Process Improvement at HBCUs


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This book is aimed at improving institutional effectiveness at HBCUs

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Process Improvement at HBCUs

  1. 1. 1   Preface The role of this book is not to demonize Historically Black Colleges and Universities(HBCUs). Most are well managed and produce graduates who are making significantcontributions to nation building. As a graduate of three HBCUs, I am proud of the efforts ofthe staff, faculty, and students I encountered who helped shaped my academic andprofessional development. I as well as family members are beneficiaries of the caring withexcellence attitude demonstrated at Florida A & M University, and the service is sovereigntypromoted at Alabama A & M University. I am proud of these principles, because they haveformed the foundation that governs my professional life. HBCUs have continued to be successful with minimal resources, but more than twothirds of the students enrolled fail to complete their degrees with their cohort within sixyears. In addition, to these challenges there are both internal and external factors thatthreatens the long term growth and survival of several institution. There are also theperennial challenges to the relevance of HBCUs in the post-civil rights era, financialconstraints, the perennial perception of poor customer service, campus politics andbureaucracy, political and leadership struggles between the Board of Trustees andpresidents, instability in leadership, public perception, and an unusually high rate ofaccreditation violations. These challenges are not unique to HBCUs; they are also faced bypredominately white institutions (PWIs). However, as the highest producer of AfricanAmerican graduates there must be frank discussion about the problems faced by institutionsserving predominately African American students, individually and collectively, anddevelop solution suited for individual institutions. As President Obama pushes American Higher education institutions to increase thenumber of graduates by 2020, the nation expects HBCUs to play a significant role inincreasing the number of minority graduates. Meeting the graduation goals require thatHBCUs increase their enrollment, improve student retention and graduation, improveprogram quality and diversity, improve the ability of their graduates to compete locally andglobally, and improve their data collection and decision-making processes. These effortsmust be integrated through continuous improvement programs that are customer focus,
  2. 2. 2  tracks students from enrollment to employment, and entrenched in a culture of data drivendecision making. Accountability for performance requires that the institutions not only improve theirdata collection processes, but increase its utilization in driving the decision making process.In addressing the 2009 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Conference,Education Secretary Arne Duncan, stated that “It is especially crucial that universities andcolleges do a better job of measuring, tracking, and supporting students to raise graduationrates, which had not budged, unfortunately, in decades…. we want to build better datasystems to measure student success and use that data to inform classroom instruction anddrive a cycle of continuous improvement ” (USDE, 2009). This challenge comes as a resultof greater commitment by the White House to assist HBCUs through increase opportunitiesfor federal funding. These opportunities come with greater accountability and supervisionand all HBCUs and other minority serving institutions are expected to be more vigilant inmeeting the challenges ahead if they expect to remain relevant and viable throughout the21st century and beyond. HBCU leaders, however, are highly sensitive of criticisms of their institutions. Pastand present discriminatory practices justify this level of defense, but with increase state,federal, and media scrutiny, the level of accountability increases and institutionalperformances are judged against established scorecards. Data is the indicator to the public,the capabilities of the schools in managing its available resources. Therefore, in the defenseof the respective institutions we must be honest in our discussions and be aware of the datawhich is available to the public. We must be honest in the discussions of the challenges thatmust be overcome by several HBCUs in order for them to remain viable and competitive.These discussions must lead to transformation at the institutional level so that that thequality of the programs, the friendliness of the staff, and the nurturing attitude of faculty willcontinue to attract of students from all over the world and of all races to enroll and graduate. There is hope within the HBCU community that other HBCUs will surpass HowardUniversity, Spellman College, Florida A & M University, Clarke Atlanta and others who aremoving aggressively towards restructuring their institution to increase their competitivenessand efficiency. Institutions such as Hampton, Xavier, Morgan State, Fayetteville State, and
  3. 3. 3  Maryland-Eastern Shore, North Carolina A & T and Prairie View who were makingadjustments to improve their efficiency before the economic crises are better prepared to themeet the economic challenges brought on by the recession. However, there are others whichrequire fundamental changes in the way the institutions are managed to meet customerservice expectations, accreditation, and performance goals. Implementing austerity so thatthey can impact the organizational cultural will require by-in from the Board of Trustees, thepresident and cabinet, and the front-line staff. These changes will be hard-hitting, butnecessary if marginally surviving HBCUs are to continue exits.“Measures of productivity do not lead to improvement in productivity….A product put out inthe market today must do more than attract customers and sales; it must stand up inservice”Edward Deming 1986
  4. 4. 4  About the Author Howard Wright is a proud graduate three HBCUs. He holds a Doctorate ofEducation with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from Tennessee StateUniversity, a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Human ResourceManagement, and an Educational Specialist Degree in The Administration of HigherEducation from Alabama A& M University. He holds Bachelors of Science degree in 1993in Agri-Business from Florida A & M University and received an Associate Degree inAgricultural Sciences from the College of Agriculture in Port Antonio Jamaica. Dr. Wrightserved as a high-school teacher, extension officer, project manager and served in managed avariety of agro processing and manufacturing entities. He was a pioneer in the use ofdistillation waste from rum productions for nutrient subsidization in sugar cane productionin Jamaica, and worked to improve his organization’s push to meet the quality andenvironmental requirement for ISO 90001 & 14001 certification. He had four-year stint as a customer service trainer with West Corporationsupporting AT & T’s business and wireless customers where he was highly involved withcontinuous quality improvement practices and training over one thousand customer serviceagents in Ohio, Alabama and Texas. Since 2008, he has served as the coordinator for theChanging Lanes Mentoring Program at Alabama A & M University. He is a member of theAmerican Society for Quality (ASQ) and the National Association of Academic Advisors(NACADA) and is actively involved in retention, mentoring and continuous qualityimprovement activities in higher education. He is married to Andrea Wright and has fourchildren.
  5. 5. 5  Table of ContentsPreface…………………………………………………………………………………….1About the Author…………………………………………………………………………4Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………….6Chapters 1 Performance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Past Decade………………………………………………………………………7 2 Embracing Quality Improvement: Factors Driving the Need for Reform……….…………………………………………………………………...17 3 Leveraging a Continuous Quality Improvement Approach to Improving Institutional Effectiveness………………………………………49 4 Driving Quality: Improving Marketing and Recruiting Strategy……………78 5 Measuring Up: Improving the Enrollment Management Process……………98 6 Driving Quality: Transitioning Students from High School to the Sophomore…………………………………………………………………...123 7 Transitioning Students from the Sophomore Year to Graduation…………...158 8 Meeting Students Expectations: Improving the Technology Experience………………………………………………………………….…….171 9 Transforming a Quality Driven Workforce through Training and Development…………………….....……………………………………………..186 References…………………………………………………………………………192 Appendix A: Presidential Turnover 2000-2011…………………………….….208 Appendix B: The Cost of First Year Students Who Fail to Return their Second Year.…………………………………………………….211 Appendix C: First to Second Year Retention and 2002 Cohort Graduation………………………………………………………………214 Index……..………………………………………………………………………...217
  6. 6. 6  Acknowledgement I would like to thank my grandmother, Vashti James who despite a second-gradeeducation instilled in me the thirst for knowledge and the value of education. I am alsograteful for the many excellent teachers I have encountered along the way, especially thosewho have impacted me in the latter part of my academic career. I am grateful to Dr. PhillipRedrick, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Alabama A & M University whoprovided the inspiration for this manuscript which started as a class project. Thanks to mydissertation advisor at Tennessee State University Dr. Denise Dunbar for helping meunderstand the importance of my work to minority institutions and the need to keep refiningmy skills. Special thanks to Ms. Wanda Cross and Mrs. Janet Jones for their tireless effort inediting and formatting this project and other projects over the years. I would be amiss if Idid not thank my colleagues from the Office of Retention and Academic Support led by Dr.Leatha Bennett at Alabama A & M University for their continued support, and their love anddetermination in improving student success. I want to acknowledge the support, patienceand love of my wife Andrea and kids, Andre, Rojae, Georgiana, and Kayla.
