March 2021

Top Story

President Biden Signs Stimulus Legislation 

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) . The law infuses the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) with $39,584,570,000, with $3,000,000,000 of that set aside for minority-serving institutions. Like the prior stimulus laws, the ARP provides HEERF with an institutional portion and a student aid portion. It has been modified to increase the allocation for institutions that have no endowments or endowments under $1,000,000. It also extends the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program temporarily so that students may avail themselves of this service. The Department of Education issued guidance on the new flexibilities afforded in this latest stimulus. Those and other important points include:

Clarifies that institutions can make financial aid grants to dual enrollment, continuing education, non-degree seeking, or non-credit students, as well as to a broad range of students with exceptional needs, such as certain refugees or persons granted asylum.

Permits institutions to use HEERF grant funds to reimburse themselves for institutional lost revenue and expenses incurred as far back as Mar. 13, 2020.

Permits institutions to use their own grants to reimburse themselves for lost revenue while supporting students during the pandemic, including discharging unpaid institutional balances so students can resume their studies and subsidizing childcare services for student parents.

Provides reimbursement for institutions and libraries for expenditures related to providing internet access.

Clarifies that student loan forgiveness between December 2020 and January 2026 will not be considered taxable income.

Extends the expiration date for the Employee Retention Credit to December 31, 2021, and expands it to permit some eligibility for businesses established after February 15, 2020. There are also some exceptions for employers experiencing severe financial distress. 

Infuses the Economic Injury Disaster Loan with $15,000,000,000, with a significant amount reserved for businesses located in low-income areas that have no more than ten employees.

Allocates an additional $7,250,000,000 to the Paycheck Protection Program, whose rules have been relaxed to provide easier access to nonprofits, sole proprietors, independent contractors, the self-employed, and proprietors who have federal student loans that are delinquent or in default. 

Updates the provisions for paid sick and family leave to increase eligible wages to $12,000 per employee.

The American Council on Education created a chart simulating the distribution of this latest round of HEERF. Both the UNCF and the TMCF lauded the passage of this round of stimulus.
Read more.

In Other News

HBCU STEAM Day of Action
The Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus in partnership with the Congressional STEAM Caucus held the Fourth Annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action. HBCU administrators, members of congress, and industry leaders participated in the week-long event. This year, the Ford Motor Company, Diageo, the Hustlers Guild, Maximus, and Siemens joined the HBCU Partnership Challenge, which now includes 56 companies. During the event, HBCU presidents met with members of congress and industry leaders to discuss how public and private sector engagements can propel a pandemic recovery. Watch Video.


Enrollment Declines Continue
Analysis of preliminary data show enrollment for spring semester has not recovered. The expected recession-fueled surge in adults enrolling in community college to upgrade their skills has failed to materialize. Faced with various pandemic-related challenges, high school graduates are postponing attendance. Undergraduate programs in information technology, marketing, and respiratory therapy and enrollment on the graduate level are among the exceptions that saw growth. Read more.


Institutions Plan for Normal Fall
Many institutions, including several state systems, are planning to resume face-to-face instruction for the fall 2021 semester. They are working on the assumption that new COVID-19 cases will continue to decrease. However, experts say institutions should remain cautious, considering the discovery of several highly infectious mutations. Public health experts advise maintaining prevention practices such as masks and social distancing. Read more.


The CDC Updates Guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated guidance for vaccinated people.The guidelines approve of fully vaccinated people socializing with each other and with low-risk unvaccinated people without wearing masks or observing social distancing. However, the CDC still recommends masks and social distancing in the vicinity of high-risk unvaccinated people, in the public, and in crowds. Read more.


Institutions Maintain COVID Protocols
Although the CDC has relaxed its guidelines and some governors have reopened their states, most institutions are opting to keep COVID-19 prevention protocols in place. Institutions have not rolled back the cancellation of spring break and will continue to maintain social distancing and video participation options for meetings and celebrations. The Texas A&M System and the Alamo Colleges District, in Texas will keep current protocols in place until the end of the semester. Read more.


Insurance Costs Rise Largely driven by cybersecurity vulnerabilities, Title IX violations, privacy concerns, and abuse scandals, the cost of insurance has skyrocketed for colleges and universities. Increased risks include pandemic-related reliance upon technology and concern over the possibility of COVID-related claims in the future. Cybersecurity is second to enrollment as a major issue of concern according to a recent survey. Read more.


