HBCU DIGEST: A Good Run, But What's Next for Black Colleges?
By: Dianne Boardley Suber
The HBCU community has had a good run over the last couple of years. Amidst the raging pandemic, the collective colleges and universities recognized as the “institutions of higher education specializing in the promotion and heralding of African Americans” have opened, closed, and virtualized education delivery in a protected and productive environment like no other organization in this country.
A community of 100 institutions has managed the virus and tailored the processes to the uniqueness of their clients. Even while most consider HBCUs monolithic institutions by the standards of the outside community, they are now acknowledged as the standard safe havens that historically define their actual value to this society and create models for other institutions.
The first woman to serve the United States as Vice President is an HBCU graduate. One of the greatest football players of all time is now the head football coach at Jackson State University and one of the nation's most prolific talent recruiters. Recently, 10 HBCUs elevated to Research 2 institution status, an unprecedented numbered powered by the progress of doctoral research programs nationwide.
Add the appointments of HBCU graduates to CEO positions, elections of HBCU graduates to key local, state and federal political positions; and Mackenzie Scott’s financial investment in a record number of HBCUs, and one has to admit that the HBCU community has, indeed, had a good run.
Operative word. . . "had.”