  7. 7. 7  Chapter 1 Performance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Past DecadeIntroduction There is a public perception that students attending HBCU and minority servinginstitutions receive inferior education and their students are not adequately prepared for theworkforce or graduate school. The performance of HBCU and minority serving graduates inall aspect of American professional life and their rise to leadership at some of the mostrespected organizations in the United States and around the world proves that the perceptionis not reality. However, despite the success of the graduates of these institutions, therecontinues to be a public relation battle to define HBCUs role to the majority population. Thefinancial reality of today’s economy requires that institutions re-examine their role andredefine themselves in the market place by revamping their public relations strategy. In thischapter, we will examine the profile of HBCU graduates and the challenges that lie aheadfor HBCUs.Profile of HBCU Graduates The role of HCBUs in the education of the African Americans middle class is anintegral part of American history. Historically Black Colleges and Universities enroll 11%of African American students in higher education, and graduate 21.5% of all black studentswho receive their bachelor’s degree (NCES, 2006). In 2001, HBCUs account for 30% of allAfrican American graduates in engineering, 44% of all natural science majors and 25% ofall social science majors. HBCU graduates make up more than half of the nation’s AfricanAmerican professionals, more than 50% of African American teachers, 70% AfricanAmerican dentist, and more than half of the National Black Caucus (Fredrick PattersonInstitute, 2004). HBCU importance to the production of African American professional is reflectedthrough the number of degrees confirm annually. The 2010 annual Diverse Issues in Higher
  8. 8. 8  Education article on minority production in higher education in the United States ranks theproduction of African American graduates as follows:1. Xavier and Howard University, number one and two in undergraduates in biological andmedical Sciences;2. Xavier and Tennessee State University number one and two in the physical sciences;3. Florida A & M University and Winston Salem University, number one and three inproduction health professions and related clinical sciences;4. North Carolina A & T University number one in engineers, followed by number twoMorgan State University;5. Morehouse College in the number one producer in mathematics and statistics, followed bynumber two Fort Valley State University;6. North Carolina A & T two, Florida A & M three, and Alabama A & M five, top the topfive in agricultural and relate sciences;7. Alabama State ranks 11th in computer information and supporting services; and8. On the education front, Jackson State University is rank number two followed by numberthree Albany State and number seven Alabama State University. At the graduate level, North Carolina A & T University is the number one producerof graduate engineers, Southern University number one in mathematics and statistics,followed by number three Tennessee State University. Florida A & M tops the physicalsciences, followed by number two Norfolk State University and North Carolina CentralState University. Tuskegee University and North Carolina A T & T top the agriculturalrelated sciences. On the education front, Prairie View A & M State University is the nationsnumber seven producer of African American educators at the graduate level (Diverse Issues,2010). HBCUs have also developed a reputation of sending a higher percentage of AfricanAmerican students to graduate and professional schools than their predominately whitecounterparts (NAFEO, 2006). Students attending HBCUs are more likely to attend graduate
  9. 9. 9  school, are more like to choose a major in the sciences, and are more likely to remain ingraduate school and complete their Ph.D. They are also more likely to complete their a faster rate than their peers who attend traditionally white institutions (Wenglinsky,1999). In 2006, 29.3% of African American with Ph.Ds. in mathematics, science andengineering and technology received their bachelor’s degrees from HBCUs (Burrelli &Rapoport, 2008). Not only are more students from HBCUs earning their Ph.Ds. theinstitutions are now becoming leading producers of Ph.D. In 2006 there were 10.1doctorates peer 1,000 degrees awarded to black students from HBCUs compared to 7.9 fornon- black institutions resulting in HBCUs producing more black Ph.D. recipients thanresearch and doctoral- granting institutions (Lieberman, 2008). HBCUs not only affect the students they enroll, but are an economic catalyst for theirlocal communities as well. A study on the economic impact of HBCUs by the NationalCenter for Education Statistics (NCES, 2006) found that HBCUs collectively spend inexcess of $6.6 billion in their communities (62% public and 38% private HBCUs). They hada $10.2 billion dollar impact in 2001 which ranks HBCU in terms of revenue at 232nd onthe Forbes Fortune 500 list of the largest companies in the United States. They are keyemployers in their host communities, providing employment for over 180,142 part time andfull-time jobs, exceeding the Bank of America, the nation’s 23rd largest employer. In manyinstances, due to their location in rural small towns, they are the largest employers in theirregional communities and have tremendous impact on local businesses (NCES, 2006). HBCUs importance to nation-building and the black middle class goes beyond thenumber of degrees offered and contributions to their local communities. They are thecornerstone to the development of the African American community from emancipationthrough the Civil Rights era, and have help maintain the culture and traditions of the AfricanAmerican community. They have produced the black intellectuals who have become rolemodels, leaders, and advocates for the African American community (Brown & Davis,2001). The number of HBCU alumni in the black middle class and who are holders of keyleadership positions in business, religion, sports, politics, community development, andeducation, reflects their graduates’ contributions to nation-building in the United States,Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
  10. 10. 10   Historically HBCUs, because of their mission of educating underrepresentedpopulations, accept academically weak and under-prepared minority students and havedeveloped them into aspiring professionals. The institutions are able to mold the academicand professional development of their students despite not enrolling the most preparedstudents from high school. Several institutions have accomplished this through openenrollment policies and enrolling students with lower average ACT and SAT scores thantheir predominately white counterparts. HBCUs developed reputations for investing inremedial and professional development programs that have transformed the lives of thestudents they accepted. Their small class sizes, affordability, accommodating faculty andstaff, and a supportive environment that promotes student success have traditionally beentheir strength. They are also known for focusing on teaching rather than research, and areable to shape their students’ intellectual development, develop their self-confidence, andempower them to become outstanding professionals. Despite their obvious success to nation-building, HBCU administrators have arguedover the years that their institutions are neglected and underfunded at both the state andfederal level when compared to their predominately white counterparts. Desegregationlawsuits and subsequent settlement in the southern states have improved the funding parityfor state institutions, but years of neglect and financial challenges have left many HBCUsunable to provide the resources to effectively compete with their PWI counterparts. Years ofdeferred maintenance due to financial constraints, low bond ratings, reduction in stateappropriations, and declining endowments have left many HBCUs unable to make thecapital investment needed for new construction and infrastructure development. HBCU presidents through various forums including the White House Initiative onHBCUs, has been very highly vocal about the need for financial assistance in meeting thechallenges ahead. The White House has recognized the difficulties faced by HBCUs andother minority-serving institutions. Through high-profile visits, President Obama and histeam participated in a number of Spring 2010 commencement exercises at HamptonUniversity, University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff, Morehouse College, Xavier University,Huston-Tillotson University, Spellman College, Morgan State University, and VirginiaUnion University. The increased level of media coverage and increase of federal
  11. 11. 11  contributions have brought national attention to HBCUs and issues impacting theirperformance through several leading national editorials.The Challenges Ahead  The White House, in recognizing the financial need of HBCUs and the need toincrease minority student enrollment have increased the federal aid available for HBCUsand minority serving institutions. In the FY 2010-2011 budget, close to $900 million wasmade available to HBCU Pell grant recipients, with each student receiving a maximumallocation of $5,710. The budget also allocated $98 million in new funding to HBCUs and apledge of $850 million within the next decade. This additional funding was increased by $13million through the Strengthen HBCUs program and $85 million for the implementation ofthe Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. Approximately $20.5 million was allocatedfor the HBCU Capital Financing Program to assist with renovation, repairs and the additionof instructional equipment. In addition, the White house allocated $64.5 million forStrengthening Historically Black Graduate Institution Programs and $103 million for ascience and technology workforce program (, 2010). The increase in federal funding brings a greater level of accountability to therespective campuses in meeting performance expectations. The Secretary of Education,Arne Duncan has already indicated his expectations of increased accountability Secretaryand transparency with increase federal funding. This increase in oversight will ensure thatHBCUs receiving federal funds are more scrutinized and administrators held accountable forefficiently using these funds to transform their campuses. This is an indication that there willbe greater oversight of spending by the Government Accountability Office and theDepartment of Education to ensure that federal funds are spent appropriately and institutionsare meeting benchmarks for enrollment progression and graduate employment. Institutions will be required to continuously demonstrate, through a common set ofperformance standards, that they are providing quality services that foster the development,retention and graduation of their students, irrespective of the student preparation levels andthe institution’s financial challenges. Several administrators and alumni argued thatincreasing the performance outcomes will affect HBCUs more than other institutions. This is
  12. 12. 12  because in staying true to their mission, they accept a disproportionate amount ofunprepared high school graduates, and they do not have the resources to fund the number ofscholarships to attract a large pool of students who are academically prepared for the collegeexperience. There are also suggestions that proposed accountability standards do not bringthe necessary funding needed to adequately reverse years of deferred maintenance and newconstruction needed to put the campuses on par with their white counter parts. Irrespectiveof the merits of the debate, the federal government has mandated each state to consider aframework for increasing the number of college graduates in the next 10 years and HBCUsmust to be prepared for these challenges. Some HBCUs are well managed and prepared for this challenge and haveconsistently outperformed their predominately white peers in retention, graduation rates andthe number of students entering graduate and professional schools. Why this is notconsistent across the HBCU community is up for debate, but the data coming from severalinstitutions is indicating that the performance of some school encourages the merger debatesthat recently occurred in the Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi legislature. A change in themanagement of both public and private HBCUs and the implementation of managementreforms to improve the efficiency and performance outcomes of these institutions wouldhelp stop these debates. Avoiding merger discussions by state legislators will require that all HBCUs adapt tothe new higher education environment and develop processes that monitor performances andestablishing performance standards to compete with not only PWI, but online institutions aswell. This requires ensuring that funding and performance goals are achieved throughreforms that improve the effective and efficiency utilization of institutional resources.HBCUs must demonstrate this through improvements in retention and the graduation ratesand accountability standards. This should begin by:1. Developing collaborative relationships with K-12 feeder school in their key markets andimplementing programs aimed at improving the preparation of high school graduates for therigors of higher education.