Endowment Spending Up
A study by National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and TIAA found seven in 10 institutions spent an average of $3,300,000 more from their endowments during 2020 because of the pandemic. Most of the spending went to provide student financial aid, followed by support for teaching, tutoring, and other academic support. Although some endowments grew, most often such increases cannot be used to offset tuition losses or pandemic costs. Read more.


Full Loan Forgiveness
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced full debt cancellation for about 72,000 students who were denied full discharge under a formula used by the former education secretary. Read more.


HBCU Launches Free Tuition Program
Virginia State University launched a tuition-free initiative for local low-income students. An estimated 300 potential students from high schools near the campus would be eligible. The HBCU would be the first four-year institution in the state to offer an aid package that covers tuition and a portion of room and board based on residency and need. Read more.


Fever Scanners Inaccurate
The popular temperature scanners many institutions use in their COVID response may fail to identify people who have fevers. The FDA has issued a public alert. Read more.


HBCU Forum Huge Success
The Wesley Peachtree Institute's' Annual HBCU Forum kicked off on Monday, March 8 and ran through Tuesday, March 9, 2021. The theme for the virtual forum was, Financial Stability in Uncertain Times: Emerging Opportunities for HBCU Boards and Administrative Leaders. Representative James E. Clyburn gave the opening plenary address. Keynote speakers included Belle Wheelan, president of accreditor SACSCOC, Dr. Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University, and Dr. M. Christopher Brown, president of Kentucky State University. Read more.


Additional Expenses May Hamper Growth of Prison Programs
Pell Grants can be used by incarcerated students to pay tuition, institutions should be prepared to bear additional expenses to ensure quality and sustainability. Students may need help navigating financial aid applications. They will also need access to tutoring, advising and academic support. In many cases, they may also require access to technology and technical support. Read more.


HBCU Seeking HSI Designation
Virginia Union University (VUU) is seeking to become the first HBCU to also be federally designated as a Hispanic-serving institution. Although many HBCUs serve a large number of Hispanic students, VUU would be the first to actively seek federal recognition as an HSI. Read more.


States Seek Reversal of Federal Pre-emption
Several states have appealed to the secretary of education to reverse a policy that restricts them from regulating student loan servicers. Read more.


Security Challenges Continue
Fallout from the exploitation of a flaw in Microsoft's Exchange server continues despite the release of a patch. It is the latest in the many security challenges facing institutions. Cyberattacks, particularly ransomware, have been on the rise. Recently, a university's IT network suffered an attack. The Department of Education has made several recommendations. Read more.


Senate Passes the Confucius Act
The act transfers authority over the Confucius Institutes to the universities that host them. A proposed federal rule that requires participants in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program to disclose financial ties to the Confucius Institutes, has been withdrawn. However, states may follow Florida's lead and require institutions to disclose gifts from foreign entities. Read more.


Advisory Group Votes in Favor of Ousting Accreditor
The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) has recommended terminating recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). The issue now goes to the Education Department's Senior Department Official (SDO) for consideration. If the recognition is withdrawn, ACICS will have the option to appeal. Read more.


Fewer Institutions Close Despite Pandemic Pressures
Although the sector is in peril, estimates that hundreds of institutions would close proved to be wrong. Instead, institutions are struggling to weather the storm by merging, rebranding, restructuring departments, trimming programs, acquiring other institutions, and entering into partnerships with business and industry. Read more.


Title IX Under Scrutiny
President Biden directed the Department of Education to review the Title IX law that went into effect last year. Proposed changes will have to go through the federal rulemaking process. Read more.


Support for Immigrants 
Congress is considering legislation to create an eight-year path to citizenship, lift limits on states offering in-state tuition to undocumented students, and require states and public institutions to offer in-state tuition to refugees and asylum seekers. The bills are supported by several higher education advocacy groups. Read more.




Deadlines and Information
Deadlines and Info



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.


Mandatory Software Upgrade
Users must upgrade their TDClient or EDconnect SAIG software by April 17, 2021, to avoid an interruption in access. 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.


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. The effective date is March 19, 2021. 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.


