor, Dr. Keith Lindsey, stepped down from that position on December 31, 2020. The college also named Dr. Dasha Lundy chief operating officer. Read more.

The Department of Education announced several senior political appointees including Shelia Nix, who was named chief of staff, Claudia Chavez, named White House liaison, and Suzanne Goldberg, who was named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Operations and Outreach for the Office for Civil Rights. Read more.


Howard University Celebrates the Inauguration of alumna Kamala Harris. As she was sworn in as the 49th vice president of the United States, the campus bells tolled 49 times. The tolls were followed by a broadcast of the Black national anthem. Read more.

Morehouse College Alum emerges victorious in tight runoff. The Reverend Raphael Warnock, who graduated from Morehouse College in 1991, is the first Black man to represent Georgia in the US Senate. The senior pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, he was up against Kelly Loeffler, co-owner of the Atlanta Dream and wife of Jeff Sprecher, CEO of Intercontinental Exchanger, the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange. Read more.

Several HBCU Presidents named among the top leaders in Atlanta by Atlanta Magazine. The list honored Mary Schmidt Campbell, PhD, George T. French Jr., PhD, Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, David A. Thomas, PhD, Louis W. Sullivan, MD, and Beverly Tatum, PhD. Read more.

Former Virginia State University dean of agriculture has been nominated by President Biden to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture. Virginia State University President Dr. Makola Abdullah congratulated Dr. Jewel Bronaugh on her nomination. Read more.

The Legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was celebrated at HBCUs around the country. North Carolina A&T State University partnered with University of North Carolina Greensboro, and Guilford College to present their 9th annual Martin Luther King Jr., Celebration virtually. Pain College partnered with Augusta Technical College, and Augusta University in a virtual celebration. Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young gave the keynote address. Jackson State University held a virtual convocation that featured Freedom Rider, David J. Dennis, Sr., as the keynote speaker. Read more.

HBCU President will Speak at the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce Women's Roundtable. Dr. Brenda Allen, president of Lincoln University will speak about crisis management and persistence. The event is sponsored by Miles Financial Management, Inc. Read more.

North Carolina A&T State University alum, Michael Regan has been tapped to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Known for his environmental justice, he is currently secretary of North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality, Read more.

Florida A&M University alum, Vincent Evans has been named deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Office of Vice President Kamala Harris. Read more.

Morgan State University alumna, Yogananda Pittman was named acting chief of the US Capitol Police after the January 6, 2021, attack. She is the first woman and first African-American to hold the post. Read more.

HBCU President's Editorial appeared in the Hechinger Report, a publication devoted to education news. The article, Why it’s time for a new generation of HBCU grads to become national leaders, explored the critical role HBCUs continue to play in the education and preparation of Black leaders. Read more.

HBCU Administrator interviewed for article on COVID. The latest issue of About Campus Magazine (November-December 2020) featured an article titled Community Colleges, HBCUs, HSIs, and Higher Education in the time of COVID-19: An Interview with Dr. Mordecai Brownlee by Dr. Elena Sandoval-Lucero. Dr. Brownlee is the vice president for student success at St. Philip's College in Texas, the first HBCU to be designated as an HSI. Read more (paywall).


Financial Stability in Uncertain Times:  Emerging Opportunities for HBCU Boards and Administrative Leaders

March 8-9, 2021
WPI 2021 HBCU Forum

Coppin State University announced it will launch two new graduate programs: a master of science in applied molecular biology and biochemistry and a master of science in polymer and material sciences. The programs will begin in the fall 2021. Read more.

Florida Memorial University announced a new certificate program in construction trades. Read more.

Albany State University launched the Albany State University Centers for Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Equity. Read more.

Meharry Medical College, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and the University of Memphis formed a partnership to advance and diversify health care education and care in the region. Read more.

Central State University announced it has formed a partnership with Missouri State University to create an accelerated graduate degree options for eligible Central State University juniors and seniors in several areas of study. Read more.

North Carolina A&T State University College of Engineering Department has changed its name to the Department of Computational Data Science and Engineering and updated its graduate programs to offer new courses and focuses relevant to the future of engineering. Read more.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. established the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program. The program will fund full law school scholarships, summer internships, and two-year postgraduate fellowships in civil rights law for aspiring civil rights lawyers. They must commit to practicing civil rights law in the South for a minimum of eight years. Read more.

The NBCUniversal News Group has established NBCU Academy to train journalist online and on-campus at 17 institutions of higher education, including several minority-serving institutions. HBCUs involved in participating as academic partners include Claflin University, Morgan State University, Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and North Carolina A&T State University. Read more.


Class Action Suit Challenges NCAA's Academic Performance Program. The suit alleges that HBCUs, whose institutional missions include providing access and opportunity to low income, first generation and at-risk students, should not be held to the same benchmarks as institutions who do not have that mission. Read more.