  13. 13. 13  2. Improving the quality of students entering the institutions, by improving alliances withhighly qualified high school graduates through feeder schools program, and teacherdevelopment programs with schools districts in key markets.3. Expanding relationships with middle and school counselors and principals aimed atdeveloping college preparation and mentoring programs with the students and their collegementors.4. Improving the management and use of the data for continuous improvement, decisionmaking, and resource allocation. The data is already available, because HBCUs alreadycollect enormous amounts of data on student outcomes, institutional practices and otherefficiency measures which are reported to the states, the Department of Education andaccreditation agencies.5. Expanding their role as advocates of K-12 reforms and taking the lead in lobbying formore state and federal assistance to develop programs at feeder schools.6. Making a greater effort of attracting students from all ethnic groups in both urban andrural middle and high schools. HBCUs must improve their alliances with the Hispaniccommunity, Asian and Tribal communities, local community colleges, and other four-yearcolleges.7. Expanding the relationships with students as well as parents and continue fostering therelationship with parents from the freshman through to the senior year.8. Improving public perception of the institutions by strengthening their public relationsstrategy. This strategy should focus on promoting the institution’s signature programs andthe uniqueness of the respective campuses.9. Strengthening the tracking of first year and sophomore students who are enrolled andthose who drop out or stop out. Change may be difficult at several institutions based on campus morale, entrenchedculture, and the management style of administrators at the respective institutions. However,long-term survival is dependent on reforming the campuses to meet the performance metricsoutlined by President Obama’s “reach to the top” college graduation goals.
  14. 14. 14  The Centralize Performance Metrics Many of the performance expectations of “reach to the top” are already a part of thecampus performance scorecards and are reported annually to the State Higher EducationCommissions, and the Department of Education Integrated Post-Secondary EducationSystem (IPEDS). These reports are available to the public so that parents and potentialstudents can examine school performance on retention and graduation rates, diversityaccreditation, population, and financial aid availability use of the information in makingtheir college choice. Although this information is reported annually, there was not much incentive forpublic colleges to improve their performance metrics, because state institutions are fundedbased on full-time enrollment (FTE), rather than course completion and graduation. Thishowever, has already changed for some states and others are on schedule to change in thenext three to five years. The proposals from the National Governors AssociationChairman’s 2010-2011 initiative “Complete to Compete” program has laid the foundationfor the reform of state higher education at the state level. The proposal holds institutionsaccountable by changing the state funding formula to allocate a percentage based onperformance metrics focused on progression to graduation and beyond. The intent is todevelop and establish common set performance metrics that will reshape the highereducation landscape by improving college efficiency and productivity. Meeting these criteriarequires continuous monitoring of college performance and developing policies thatefficiently utilize available recourses (National Governors Association, 2010).Recommendations are made to the states to develop accurate data systems to track commonoutcome metrics such as degrees completed, graduation rates, transfer rates, and time andcredits completion for each student. States will also be required to tract progress metricssuch as enrollment in remedial education, success beyond remedial education, success in thefirst year college courses, credit accumulation, retention, and course completion rates(National Governors Association, 2010). Once implemented as a common reporting metrics for all states, all higher educationinstitutions, including HBCUs, must demonstrate through data their effectiveness inmanaging resources allocated to their institution to graduate their students in a timely
  15. 15. 15  manner. They will be expected to improve or develop programs and processes that not onlymonitor the students they enroll, but track student performance and demonstrate theirprogress towards graduation. Meeting these expectations will require that institutions makean effort to benchmark outstanding peer institutions and create opportunities to continuouslyimprove programs and processes. For many institutions this will not happen overnight. Reforms will require therespective presidents to lead the way towards developing a data-driven campus culturefocused on tying measurable performances to intended outcomes. Several states, such asTennessee have already taken steps to develop outcome base completion variables in theirhigher education funding formula. Tennessee’s formula outcomes are inclusive of graduateper FTE, transfers, all degrees earned, student progress at 24, 48, 72, and 98 hours andresearch and service (, 2010). This data-driven approach requires institutionsto assess and improve their data collection strategies and shift the focus from the number ofstudents enrolled, to the progress of the students from graduation to employment. Thisperformance-driven funding approach is expected be entrenched in most state fundingformula in the next decade. The Department of Education through its Institute for EducationSciences is currently issuing grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act(AARA) to establish a data system that will monitor students’ progress from acceptance toemployment. Several state proposals were accepted for the grants and many have alreadyimplemented measures to align their higher education performance outcome to meet their“reach to the top” goals. A report from the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC)2009 revealed that 14 states including Louisiana, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, Ohio andWashington have already considered or implemented performance driven funding. The newformulae are expected to drive improvements in degree completion, retention and on timegraduation. Some states have included performance-based incentives that will also take intoconsideration the performance and progress of students taking remedial classes. Manyinstitutions are also focused on moving remedial classes away from four-year colleges to thetwo-year colleges.
  16. 16. 16   As the largest producer of African Americans graduates in critical areas to nationbuilding, HBCUs must continue to focus on growing the enrollment and graduation of lowincome and first-generation students of all races. This is necessary because, improvementsin the retention and graduation rates have a twofold effect for HBCUs. First, this generatessignificant improvement in revenue over time which increases the institution’s ability tobetter serve their students. Secondly, it significantly increases the number of minorityteachers, military officers, business professionals and entrepreneurs, and graduates in theSciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (STEM). Thirdly, it increases thenumber of doctoral and professional school graduates over time. Not meeting the proposed“reach to the top” performances will have an effect as well. It will damage the credibility ofthe institutions, reduces the number of capable graduates for nation-building, reduces theamount of revenue from student enrollment, and increases the number of minority studentswith student debt without a degrees. The success of an institution is judged by data,therefore collectively HBCUs must continue to refine critical benchmarks and market theirsuccess to help change the perception in the public domain.