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.


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


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 with additional reporting functionality later this month. 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.



Cohort Default Rate Challenge and Appeal
Beginning Tuesday, March 2, 2021, institutions may appeal the FY 2018 Draft Cohort Default Rates. Incorrect Data Challenges must be made through the eCDR Appeals application. Participation Rate Index Challenges must be submitted via hard copy. Refer to the Cohort Default Rate Guide for more information. Read more


Software and System Updates
Federal Student Aid announced upcoming changes for the Central Processing System (CPS) and the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System. The COD System will be down while it is updated during March 19-21, 2021. The CPS will be updated on March 28, 2021. It will be necessary to identify and reprocess applications for those applicants who became Pell-eligible under the latest changes. Read more


Website Updates
Federal Student Aid removed training-related pages as it continues to update its website. Access to training will be provided on the FSA E-Training website. Assistance learning how to navigate the new FSA website is available. Read more


Regulators Set End Dates for Libor
End dates have been set for the Libor interest rate benchmark. Read more.


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


Pell Grant Administrative Cost Allowance
The first Administrative Cost Allowance Payments for the 2020-2021 Award Year is posted in the G5 system as an available balance. 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.


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


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


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.



Grants, Awards, Gifts

Morris Brown College announced it has made an agreement under which CGI Merchant Group will provide funding to establish an endowed scholarship and transform an existing facility into a hospitality management training complex. The complex will feature an upscale hotel. Read more.

Fourteen Institutions will benefit from a joint effort by multinational investment bank, UBS and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) to offer financial literacy programs and workshops. SIAC members include Albany State University, Allen University, Benedict College, Central State University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Miles College, Morehouse College, Spring Hill College, Savannah State University, and Tuskegee University. The effort, spearheaded by former NFL defensive end, Adewale Ogunleye, is geared toward providing pathways for careers in financial services in general and career opportunities with UBS, in particular. Read more.

Miles College received a $50,000 donation from Jameis Winston, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. The funds will be used to support the Miles College football program. Read more.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Golf Management Program received a $20,000 donation toward a five-year commitment of $100,000 for a newly established scholarship fund. The golf management program is PGA-certified. The Pro-Duffers Golf Association's philanthropic arm partnered with a family run foundation to make the initial donation. Dickie S. Carter and Calvin C. LaRoche were the catalysts behind the effort. Read more.

Jackson State University received a $200,000 donation to create an endowed scholarship for economically disadvantaged men and women. The donation to the John and Vera Mae Perkins Scholarship will be matched by Title III funds, bringing the endowment up to $400,000. The initial donation was made by the Pinelake Church in partnership with the Perkins Foundation. The scholarship is named for Dr. John M. and Mrs. Vera Mae Perkins. Dr. Perkins is a civil rights activist, community leader, and best-selling author. Read more.

Tennessee State University announced that alumnus and NBA All-Star player, Robert Covington, will provide scholarships to Micahlea Njie, who competes in volleyball and Michael Thompson, who competes in track. Each of the student athlete will receive $25,000. Covington is the only active player in the NBA who graduated from an HBCU. Read more.

Clinton College was awarded $499,950 to expand educational opportunities in rural South Carolina. The grant is part of the effort by the United States Department of Agriculture to improve education, distance learning, health care, and telemedicine in rural America. Read more.

The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library was awarded a collaborative grant with Project Stand from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.The $750,000 award will support Building Capacity, Ethical Documentation and Archiving of Student Activism in BIPOC Communities, a three-year project focused on archiving and documenting activism among black, indigenous, and other minority students. Read more.

Howard University Gallery of Art has received a grant to develop virtual services to offer accessibility to facilitate viewing and studying art that is in storage or on exhibit. The grant was made by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Cares Act fund. The first exhibit will honor the late Professor David C. Driskill. Read more.
Spelman College received a three-year $525,000 donation from the Racial Equity Community Impact Fund of Gilead Sciences Inc. The gift will be used to support the college's Social Justice Program. Specifically, it will fund stipends, research, and internships. Read more.

Bishop State Community College announced that the Mobile County Commission has agreed to contribute $250,000 to the construction of the Advanced Manufacturing Center Lecture Hall and $100,000 toward the construction of the Health Sciences Facility Nursing Simulation Suite. The commission will have naming rights to both facilities. The facilities will feature advanced state-of-the-art equipment. Read more.