MEAC to Revise Football Schedule after North Carolina Central University cancels spring football. Florida A&M, Bethune Cookman Universities, and 26 other institutions are also opting out of spring football due to COVID-19 concerns. Read more.

HBCU Basketball Playing By Ear largely playing by ear, with scheduling adjustments being made on an ad hoc basis due to COVID concerns. SWAC, CIAA, NAIA, and MEAC Basketball seasons have been delayed. Some member institutions have opted out of play altogether. Read more.

Saint Augustine's University cycling team will be the beneficiary of a fundraising bike raffle held by Canyon Bicycles. Saint Augustine launched the country's first HBCU cycling team in April 2020. Read more.

Norfolk State University named Larry Holmes head coach of the men's and women's tennis programs. He comes to the University from Virginia Tech women's program. He is an alumni of Johnson C. Smith University and has served as head coach at Bethany College and Benedictine University. Read more.

Hoop Dreams Classic, a basketball showcase for Division I schools, is scheduled for December 2021. It will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Actor Michael B. Jordan is sponsoring the event. Read more.

Athletic Departments continue to lose revenue due to decreased ticket and concession sales and cancelled games against schools in the Power Five conferences (guarantee games). Those funds are usually used to pay down debt and finance less lucrative sports. Institutions plan on using fundraising to fill in some of the gaps. Read more.

NCAA Says Revenue Down due to cancellation of the men's Division I conference tournament. Its audited financial statement shows a loss of $600,000,000. Read more.


Event:NASFAA Leadership Virtual Symposium
Date:February 2-March 2, 2020

Event:ACE/AIEA Internationalization Collaborative 2021
Date:February 12, 2020

Event:TDWI Virtual Summit Data Governance and Compliance
Date:February 17-18, 2020

Event:WPG HBCU Forum 2021
Date:March 8-9, 2021


Event:Campus Technology Distance Learning Summit
Date:On Demand

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

Event:Campus Technology Distance Learning Summit
Date:On Demand


A Brief Word...

HBCUs Show Resilience as the Emergency Continues


At the intersection of the pandemic, unemployment, recession, and social media, lies a growing interest in racial equity. It may have been ignited by the casual callousness evident in the murder of George Floyd. His death belied the oft used feared-for-my-life narrative and combined with viral videos that documented the hazards of barbecuing and birdwatching while black, showed the pervasiveness of American racism.


From heavy handed attempts at limiting voter access to the polls and disparities in treatment of demonstrators to obvious inequities access to PPP loans, the reality of inequities was difficult to ignore.


Corporations responded by creating diversity departments, announcing hiring pledges, and making donations. As institutions that produce the lions share of Black professionals, HBCUs drew attention. Many received historically large gifts.


Some, but by no means all, HBCUs have been able to take advantage of the extra attention and use it to garner support for existing and newly established programs. They created innovation hubs to promote entrepreneurship on campuses and in communities. They formed alliances to participate in cutting edge research and provide educational opportunities for underserved communities. They also participated in COVID testing and research. Some are also centers for vaccine deployment.


Although there was a backlash, evident in the symbols carried by insurgents during their assault on the US Capitol, corporations and individuals continue to show interest in HBCUs. They also are more sensitive to the public perception of racism and the possible fallout from being labeled racist. Interest in HBCUs was one of the bright spots in an otherwise difficult year. That the new Vice President is an HBCU alumna has also helped increase awareness.


While things are improving, they are far from rosy. The pandemic continues to ravage minority communities. Many students are opting to wait it out. The number of young adults who are neither enrolled in college nor employed is up and at the same time  many of their parents also face job insecurity. Those who are enrolled may need extra help that their families cannot provide. So far, federal funding has been beneath what higher education leaders have said is needed. It remains to be seen what will unfold in 2021.


Higher education still faces significant economic challenges, some that predate the pandemic. Several colleges closed permanently in 2020, some in direct response to the pandemic. Not one HBCU collapsed. They are to be applauded. Some have logged enrollment highs, even while  higher education enrollment is down.  They have shown extraordinary skill in juggling layoffs and furloughs, implementing CDC recommendations, managing HEERF, providing hubs for community guidance and services, handling outbreaks, and, above all, keeping students safe. During a year of political turmoil and economic recession, these are major accomplishments.


We are hopeful that the sector recovers and that HBCUs become stronger and more agile. A good sign that may be the case, is the recent awards made to HBCUs by McKenzie Scott. That several institutions survived her vigorous vetting for administrative capability is a very encouraging testament. The investments Apple and Southern Co. have made in the Propel Center and IBMs initiative are also good signs. HBCUs have long been praised for doing more with less. Imagine what could be accomplished with more equitable funding. Kudos to all, good luck and God bless as this trial continues.

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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