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  19. 19. Embracing Quality Improvement: Factors Driving the Need for ReformIntroduction HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions are faced with many challengeswhich are exasperated by the recent recession. Although the majority of the institutions arewell managed, the cuts in funding at the state and federal level have forced many institutionsto reduce their staff levels, and cut back academic and non-academic programs, whilesimultaneously developing initiatives to improve the quality of service provided to bothinternal and external customers. Although the reduction in funding has forced manyinstitutions to implement reforms to remain competitive, there are other threats that are notunique to HBCUs, but impact their ability to adequately serve their students. For minorityserving institutions, it is essential that these threats be confronted to better position them togrow and provide highly rated service to their students. In this chapter, we will focus onthese threats by examining how the current and future existence of HBCUs is impacted by:1. accreditation, 2. the imminent retirement of African American faculty and the hiring ofnew faculty, 3. retention and graduation rates, 4. accountability, 5. diversity, 6. presidentialstability, 7. the Board of Trustees and President relationships, and 8. competition.The Threats Facing HBCUs The closure of Bishop College, Daniel Payne College and Kittrell College, due toaccreditation and financial problems, is a stark reminder that the future of private HBCUs,such as Morris Brown College, Knoxville College, Concordia College of Selma, SelmaUniversity and other marginally surviving HBCUs is uncertain. Public HBUCs, however,are not devoid of these threats. Recent actions by the elements within Georgia’s legislatureto combine Albany and Savannah State University with predominately white institutions,due to budgetary constraints in Georgia, the proposed merger of Alcorn State University andMississippi Valley State University into Jackson State University, and Governor Bobby
  20. 20. 18  Jindal’s proposal to merge Southern University at New Orleans with the University of NewOrleans, has put public HBCUs on notice. Recent budget shortfalls have become theplatform for populist movement within state legislatures to join struggling public HBCUswith neighboring predominately white universities. Public backlash has prevented thepassages of these bills through the state legislature this time around, but this experience mustserve as a reminder to marginally performing public and private HBCUs of the fragility oftheir existence. There are general sentiments within the African American community that theactions of Southern state legislators to join struggling HBCUs with PWI has racial overtonesbecause the institutions were not given adequate resources to effectively compete. Whilethere are merits to these arguments, the reality is that the current economic climate hasplaced enormous strains on states higher education budgets. States have been forced to makedifficult choices in order to balance their budgets and commit adequate resources for socialservices and K-12. The loss of stimulus funding and the reduction in federal spending at thestate and federal level are impacting the resources available to all higher educationinstitutions, black or white. However, with scarce resources and a need to balance the budgetwithin the states, elements within communities who have questioned the existence ofHBCUs have found the ammunition to make their cases, due to the performances of many ofthese institutions. The threats from these individuals in the Southern states are real and they will not goaway unless state HBCUs demonstrate through data that they are excellent managers of taxpayers’ funds, and they can coexist and effectively compete with their neighboringpredominately white institutions. Performance is the key to the institutions long and short-term survival of these institutions and there must be data to prove it. It is therefore,imperative that as the African American community puts pressure on their state legislators,congressional delegates, and makes court challenges, that they broaden their knowledge ofthe higher education environment. They must also understand the threats and weaknesses ofthe institutions, the internal and external factors that are impacting their continued existence,and how they can assist in improving HBCUs performance.Accreditation
  21. 21. 19   Most HBCUs are located in Southern States and are accredited by the SouthernAssociation of Schools & Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACS). According to SACSaccreditation demonstrates to the public that the institution has a mission, has the resourcesto support its mission, has clear program goals and objectives which it is successfullyachieving and appropriate for the degrees it offers (SACS, 2011). The loss of accreditation isusually the last resort by the accreditation agencies, but when done, it has a severe impact onthe institution, the faculty, staff, the students, and past degree recipients. According to theCouncil for Higher Education Accreditation (2010), loss of accreditation impacts thestudents’ ability to obtain federal student loans and grants, donations to the institutions, theability of students to sit license exams, and the ability of the institutions to obtain state funds(CHEA, 2010). With over 85% of the student population on some form of financial aid atHBCUs, loss of accreditation would result in the automatic denial of federal financial aid,followed by the flight of students from the institution, financial difficulties, and theimminent closing of the institution. The threat of closure does not deter SACS from ensuring that all institutions,including HBCUs, met the guidelines set in the principles of accreditation. SACS requiresinstitutions to develop a management infrastructure that directs resources to comply with thecommission policies and standards. Irrespective of the amount of the resources available,institutions are expected to manage their human and financial capital with transparency andresponsibility, and provide the necessary documentation as evidence. SACS in its manual,The Principles of Accreditation: Foundation of Quality Enhancement, stated that they"Expect institutions to dedicate themselves to enhancing the quality of their programs andservices within the context of their missions, resources, and capacities, be engaged in anongoing program of improvement and be able to demonstrate how well it fulfills its statedmission...document quality and effectiveness in all its major aspects" (SACS, 2006). Over the past decade, several HBCUs in Southern states have struggled to meet therequirements of the principles of accreditation laid down by SACS. Since 1987, more than25% of SACS sanctions and more than half of the institution who lost their accreditationwere HBCUs (AAUP, 2007). The new rounds of reaffirmations, however, have seen a shiftin the number of sanctions. More than 10 of 13 (77%) HBCUs had reaffirmation ofaccreditation by SACS without any infractions, and the acceptance of candidacy of J. F.
  22. 22. 20  Drake State Technical College has demonstrated tremendous improvement in efforts to meetaccreditation standards. The results are indicating that efforts are made to develop programsand implement processes to ensure that the institutions are in satisfactory standing to meetthe criteria for the interim fifth year report and reaffirmation of accreditation. The Presidentsat several of these institutions have lead the way in ensuring that every member of the Boardof Trustees, administrators, directors, students, faculty, and staff is educated about theirindividual and collective responsibilities in ensuring there is continuous evaluation ofprocesses, programs, and structures to meet the institution’s accreditation requirements. In contrasts, during the past decade, the management of the accreditation process atseveral institutions demonstrated questionable leadership and foresight at some HBCUs.Knoxville College, Morris Brown, Paul Quinn College, Concordia College of Selma,Grambling State University, Bennett College, St Augustine College, Barber Scotia College,Edward Waters College, Lemoyne Owen College, Lewis College of Business, Mary HolmesCollege, Selma University, Talladega College, and Florida A & M University were placedon warning or probation. Most recently, Texas Southern University (twice), TugalooCollege, Dillard University, Cheyney University, South Carolina State and Alabama A & MUniversity were cited for areas of non-compliance. The start of the new decade has seenConcordia College and Saint Paul’s College being placed probation and Stillman College,Fisk and Tennessee State University placed on warning. Many of listed above institutionshave been cited for manageable offenses such as financial instability and audit reports,issues with faculty support, academic and governance structures, and processes formanaging and evaluating critical operations and support services (AAUP, 2007). As we look ahead at another round of reaffirmation, there is optimism for BenedictCollege’s reaffirmation in 2011 and an amicable resolution to the struggles of Paul QuinnCollege in its current preliminary injunction to reinstate its accreditation. Not only is therecautious optimism for these institutions, but 2010 saw Stillman College denied reaffirmationof accreditation and placed on continued warning for failing to comply with standardsrelating to financial stability reporting. Fisk University was placed on warning for similarinfractions, because they failed to demonstrate compliance with core requirement 2.11.1(financial resources) and comprehensive standard 3.10.1(financial stability) (SACS, 2010).
  23. 23. 21   Financial infractions are not the only core requirement that HBCUs must conquer.Tennessee State University (TSU) was placed on warning for failing to comply with corerequirement 2.5 (institutional effectiveness). In its latest push to ensure that institutions areimplementing quality principles in its day-to-day operation, SACS requires that institutionsdevelop a culture of data-driven decision-making supported by a continuous qualityimprovement strategy that collects and utilizes assessment for planning in academic andnon-academic areas. SACS requires that “ institution engages in ongoing, integrated, andinstitution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that (1) incorporate asystematic review of institutional mission, goals, and outcomes; (2) result in continuingimprovement in institutional quality; and (3) demonstrate that the institution is effectivelyaccomplishing its mission (Institutional Effectiveness)” (Page 22). The importance of accreditation to the survival of HBCUs warrants the highest levelof attention by every member of the institution from the Board to Trustees to the front-linestaff. Presidential leadership in accreditation is essential in ensuring that structures andprocesses are in place for a systematic review through self-study (quarterly, semiannuallyand annually), and mobilizing the institution to act on the findings. The presidentialleadership ensures a culture of continual assessment and documentation, and a system ofaccountability that monitors the strength, weaknesses, and progress of the institution. Thisprevents non-academic and academic units without discipline specific accreditationrequirements from waiting every five years to focus on accreditation. The Board of Trusteesof the respective institution plays a critical role in this process. They must take a more activerole in holding the Presidents and their cabinets accountable through the academic sub-committees for accreditation standards by requiring regular evaluation of programs, policiesand procedures as outlined by the accreditation agencies. The President on the other handmust develop a campus culture in which every member of the institution understands theirrole and is engaged in the process. Cabinet members and lower lower-level managers mustbe held accountable for unit performances and budget should be allocated based onperformance. This has to happen not only when there is a site visit or a self-report due to theaccreditation agencies but must be entrenched as a continuous bi-annual and annualevaluation plan (CHEA, 2007).
