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The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

African American NC lawmakers criticize tuition-slashing bill
SB 873 seen as threat to public black colleges
 
Published Saturday, May 28, 2016 2:30 pm
by Herbert L. White

North Carolina’s black lawmakers and political activists are critical of a state Senate bill that would lower tuition at five public colleges, including three historically black campuses.


Bill 873, the Access to Affordable College Education Act, would compel the universities – including HBCUs Winston-Salem State, Fayetteville State and Elizabeth City State – to slash tuition to $500 per semester for in-state students and $2,500 out-of-state starting in 2018. The state would fund the campuses up to $70 million to make up lost tuition through the 2018-19 academic year.


Bill supporters contend SB 873 will attract more students to colleges that are struggling with enrollment and finances. Critics counter the legislation targets minority-serving institutions. Along with the three HBCUs, UNC Pembroke, founded to educate Native Americans, and Western Carolina University, a predominantly white campus, would be impacted. The bill has been moved to the Senate’s Rules and Operations Committee.


“We will strongly oppose the closing of any HBCUs in the University of North Carolina System or any legislation which dilutes the rich cultural experiences provided at these important institutions,” the Legislative Black Caucus said in a statement. “We support the full and sustainable funding of our HBCUs, remain skeptical, but willing to engage in this discussion.”


Among the concerns of black college proponents is SB 873 undercuts funding of colleges that have traditionally received less state money than schools with more political and economic clout. They also contend the bill is a thinly veiled attempt to whitewash the culture of HBCUs or shut them down completely. North Carolina has five public HBCU campuses – N.C. A&T State and N.C. Central universities are not included in the bill.


“The North Carolina Democratic Party fully supports our state’s historically black colleges and universities and our entire university system,” North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Patsy Keever said. “The UNC system is one of our greatest resources, an economic driver for the region and one of the things that makes our state great. Our HBCUs are a special resource as well, educating our students, creating economic opportunities and producing leaders for North Carolina. We will continue to support North Carolina’s HBCUs and fight against any legislative effort to jeopardize their rich history, legacy and tradition.”


The bill, authored by Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican and Western Carolina graduate, would call for the University of North Carolina board of governors to consider eliminating the 18 percent cap on out-of-state students for the five schools named in SB 878. The board would have authority to change or eliminate the cap if it would increase the number, academic strength and diversity of student applications at the schools.


Another provision of SB 873 – which would have allowed UNC’s board of governors to consider changing the names of schools – was stripped from the bill Thursday.  

Comments

Under the leadership of Chancellor Reaves and Brenda Allen, WSSU's enrollment dropped by more 2000 students. Allen destroyed programs (Business, Human Performance, Foreign Languages, African and African American Studies, Evening/Weekend College, Political Science, Public Administration, etc.) because of personal malice and discrimination against faculty. She was too naive to realize that her actions would lead to a drop in student enrollment.

WSSU's current administrators--- Brenda Allen and Corey Walker--- are nothing more than affirmative action babies previously employed by Brown University. Allen does not "own" her PhD from HBCU Howard University. Her postdoc at Yale University does not make her a Yale graduate; a postdoc is usually an opportunity to obtain professional skills graduate students did not receive in their PhD programs, and African Americans are systematically encouraged to pursue postdocs. The current Chancellor Elwood Robinson is too busy manning his social media accounts and hanging with undergraduate Q-Dogs to run the university.

Neither Donald Reaves nor Brenda Allen possessed the experienced required to run a university and would have never been hired at one of North Carolina's predominately white universities. In fact, Ruth Simmons, former president of Smith University and Brown University, literally gave Brenda Allen diversity officer jobs at both universities. Brenda Allen's postdoc mentor at Yale who is a close friend of Ruth Simmons was instrumental in securing Brenda's job at Smith College. When Ruth Simmons was appointed President of Brown University, she created a diversity position for Brenda Allen who was an Associate Professor at Smith and Simmons' assistant. At least Brown's administrators were smart enough not to give faculty status to Allen.

When Donald Reaves became WSSU Chancellor, he literally gave the Provost job to Brenda Allen who was not selected as a finalist for the position. However, like Brenda Allen, Donald Reaves had no administrative experience in higher education much less any knowledge of how to manage the affairs of a HBCU.

Brenda Allen forced former Dean Ford out of the College of Arts and Sciences to hire her friend and fellow affirmative action baby from Brown University Corey Walker. Corey became WSSU Dean with only four years of experience as chair of the Africana Studies Department with seven faculty at Brown University. Like Brenda years earlier, Corey was the least qualified candidate and did not make the finalist list. Brenda personally included him as a finalist. After faculty in the Department of Politics, History and Social Justice refused to grant Corey tenure and full professor status, Brenda Allen bypassed the faculty vote by naming him John W. and Anna Hodgin Hanes Professor of the Social Sciences.

The situation at WSSU is an indication of the detrimental impact ivy league universities' affirmative action babies can have on other universities because they are assumed to be qualified but are not qualified. Until HBCU supporters take an unbias look at HBCU administrators and stop allowing them to play the race card to save their jobs, HBCUs will remain in crisis. Finally, ask yourselves why NC A & T and NCCU were not included in the senate bill even though they are HBCUs.
Posted on June 2, 2016
 
African American lawmakers were made aware of administrative problems with Chancellor Reaves/Brenda Allen and now Brenda Allen/Corey Bazemore-Walker yet did nothing to resolve the problems. The result was a more than 2000 student decrease in enrollment. However, Brenda Allen was allowed to state that she intended to decrease the number of students. Her benighted comment was similar to someone who trips and fall then state "I meant to do that." If African American lawmakers, WSSU Alumni, and HBCU supporters want to restore the image and status of WSSU, they should request the immediate removal of the REAL problems at Winston Salem State University- Brenda A. Allen, Corey Walker and the King of Social Media Chancellor Elwood Robinson. Likewise, those WSSU employees who have supported Brenda and Corey because these administrators have granted them salary increases in promotions should act to save their pay checks by issuing a vote of no confidence against Robinson, Allen, Walker, and other administrators hired or promoted by this trio. SAVE WSSU, FIRE ITS ADMINISTRATORS!!! KNOW THE TRUTH RATHER THAN ACTING BASED ON EMOTIONS OR A FACADE OF RACISM.
Posted on June 1, 2016
 

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