Bethune-Cookman University announced that Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite has resigned. He has been named president of Bentley University effective June 1, 2021. The Board of Trustees said that they had no advance knowledge but were grateful for his service and wished Dr. Chrite and his family the best. Information regarding the appointment of an interim president was not available. Read more

Lawson State Community College named Dr. Cynthia Anthony president. Prior to the appointment, Dr. Anthony served as interim president and as executive vice president and dean of students at Lawson State College. She also served as interim vice chancellor for student success of the Alabama Community College System. She will begin her tenure April 1, 2021. Read more

Wilberforce University named Dr. Nedra Allen dean of General and Foundational Studies, and the Center for Academic Support. Her previous experience includes serving as chair of the Literacy Skills Department at Philander Smith College. Read more

Miles College named Kerry Stevenson vice president of development for athletic programs and scholarships. He comes to the college from the University of Alabama where he served in the administration of the football program. Read more

Clinton College named Dee Frazier director of athletics and head men's basketball coach. Prior to this assignment, Frazier was an assistant coach at Wiley College. He has previously served at Valdosta State University, Clark Atlanta University, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Read more

Stillman College named DeMarcus L. Hopson executive director for military student services and veterans affairs. Mr. Hopson will lead the Troops to Teachers. Read more

Xavier University of Louisiana named alumna Kendra Tircuit executive director of advancement services. Ms. Tircuit has served in various capacities at Xavier University since 2003. She has also served as the director of finance for a secondary school in New Orleans. Read more

Benedict College named alumna Dr. Vareva Harris assistant vice president for enrollment management. She has previously served as associate vice president for sponsored programs, government relations, corporate relations, and community relations. Read more

The Interdenominational Theological Center announced the election of alumna Rev. Dr. Candace M. Lewis as the president-dean of Gammon Theological Seminary. An ordained elder in the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church, Dr. Lewis is the first female president-dean of the Seminary. Read more

Fort Valley State University named Mechell Clark McCrary executive director of marketing and communications. Ms. McCrary is an award winning communications professional who has held executive marketing positions at TSYS, Norican Group and Synovus. Read more

Prairie View A&M University named Steve Ransom interim vice president for student affairs. Mr. Ransom was currently serving as associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students for the university. Read more

South Carolina State University Board of Trustees swore in alumna Dr. Macie Smith as their newest member. Dr Smith is a professor at the University of South Carolina, at Benedict College and at the University of Phoenix. Read more

Virginia Union University named Mrs. Victoria N. Nichols director of undergraduate admissions. Ms. Nichols has over twenty years of experience in higher education administration. Read more

Kentucky State University named Dr. William H. Turner interim director of the Center for Research on the Eradication of Educational Disparities. Dr. Turner served as the university's interim president and is best known for his research on African-American communities in Appalachia. Read more

Talladega College named Shajuana L. Dennard chief director of campus police. Ms. Dennard has served in the Birmingham Police Department and is the first female to serve as chief of Talladega College campus police. Read more



Dillard University was selected as a regional collaboration partner for the Council of Independent Colleges' Legacies of American Slavery: Reckoning with the Past project. Led by Zella Palmer, chair of the Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture and Dr. Yolanda Page, vice president for Dillard’s Division of Academic Affairs, the university's contribution will center on cultural creativity. Read more.

Shaw Rising, a historical documentary on Shaw University, won an Emmy Award. The film was written by Hal Goodtree and directed by Tim Finkbiner. It documents the university's founding, history, and impact on education and social justice. The award was presented by the Nashville region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Read more.

Two University of Maryland Eastern Shore professors received the University System of Maryland 2021 Regents' Faculty Awards. The awards are given to honor excellence in four categories: Teaching; Public Service; Mentoring; and Scholarship, Research or Creative Activity. Dr. Hoai-An Truong won the award in the public service category. Dr.Kausik Das won the award in the scholarship, research or creative activity category. The winners will be honored during a virtual board meeting . Read more.