  24. 24. 22  Imminent Faculty Retirement of African American Faculty and the Hiring of NewFaculty The expected retirement of baby boomers from the professorate within the nextdecade will see the retirement of some of the most experienced faculty from HBCUcampuses. While this may create significant cost savings to various institutions, campuseswill be losing some of the most passionate and dedicated educators the country hasproduced. Many of these baby boomers were hired in the 1960s and 70s and wereinstrumental in the development and expansion of the education, engineering, mathematics,technology, and natural science departments of their respective institutions. They are highlyrespected educators whose commitment to developing the African American middle classthat has helped changed the psyche of American society and the perception of the skills setand professionalism of the African Americans. Many have an incredible ability to motivatetheir students to dream big and have cultivated in their students a level of academic rigidityrequired to succeed in the most prestigious graduate programs. Although many of these faculty members are retiring later than usual, early-retirement packages offered recently by several HBCUs has hastened the exodus of veryexperienced teachers. These retirees are leaving with considerable experience and expertisein research, grant writing, and networking within the federal government and corporateAmerica. They are also leaving the institutions with remarkable pedagogical skills emergingfrom their understanding of the socio-economic background of the students they teach. Inmany instances they are leaving their institutions without the opportunity to mentor and passon their knowledge to a new generation of junior faculty members. There are many who argue that the imminent retirement of baby boomers may be abenefit to higher education. Fleck (2001) argues that the retirement of aging professors,brings the possibility of bringing fresh ideas and innovative ways of teaching and learningfrom new hires. However, finding highly qualified African Americans in engineering,technology, mathematics, science and business disciplines that are willing to teach atHBCUs is a challenge many institutions face. The reality is that there is a large racial gap inthe production of African American earning Ph.Ds. in science engineering and business andthat gap has to filled by qualified foreign nationals. While some may argue that there is a
  25. 25. 23  need to increase the hiring of African Americans in the STEM and business disciplines,there are just not enough to meet the diversity demands of white institutions and HBCUs.Here are the facts from the National Opinion Research Survey on doctoral recipients:1. Between 2003 to 2008, the number of blacks earning doctorates in science andengineering grew by 24.5%, however, in 2008 African Americans accounted for only 18.6%of the number of doctorates offered.2. The number of temporary visa doctoral recipients increased to 33.1% in 2008.3. Almost three-quarters (74.1%) of temporary visa recipients intend to remain in the UnitedStates to develop professionally after graduation in 2008.4. The number of black doctoral science and engineering graduates employed at four-yearinstitutions was 35.6% compared to 44.7 % whites and 49.3% Asians. Blacks in science andengineering are least likely of all ethnic groups to start their own business and or work inindustry.5. Post-secondary commitment and employment was highest in the humanities (86%) andlowest among engineering doctoral recipients (15%).6. The highest representation of black doctoral recipients were in education and most weremore likely to be employed in the elementary and high school system (Fiegener, 2009). The reality is that the majority of doctorates owned by African American are ineducation related fields and there are not enough graduates to fill the void left by doctoralretirees in science, mathematics, engineering, technology and business. This gap has to befilled by foreign nationals, whites, and Asians in order to meet the academic needs of theseinstitutions. These new hires are not only potentially experiencing the traditional collegialadoption challenges faced by young tenure tract faculty, but are also faced with cultural andlanguage challenges as well. Bridging the language and cultural divide between young non-African American faculty, retiring African American faculty and African American studentsis a workforce development challenge that HBCUs must be prepared to address. Creating atrue multicultural environment does not happen overnight. It is a human resources strategy
  26. 26. 24  that has embraced by the institution in an effort to bridge the gap between ethnic andcultural groups.As institutions attempt to replace their retiring faculty, they must be mindful of thefollowing questions:1. Is the HBCU environment and students they will serve the right fit for this individual?Will they be able to handle the many challenges they will encounter?2. Will they be able to mentor and develop African American students?3. Are they able to motivate students to learn?4. Will they be able to handle the stress of the tenure process, balance service to students,the expectations of the community, and time between research, scholarship, and family?5. What is the level of commitment to serving minority students?For HBCUs in the market for new faculty, they must be mindful of the following questions:1. How do HBCUs compete in the market place for available talent?2. What is their reputation in the market place as an ideal place to work?3. What relationships are established with leading graduate schools and their students? Arethey able to attract alumni to returning to their institutions?4. Are there professional development opportunities for young faculty once hired?5. Are there well planned orientation, mentoring, and learning community programs for newfaculty members?6. Are there career advancement and management opportunities for non-African Americanfaculty?7. Are there development programs for adjunct faculty? These are challenges that HBCUs must grabble within the next 5-10 years. Attractingtalented faculty who will remain at the institutions for extended periods of time will require
  27. 27. 25  a human resources strategy focused on building and retaining talent. Effective mentoringand training of new faculty and staff is critical to this process. This ensures that new facultyimproves their pedagogical skills to teach students at different preparation levels, balanceteaching, research, and community service, while maintaining their hobbies and family life.Institutions can help newly hired faculty and staff by creating an environment that promotesthe integration of new and old faculty and provides mentoring opportunities essential topreventing young faculty burnout and flight. As older faculty reach the end of their career, it is important for HBCUs to engagethem in campus activities and develop opportunities for them to meet and mentor theirreplacements. For those who wish to be engaged, opportunities should be provided to teacha class or volunteer to help with tutoring, mentoring, and advising of graduate andundergraduate students. This, however, can only happen if the institutions make a concertedeffort to create an environment that fosters regular dialogue and engagement opportunitiesfor retirees.Financial Challenges The fiscal projections are not indicating improvements in the financial position forhigher education in the short term. According to NACUBA (2010), higher education budgetshortfalls for the 2009-2010 academic years have occurred in several states and the Districtof Columbia. It is projected that this will continue into the 2012/2013 academic yearresulting in cuts ranging from 5 to 15 percent and a reduction in giving and federal funding.It is anticipated that continued fiscal pressure on state legislatures will continue to have atremendous impact on higher education in all states until 2013 (Jones, 2005). This less thandismal performance was also confirmed by Moody Financial Services (2009). According toMoody’s Investor Service report (2009) on the 2009 U.S. Educational Colleges Outlook,colleges will be faced with liquidity issues and institutions will be exposed to volatility invariable market debt. Private colleges, however, will feel more of the effect of the financialcrises than public colleges and community colleges in the next year and a half. These financial pressures are already being felt at Fisk University, WilberforceUniversity Tougaloo College, Voorhees College, Bennett College, Huston-TillotstonCollege, Clark Atlanta University, and Lemoyne Owen College. They are among 20 HBCUs
  28. 28. 26  reported to be experiencing severe financial difficulties. In addition, the Department ofEducation has listed Paul Quinn College, Wiley College, Saint Pauls College BenedictCollege, Philander Smith College, and Concordia College as institution that have had failedits test of financial strength for private nonprofit degree granting institution in 2008(Blumenestyk et. al, 2009). In 2009, Paul Quinn College still remained below the compositescore of 1.5, but Benedict College passed with a 1.8 (pass rate 1.5-3). The United Negro College Fund (2009) reported that some of its institutions arealready feeling the impact of the recession and are making adjustments to reduce costs.Institutions have begun making management decisions to improve their future outlook byterminating staff, laying off-full time and adjunct faculty, cancelling classes due todecreases in enrollment and giving students grace periods to be current with their finances.Many HBCUs, including Clark Atlanta University, Howard, Spellman and public HBCUs,including Florida and Alabama A & M University and the University of the District ofColumbia have already taken the initiative to cut staff and restructure departments to copewith the financial crises. In Louisiana, the Southern University System and Grambling wereasked by the state to consider closing programs with low enrollment and low graduationoutput as a cost reduction measure. This option is also being considered by Tennessee StateUniversity for it physics program. As draconian as these costs-cutting measures are, only a few schools have the cashreserves or endowment to support their institutions after cuts in federal and stateappropriations. Few HBCUs outside of Spellman, Morehouse, Howard, and Hampton, in thebest of times had large endowments or an alumni base that gives freely to their alma mater.The strain on the general fund and endowment has forced many HBCUs to reduceinvestments in capital projects, reduce spending on faculty and staff salaries and lowerfinancial aid discounts to incoming and currently enrolled students. The actions taken by various institutions to aligned their cost and improve theireffectiveness is an indication that these institutions are taking seriously the need to balancetheir operation with their current financial outlook. The economic crises however, haveprovided opportunities for institutions to implement customer driven cost containmentmeasures to improve efficiency and institutional effectiveness. The extent to which
  29. 29. 27  institutions realign their policies, management practices, hire staff with expertise in criticalareas, train current faculty and staff to function efficiently, align essential functions withavailable technology, and stream line operations to meet student demands will helpdetermine their continued success. It is those institutions that strategically restructure theiroperations to balance their budgets, and find new sources of revenue through grants andtuition increases, that will remain solvent in the long run. As institutions reform their operations, they must be mindful of the events inCongress. Recent proposals to make cuts in Pell Grants from $5,550 to $4,705 will have asignificant impact on students attending minority institutions. These cuts, if approved, couldreduce funding to HBCUs and other minority institutions by $250 million and could affectthe ability of minority students to access and graduate from higher education institutions.The approval of H.R. 1 into law could see other programs such as Title III, become slatedfor reduction. These changes, if they become law will place severe strain on all HBCUs,therefore, institutional leaders must begin making additional adjustments to their operationalbudgets in preparation for these potential Congressional mandated cuts.Retention and Graduation Rates Students enter college from various socio-economic backgrounds, with differentpreparation levels and with different goals. The positive or negative interactions encounteredwithin the institution shapes their perception of the institution and impact their decision topersist (Tinto, 1993). It is student’s interactions with financial aid, recruitment andadmission, academic services, student services, the curriculum, faculty and peers, that willhelp shape the student’s decision to depart early from the institution (Bean, 1980; Pascarella,1985 & Swail, 1995). It is these experiences, along with their ability to adapt and getinvolved in the institutional environment and exploit the opportunities available with facultyand peers that will increase their commitment to the institution and ultimate graduation(Pascarella, 1985; Astin, 1985). Retention is a performance measure that demonstrates that the institution isaccountable for the students it enrolls. It demonstrates to the public that the institution iscapable of making informed decisions on policies, programs, and personnel that impactstudent success (Bogue, 1998). Low retention rate is an indication of the ineffectiveness of
  30. 30. 28  the institution in managing the progress of its students to graduate within the time indicated.In the end the institutions reputation is compromised and it loses revenues that could begenerated for academic and student services (Leveille, 2006; Tinto, 1993).Current Retention Trend at Selected HBCUs An analysis of data collected from the NCES college navigator of students whoenrolled in fall 2007 and returned in 2008 at 82 four year HBCUs, showed a freshman tosophomore retention rate of approximately 62% (national average 75.5%) (See appendix C).Outside of Morehouse and Spellman College only Florida A & M, Prairie View A & M,Albany State, Elizabeth State and Bennett College, no other institution had freshman tosophomore retention rates in the 80s and high 70s. On the low-end the University of theDistrict of Columbia, Concordia College of Selma, Paul Quinn College, Arkansas Baptistand Texas College, posted first to sophomore retention rates between 40 to 20%respectively. Further analysis of the data on students who enrolled in four-year HBCUs in 2002,revealed an average four-year graduation rate of approximately 18 percent (national average27%). Fisk, Talladega and Morehouse College graduated more than 4% of the cohort withinfour years, with Howard topping the list at 45 percent. When the top 10 institutions wereremoved from the analysis, the averages of the other institutions were close to 15 percent.On the low end, Southern Christian College, the University of the District of Columbia,Edward Waters, Huston-Tillotson, Coppin and Texas Southern University, are at the bottomwith less than five percent. The six-year graduation rates follow a similar trend. AlbanyState, Shorter College, Hampton, Fisk, Howard, Morehouse, Rust, Spellman, and Talladega,graduated more than 50% of their graduates with Talladega and Spellman topping the list atmore than 80% (Appendix C). There were eight institutions that performed close to and above the national trend of58%, but collectively the overall graduation rate of 34% is 20% below the national average.For African American males, the situation is more daunting. From the 83 institutionsexamined less than a quarter of the males graduate within six years. Only 27% of theinstitutions studied had male six year graduation rates over 33 percent. Only Albany State,Fisk, Shorter Collage, Howard University, Talladega, and Morehouse College graduated
  31. 31. 29  close to or more than half the male students who enrolled in 2002. In contract, more than 32of the four-year institutions had male graduation rates of 20% or lower. There are several debates within the academic community about placing credence tograduation and retention statistics as it does not reflect the true picture of those students whodrop-out and those who stop-out. Irrespective of the position taken these are the facts; closeto two thirds of students who enter HBCUs fail to graduate within four to six years withtheir cohort. If the data from the 2002 cohort is an indication of graduation performances atHBCUs, then institutions such as Southwestern Christian College, the University of theDistrict of Columbia, Edward Waters College, Huston- Tillotson, Coppin State, and TexasSouthern University, with less than 20% graduation rates for the 2002 cohort, warrantcareful evaluation of their management practices. The Financial Impact of Retention According to Swail et. al (2004), when an institution loses a student, it loses incomeit would otherwise receive for the four to six years the students remained enrolled at theinstitution. The institution also loses revenue from bookstores, residential halls, financialaid, campus restaurants, and loses potentially contributions (Swail et. al, 2004). To have adeeper understanding of the impact of retention on the institution revenue stream, the 2006-2007 data from 47 public HBCUs affiliated with the Thurgood Marshal College Fund(TMCF) were examined. The TMCF 2006-2007 demographic report reveals that theinstitutions reported a Fall enrollment of 42,257 students, with an average freshman tosophomore retention rate of 65% for the 2008 academic year. Based on the analysis,approximately 14, 790 students did not return with their cohort for their sophomore year. Whether these students are drop-outs or stop outs, they have the opportunity tocontribute significantly to the revenue derived by the institutions from tuition, fees andboarding. With an average freshman to sophomore rate of approximately 65 percent, TMCFinstitutions are slated to lose approximately $225 million from this cohort alone after theirfirst year. If the sophomore to junior retention gap follows the national trend of 12 percent,the TMCF institutions may lose close to another 3,296 students by the beginning of thejunior year, bringing the total student loss of almost 18,086 (47%) from the cohort within thefirst two years. This brings the estimated loss in revenue from tuition, fees, and boarding for
  32. 32. 30  the institutions within the first two years to approximately $500 million (See Table 1). Thesenumbers are significantly higher if state appropriations are added for each student loss (SeeAppendix B). According to Kline (2010), nationally, states provide on average subsidies and grantsof $10,000 per student each year to institutions. With a loss of close to 18,086 students forthe first two years of the 2006- 2007 cohort, TMCF institutions lose in excess of $181million dollars in state subsidies for the first two years of each cohort. With stateappropriation per FTE declining by 9 % in 2008 and 5% during 2009-2010, the loss oftuition and fees due to attrition is a significant revenue loss to state institutions, andinstitutions must make every effort to reduce the loss (College Board, 2011).Table.1 Estimated Attrition Loss to TMCF Institutions for the 2006- 2007 Cohort over theFirst Two YearsCohort Attrition Year 1 Loss Year 2 Loss 2 Year LossRetention Percent (%) Millions Millions State AppropriationsTMCF 35 Percent $225 $225 $148Freshman toSophomoreSophomore to 12 Percent $50.1 $33JuniorTotal $225 275.1 $181* Average loss per student instate tuition, fees and boarding $15,213 for public institutions(College, 2010) Institutions must also be mindful of not only losses in tuition and fees from studentloss, but loss in investment from recruiting. The estimates in retention normally only reflectthe cost estimates of the students that were enrolled, but do not take into consideration thecost associated with recruiting and enrolling each student. Institutions invest significantresources in marketing efforts to attracting, recruiting and enrolling their students. When astudent fails to return to the institution, the institution loses revenue and fails to recoup thecost associated with attracting and recruiting the student. According to a Noel Levitz report
  33. 33. 31  (2009) on the cost of recruiting for public and private institutions, private four-yearinstitutions spend an average of $2,134.00 and public institution spend on average $461.00enrolling an undergraduate student. While there is no data available on the recruitment costfor HBCUs, the Noel Levitz finding creates a basis for assessing the recruitment loss ofTMCF public institutions. Based on the findings from the Noel Levitz study for publicinstitutions, TMCF member institutions could lose approximately $8.4 million dollars inrecruitment due to retention loss for the first two years of each cohort. This is investmentsthe institution makes, expecting the students to stay at the institution to graduation andprovide the opportunity to earn returns on their investment. For private HBCUs who are tuition dependent, the loss in revenue from retention issignificant. The 2006 UNCF supported school report indicated that their institutions derived34% of their revenues from tuition and fees, 26% from government, 15% from private gifts,5% from endowment income, 13% from auxiliary enterprise, and 6% from other incomes.Institutions such as Florida Memorial College, Shaw University, Benedict College, andVirginia Union University, get more than half their general operating expenses from tuitionand fees. Other institutions such as Texas College, Lane College, and Tuskegee Institute,receive more than 40 percent of their revenues from government funds, but rely on tuitionand fees to fund their general operations budget (UNCF, 2006). Public HBCUs generate close to a fifth of their revenues from tuition and fees, butalthough they are less dependent on tuition and fees, they are impacted by the state fundingformula which is tied to the number of students enrolled and full time enrollment (FTE).High attrition rates impact the ability of the institution to generate enough revenues from thestate to meet their operational budgets. Public institutions that are not attracting andretaining the number of students needed to obtain state disbursement will continuously befaced with operating budget shortfalls, debt, and liquidity problems. This, in the short run,forces the institutions to balance their budgets through cost cutting measures such as salaryand hiring freezes, furloughs, layoffs, and delays in capital projects. There is no doubt that the economic future of some HBCUs and retention areintertwined. Their continued existence is dependent on the ability to effectively manage thestudents they enroll from freshman to graduation. Success requires that the institution not
  34. 34. 32  only track freshman to sophomore and the sophomore to junior retention rates, but tomonitor their four-year graduation rates and the performance of students at mid-semesterand the end of semester as well. The impact of retention on the institution’s existencerequires that all HBCUs have established short-term and long-term goals to improveretention and graduation rates. The process must begin by improving the student’s transitionfrom high school to college, studying the pre-college variables that influence first-yearretention and developing interactive learning environments for the students. The institutioncan only be aware of the students’ performance by developing established progressionscorecards and monitoring course enrollment, performance patterns and the progression ofthe cohort towards graduation. Tracking student progression requires changes in the way data is currently generatedand tracked. Tracking must go beyond generating reports required to fulfill therequirements of the Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the statehigher education commission. It requires the development of an adequate staff departmentwith the expertise and tools to track all students, developing a monitoring system for thosewho are at-risk before they enter the institution and monitoring those who left the institution.This strategy also requires the development of early relationships with the students andparents, and connecting them with resources and individuals beginning from their first weekon campus.Accountability The discussions on accountability and controls in higher education in recent years isfueled by increases in tuition, student indebtedness, demands for more financial aid,reduction in educational affordability for low-income students and the poorest citizens, andfinancial crises at the federal, state, and local government level (Muraskin & Lee, 2004).Increasingly, legislative and public discord with allegations of financial impropriety,inappropriate allocation of resources, and in some cases fraud, at several higher educationinstitutions has also led to calls for greater accountability of taxpayer dollars. The frequencyof these issues in the media has created an impression that some institutions are poorlymanaged, their leaders are unproductive, and poor stewards of the state and federal taxdollars, and student pay the price for their actions through continuous tuition increases.