Norfolk State Men's Basketball Head Coach Robert Jones is a finalist for three 2021 awards: the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award (success and moral integrity), the Hugh Durham Award (Division I mid-major coach), and the Ben Jobe Award (Division I minority coach). Coach Jones has been with Norfolk State for eight seasons. His overall winning percentage ranks sixth in the nation for Division I coaches with at least five years tenure with their current program. Read more.

Delaware State University Vice President for Institutional Advancement Vita Pickrum has been awarded the 2021 Commonfund College and University Foundation Award. The honor is bestowed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education on professionals who have made laudable contributions to the quality and effectiveness of their foundations. Read more.

Morris College Assistant Professor of Music Mr. Herbert Johnson will receive the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Excellence in Teaching Award. The honor is given for excellence in teaching, research, and service. Recipients receive a framed certificate and a professional development grant. The teaching award is bestowed annually on one professor from each of its 20 member institutions. Read more.

Saint Augustine’s University announced it will add a digital internet radio station to its broadcast communications portfolio. The university has operated commercial radio and television stations since the 1980s. The new digital internet radio station will feature music. It will be run by students and aimed at a student audience. Read more.

Hampton University
Online Adjunct Professor Charisse M. Mullen has been appointed to serve a six-year term as a judge in the Newport News General District Court. Professor Mullen is an attorney who has practice law for over two decades. Read more.

The CIAA inducted Johnny Stoutamire into the John B. McLendon Hall of Fame. Mr. Stoutamire played was an award-winning defensive back for Livingstone College during the 1970s. He went on to play in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Washington Redskins. Read more.

Virginia State University President Dr. Makola M. Abdullah was awarded the 2021 Howard University Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement. Dr. Abdullah was recognized for his contribution in the fields of engineering and leadership. Read more.

North Carolina A&T University announced it will name its new engineering complex, the Harold L. Martin, Sr., Engineering Research and Innovation Complex, in honor of Chancellor Martin. The complex will house state-of-the-art labs and technology to support competitive STEM research. Dr. Martin, who has served as chancellor since 2009, is an alumnus of the university. Read more.


West Virginia State University will expand its research into applied food science and will develop food safety programs for children, minority, and underserved populations in West Virginia. The efforts will be spearheaded by Dr. Yangjin Jung, an assistant research professor in the University's Agricultural and Environmental Research Station. Read more.

Coppin State University College of Business announced plans to launch the Center for Strategic Entrepreneurship (CSE). The CSE will be located in the renovated Percy Julian Science Building. It will be tasked with providing research, education, publication, and services to facilitate entrepreneurial activity in the community. Read more.

Winston-Salem State University in partnership with Novant Health is offering the first fully accredited physical therapy residency program based at an HBCU. The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education awarded full accreditation to the Winston-Salem State University-Novant Health Physical Therapy Neurologic Clinical Residency Program. The 12-month residency program was launched in 2018. The University provides the academic resources and Novant Health provides the clinical training. Read more.

Morehouse College will offer a new course called Activism inSports and Culture. The course will be hosted on Coursera and taught by former NBA All-Star, Chris Webber. Morehouse College is the first HBCU to host a course on the Coursera online platform, which has grown in popularity and relevancy since the pandemic. Read more.

The Presidents of Southern University at Shreveport and Avance International University of Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement provides study abroad opportunities for faculty and students. The signing ceremony was viewed remotely by people in both countries. Read more.

Morgan State University Board of Regents has given the University a green light to add several new programs to its roster. Pending approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the University will offer an online doctorate degree in public health, an online post-graduate certificate in education policy for social justice, and programs in higher education administration, information systems, and human resources management. Read more.

South Carolina State University was one of ten institutions to join the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center. The mission of the center is to provide enriched academic support for students in STEM programs and supply access to advanced technology. Membership now stands at 23 HBCUs. Read more.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Salisbury University have revamped their academic partnership. The current agreement allows students to earn undergraduate degrees in engineering and physics in a shorter time frame. Eligible students would attend Salisbury University's physics program for three years. They would then transfer to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's engineering program for the remaining year and a half. Read more.