  35. 35. 33  These feelings resonate more so during the current economic crisis, where states are forcedto balance their budgets by making choices between K-12, higher education, social servicesfor their citizens. Deficits in state budgets has increased the lobbying of state legislators, forcing manyto become increasingly involved in higher education budgets. Federal, state higher educationagencies and accreditation bodies, under public pressure, are becoming more aggressive inmonitoring higher education institutions and are placing greater focus on fiscal control andperformance outcomes. Increased monitoring comes with frequent audits reports, financialstrength tests, the meeting timelines for reporting financial information, monitoring ofresearch and private contributions, and the proof of continuous improvement. In recent years, there were only a few reported incidences of inappropriate uses offunds and evidence of wasting. However, recent accreditation violations for not completingfinancial reports in a timely manner and reports of the inability of a few institutions toaccount for a substantial amount of money, has helped fuel outside speculations. This isevident by SACS placing Florida A & M, Texas Southern University, Alabama A & MUniversity, Stillman College, Tennessee State University, and Fisk University on warningfor non-compliance with principles of accreditation core requirement 2.1 and comprehensivestandards 3.10. This is an indication that financial accountability is a top accreditationstandard for which all higher education institutions must be compliant to remain accredited.SACS requires all institutions to meet comprehensive standards 3.10 (financial resources)through submission of annual financial statements and a cycle of audits demonstratingcontrol of finances and show management of sponsored research funds (SACS, 2010). The close scrutiny of all institutions by the general public and legislators willcontinue into the future as outlined in a 2005 National Commission on Accountability inHigher Education report. The commission recommends that accountability of institutions bebased on results, such as retention, student outcomes and assessments results. Thecommission proposes that institutions provide a better system of accountability and makeinformation, such as tuition and performance benchmarks, available to the public. Thecommission recommends that the federal government establish a plan to monitor theprogress of every student, and that Board of Trustees establish standards for oversight and
  36. 36. 34  management of the institutions. It is expected that accreditation agencies, administrators,faculty, and staff make a commitment to improve their performance by continuouslyevaluating their accomplishments and create an avenue for improvement. Accountability for performance outcome is moving towards the adoption of aperformance base funding formula aimed at improving graduation and course completion.States such as Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, and other first “round reach tothe top” finalists are moving from the enrollment-driven formula to a performance-basedfunding. The new funding formula holds institutions responsible for performances inretention, course completion, graduation rates and other weighted averages. Institutions willbe required to meet weighted averages which will drive the allocation of funding by thestates. It is anticipated that all institutions, including HBCUs, will raise their performance,improve their productivity and hold department heads accountable for performanceoutcomes or risk budget cuts.Diversity In 2005, minority groups in the United States consisted of 14 % Hispanics, 12%Blacks, 4% Asians/Pacific Islanders, and 1% American Indians/Alaska Natives (NCES,2007). According to the NCES report on the status and trends in the education of ethnicminorities, 33 percent of the US population will be minorities with a prediction that theywill account for 39 percent of the total population by 2020. As the minority population trendupwards, and the number of minority high school graduates increases there will be a higherpercentage of minority students prepared to enter the college ranks. This is evident by theincrease in the enrollment of undergraduate minority students from 17 to 32 percent between1976 and 2004 (NCES, 2007). The increase in accessibility to higher education isdemonstrated in the surge in undergraduate minority enrollment in higher education from1976 - 2004. During this time, there was a 461% increase in Asian/ Pacific Islanders, a 372%increase in Hispanics, a 130% increase in Native Americans, and a 103% increase in blackscompared to a 26% increase for their white counter parts. At the graduate level during thatperiod Asians/ Pacific Islanders increased by 373 percent, Blacks and American Indians/Alaska natives increased by 181%, American Indians by 162% and by whites 27% (NCES,
  37. 37. 35  2007). Despite the steady increase in minority enrollment in higher education, there has notbeen a significant increase in the non-black student populations at most HBCU campuses.From 1999 – 2001 there was only an 3.1% for whites, 6.87% for Hispanics and a 1.68%increase in Asian/Pacific Islanders enrollment (NCES, 2007). As generations of African Americans move further away from the Civil Right eraand become engaged in a more multicultural and racially tolerant society, they will besearching for the best opportunities available to meet their needs and comfort level.Predominately white institutions, for-profit, and online institutions have already startedexploiting these opportunities as evident in their diversity campaigns. Their aim is to attractmore minority students and compete for federal dollars available through Pell grant andother federal programs. Their goals are to not only increase the enrollment of black students,but also the number of Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, andinternational student populations as well. As the marketing strategy improves at online, forprofit institutions, two year colleges and predominantly white institutions, minority studentswill have more alternatives for their college education. This loss of market share for academically and socially prepared African Americanhigh school population is a threat that HBCU‘s should anticipate and not take lightly. AsAfrican American students have more choices in accessing higher education than in the past,this threat cannot continue to be ignored. The sports talent drain in the post-Civil Right erais a pattern that is emerging for academically talented African American students. The braindrain has started and in a few generations there will be no guarantee that talented AfricanAmericans will continue to be attracted to majority Black institutions. For now, African American students will continue to be the main source ofenrollment at most HBCUs; however, they cannot continue to be entirely dependent onBlack students to grow their enrollment. Growing the enrollment and maintaining it at levelsto sustain growth and development will be based on the institution’s ability to develop long-term strategies that attract and enroll more white students and students from all other races. The projected increase in enrollment growth between 2005 and 2016 at degree-seeking institutions is expected to be as follows; 8 percent White, 29% Black, 45%Hispanics, 32% Asian or Pacific Islanders, 34% American Indians or Alaska Native
  38. 38. 36  enrollment and 15% resident aliens (NCES, 2007). Institutions must be mindful of thesetrends and re-adjust their efforts based on population growth, geographic location, highschool graduation trends, and the needs of the various ethnic groups. HBCUs must bemindful of the projected increase in the number of Hispanics and other minority high schoolgraduates in the Southern states and large cities such as Chicago, Detroit and in states suchas Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia. Theseinstitutions must provide opportunities to reach out, develop networks and engage theHispanic, Asian, and American Indian communities. In addition, they must also make aneffort to engage and strengthen relationships with the Asian block countries and India, andBlacks from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. Reaching out to other minority populations and underrepresented groups is asignificant part of the HBCU’s mission and several schools have had great success doing so.Improvement in the diversity of the school population does not change the mission of theinstitution, but provides an opportunity to demonstrate that they are educators of all people,especially the underserved and poor of any race. Growing enrollment requires thatinstitutions not only say we enroll any student from any race, but have policies withachievable goals to enroll Hispanics and other non-black students from elementary to highschool. The purpose should be to strategically change the perception of students of otherraces from not seeing HBCUs as a black school, but an institution of choice for pursuingtheir education. The process must begin by examining and removing the barriers that negativelyimpacts attracting, recruiting, and retaining non-black students (Simms, 1994). Once thebarriers are identified, institutions must develop a diversified enrollment managementstrategy with established performance goals. Achieving these goals will require the hiring ofa diverse recruiting and admissions staff, the utilization of non-black students and faculty inrecruiting and outreach efforts, and developing programs that are attractive to non-blackstudents. Once the students are enrolled, a concerted effort must be made to create a campusculture that is friendlier to non-blacks, help non-black students acclimatize to the campusenvironment, and develops cultural programs to help maintain their persistence tograduation. This collaborative effort can be done with other strategies to improve the
  39. 39. 37  services available to international students, adult and nontraditional students, generationXers, the Millennials, and the lesbian and gay communities. Diversity at HBCUs must not only be examined from a student perspective, but alsomust be part of the institution’s human capital development strategy. Showing acommitment to diversity must be demonstrated through the number of non-blacks andwomen in administrative positions and presidential appointments. However, this will requirean increase in the number of talented women, whites, Hispanics, blacks, and other ethnicminorities born outside of the United States and the appointment of talented non-alumni tokey administrative positions and on the Board of Trustees. Moving in this directiondemonstrates to talented, skilled, and dedicated non- African Americans and women thatthey will be able to progress to senior management positions and achieve success at theinstitution. If this is not fully embraced HBCUs, cannot continue to say that they are open to allpeople if the data for both students and administrative appointments cannot substantiatethese claims. Predominately White Institutions have appointed diversity officers anddeveloped strategies to improve their minority enrollment in an attempt to ward off potentiallawsuits and negative publicity. HBCU must be mindful of this, because as the economicand political landscape changes at the state and federal level and the call to end race-basedpublic education increases, there will be pressure on public HBCUs to succumb to what ispolitically correct at the time. The challenges, whether in the courts, from state legislators,and Congress will come and HBCU will need partnerships with other minority and majoritylegislators in moving legislative agendas for funding and reform that supports their mission.Presidential Stability Evan, Evan, & Evans (2002) argued that many of the problems faced by HBCUs arerelated to leadership and shared governance. When there is a tense working relationshipbetween the faculty and staff senate, and student leadership groups, there is normally aclimate of mistrust. A lack of shared governance normally leads to an antagonist relationshipbetween the president and the faculty senate and a subsequent vote of no confidence. Whenthere is not a cooperative working relationship between the major leadership, groups thereis normally a work climate with poor faculty morale, reduction in program effectiveness, a
  40. 40. 38  reluctance of faculty and staff to speak their minds because fear of reprisal, and inefficientprocesses (Evan, Evan & Evans 2002; Jackson & Nunn, 2002; Minor, 2004 & Schexnider,2008). Many of the problems outlined above are not consistent with most HBCUs, and arenot unique to HBCUs they are a part of the higher education landscape. However, HBCUpresidents, such as Humphries at Florida A & M University, Harvey at Hampton University,Johnnetta Cole of Spellman College, Payton at Tuskegee University, Massey at MorehouseCollege, Richardson at Morgan State University, Francis at Xavier University, and otherprominent HBCU presidents have transformed their institutions during their long tenure.They not only transformed their institutions into leading global institutions that attracted thebest and brightest students from the United States and from around the world, but theybecome significant players in higher education policies in their respective states andWashington D.C. The tenure of their presidencies allowed them to build strong managementteams, develop long and short term strategic plans and implement their vision. Theydemonstrated the capacity to diplomatically work through the difficulties encountered withindividual board members, faculty and staff senates, student associations, alumni, parentsand donors, to transform their institutions. Many of these presidents came to their institutions at a time when they were giventhe opportunity to develop and articulate a vision for their respective institutions and soughtthe input of their constituents. Not only did they have the support of their constituents, butthey understood the higher education and political landscape and hired talentedadministrators who had the skills to promote and implement their vision and develop amanagement pool to sustain the vision over time. They increased their institution’s visibilityand raised the academic expectations of their students while building partnerships withcorporate entities and government agencies to shift resources to improve their campuses, andemploy their students. What is unique about these presidents and their tenure is that all of them were giventhe opportunity by their Board of Trustees to stay at their institutions for 10 or more years.The ability to stand the test of time is currently displayed by presidents at Xavier (42 years),Northwestern Christian (43 years), Morris College (36 years), Hampton (32 years), Harris
  41. 41. 39  Stowie, (31years) and Wilberforce University (23 years). There are also other HBCUpresidents at Shorter College (25 years), University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (19), VirginiaState University (17), Benedict College and Langston University (18), Rust College (17),and Stillman College (13) (See appendix A). There are two public and eight private HBCUpresidents currently serving their institutions for over 20 years with the most notable beingthe presidents of Xavier University, Hampton University and Southwestern ChristianCollege. In addition, there are 6 public and 10 private presidents having tenures over 10years. These presidents have shown the ability to rally their alumni base, faculty and staffsenates, legislators, students, and their Boards around a vision to transform their institutionsinto world-class institutions. However, the past decade has been one of the most turbulent periods of leadership inthe history of several HBCUs. While there is nothing unusual about the hiring and firing ofpresidents at educational institutions, the number of firing, hiring and retirement ofPresidents among HBCUs should be of concern. An examination of the records of 38 publicHBCUs and 45 private HBCUs reveals that only 6 (16%) public and 14 (31%) privateHBCU presidents survived the last decade. Approximately, 14 (37%) public HBCUs and 10(22%) private HBCUs had at least three presidential appointments, with two private HBCUshaving four presidential changes in 10 years. At the public institution that lost theirpresidents, 22 (58%) served less than eight years, 16 (42%) served less than six years and 6(16%) served less than three years. At their private four-year counterparts 22 (49%) servedless than eight years, 14 (31%) served less than six years and four (9%) served less thanthree years (see appendix A). These changes occurred at a time when the American Councilon Education (ACE, 2007) reported that college presidents were serving an average of 8.5years in office and administrative officers serving 6.5 years, one of the highest tenureperiods in their history of data collection. These changes in leadership at both theappointment and interim position bring not only changes in presidents and interim, butcabinet level and other administrative appointments as well. Having three or more campusleadership changes in a decade creates enormous challenges in continuing the developmentof those institutions and it undermines development, long-term planning and the institutions’competitiveness.
  42. 42. 40   The presidency at any higher education institution is a pressure-filled position withhigh expectations. It requires the hiring of an individual with a unique set of managerial,political, academic, and fund-raising skills to perform effectively in the complex highereducation environment. The path to the presidency requires a progressive record ofsuccessfully managing in a complex environment. Prior academic management experience isa requirement, but as demonstrated by the hiring of successful government and corporatemanagers at several PWIs, it is a not a requirement for success. The ACE 2007 report on theAmerican college president found that 13% had previous positions outside of academia,21% lead other institutions, 40% were chief academic officers, 23% were non-academicofficers, 28% were chosen internally, and 5% were chairs of departments. This is anindication that presidents come from different backgrounds, but their selection is based onproven administrative and political skills needed to effectively navigate the complexity ofthe higher education environment. Since 2007, there are 40 (48%) new presidents at the 83 public and private HBCUsexamined. These new HBCU presidents are expected to sustain their jobs by balancing andserving the needs of the institutions, be fiscally responsible and operate within a politicallycharged atmosphere (Millette, 2004). This group of presidents assumes responsibilitiesduring the worse financial crises faced by higher education in decades. They came expectingto maneuver the political landscape and move quickly in transforming their organizations bygrowing enrollment, improve efficiency, increase fund raising, increase retention and movethe Board of Trustees and alumni to focus on their vision. This is a feat that has not beendone successfully by many of their predecessors between 2000- 2010. With almost a third of HBCUs having new first time presidents at the helm duringthe past three years, mentoring of current groups of new HBCU presidents to maneuver thenumerous issues facing HBCU’s are central to the stability of the HBCU presidency.Presidents who did not have long chief academic or operations officer careers or prioracademic leadership experience within the HBCU environment, will require all theemotional, spiritual, political and administrative they can muster to effectively manage inthe complex HBCU environment. Finding a common ground in developing a workingrelationship with the Board of Trustees, the faculty senate, alumni, and corporate donors,will be essential to their success. The reforms needed to withstand the current budget cuts
  43. 43. 41  will require that this group of presidents improve the culture of their institutions byimproving communication and shared governance, and improve faculty and staffinvolvement in the budget process. They must hire experienced and effective leadershipteams that can create a framework to implement their vision, and encourage and develop anew wave of leadership talent through structured succession planning. They must alsoestablish an assessment and continuous quality improvement system that can be sustainedirrespective of any leadership changes (Benchmark: Howard University & SpellmanCollege). Succession planning must also become a part of the conversation at institutions. Thisis necessary because institutions are expected to lose some of the most experienced HBCUpresidents and administrators in the next decade due to retirement or firings. This strategyalso falls in line with the ACE projection that more than 40 % of the presidents comes fromthe chief academic officer position and this position must become the training ground for thepresidency. Succession planning through the identification of talented administrators and thepreparation of the next generation of presidents and qualified supporting administratorsrequires careful consideration by the HBCU community. This is important in ensuring thatthere are pools of new candidates both inside and outside the HBCU community that arementored and prepared for the presidency. In facilitating this process, the HBCU communitymust engage in dialogue around the following questions:1. What has contributed to the high presidential turnover during the last decade?2. Is there a pool of presidential candidates at HBCs or PWIs who are prepared to move tothe presidency and meet the challenges of higher education landscape?3. What roles are past and current presidents playing in helping to mentor the new group ofpresidents?4. Are the current set of provost and future presidential candidates formally prepared for theoffice of the presidency and what are the opportunities for their development?5. What criteria are the Boards of Trustees using in the recruitment and hiring of thepresident?