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

Event:AGB 2021 Board Professionals Conference
Date:April 6-8, 2021
Location:Virtual Conference

Event:AGB 2021 National Conference on Trusteeship
Date:April 12-14, 2021
Location:Virtual Conference

Event:Bursars Basics Workshop
Date:April 20-22, 2021
Location: Virtual

Event:NAGAP Graduate Enrollment Management Summit
Date:April 28-May 1, 2021
Location: Virtual


Event:Women in Education Leadership
Date:April 21-27, 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:Leadership in Higher Education Conference
Date/Location:October 7-9, 2021 Baltimore, Maryland
Date/Location:October 11-December 31, 2021


WPG Special Report

HBCU Turnaround
Key Takeaways from a Forum Session


Although predictions of widespread collapse have not come to pass, it is important to recognize both the challenges and the opportunities the pandemic will leave in its wake. Several sessions at the recent Wesley Peachtree Institute 2021 Annual HBCU Forum did just that. Focused on financial stability—arguably the lifeblood of any institution, they provided insights from thought leaders in industry and higher education. One of the sessions provided a detailed look at the turnaround, a strategy used in cases of financial instability.



A turnaround can be classified as an intervention. It is aimed at achieving specific ambitious short-term gains in a sort of triage manner that prepares the institution for a post-crisis in-depth transformation into a successful sustainable entity. Although the urgency of the turnaround can be determined by the severity of the financial challenge being faced, a turnaround can be launched to overcome mediocrity and improve sustainability at any time at any institution.


Data Driven Decision-Making
The list of challenges facing beleaguered institutions is familiar: declining enrollment and retention, inability to attract donors, insufficient financial reserves, low faculty morale, and high administrative turnover, are among the usual culprits.


The underlying causes are also familiar and often interdependent. For example, lack of funds can lead to inability to pay competitive salaries, which can contribute to administrative turnover, which can be a factor in low faculty morale, which can play a part in low retention, which can lead us back to a lack of funds. Collecting and analyzing data will help find points where appropriate action can be taken to stop a downward spiral.


A look at the data will help identify underlying causes. That information can be analyzed and used to find opportunities and develop strategic plans for improvement. Poor retention, for example is expressed as a statistic but the students who leave are individuals. Data collection and analysis will help determine why the individuals are leaving. Have a significant number of them had a poor experience with student financial aid staff? Was the residence hall where they were assigned in poor condition? Was the academic support insufficient? Did they run out of funds? Corrective measures without data are a hit-and-miss affair. Without the data it is difficult to develop good strategies and put into place protocols and safeguards for prevention. All decisions should be based upon the data.


The speaker emphasized the importance of leadership and expounded on the idea that the effectiveness and success of the efforts of the group will not rise above the capability of the leader. When considering the leader, consider that not only does the buck stop there, but the effectiveness does too.


Another key takeaway was the value of reviewing the administrative processes in place with a view toward improving the ability of the group to work together and accomplish the mission of the institution. This involves identifying and tackling problems and deficiencies in decision-making, implementation, efficiency, assessment, and ability to achieve acceptable success rates.


I had the privilege of attending the Wesley Peachtree Institute 2021 Annual HBCU Forum and found the sessions were excellent. Complementary access to this and other recorded sessions will remain available to attendees and any individual who registered but could not attend the WPI 2021 Annual HBCU Forum. 


The forum featured more than 30 sessions and 48 speakers. The theme of this year’s forum was Financial Stability in Uncertain times: Emerging Opportunities for HBCU Boards and Administrative Leaders. Complementary access includes ability to interact with event sponsors: WPG, Morgan Stanley, Bernstein, Walden University, Vistria, and Strategic Financial Aid Management. WPI is committed to creating a future where MSIs are:

The first choice of exceptional students
Magnets for talented faculty
Proudly supported by successful alumni
Courted by heads of industry
Consulted by global leaders


We are already looking forward to next years forum. Hope to see you there!

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.
The Wesley Peachtree Group, CPAs

Atlanta Office:
1475 Klondike Road, Suite 100,
Conyers, Georgia, 30094
(404) 874-0555
This message was sent to news.hbcu@wpg-inc.com by news.hbcu@wpg-inc.com
Atlanta Office1475 Klondike Road, Suite 100, Conyers, Georgia, 30094

Unsubscribe from all mailings Unsubscribe | Manage Subscription | Forward Email | Report Abuse
View this email in your browser
You are receiving this email because of your relationship with The Wesley Peachtree Group, CPAs. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here.