Student protests at the University of Missouri last year captured the national spotlight and uncovered deep-seated racial tension on campus. But Mizzou was not alone. Several other campuses were also on edge—from the University of Oklahoma fraternity members caught singing a racist chant on video, to hate groups counter protesting a University of Mississippi student demonstration to remove the state flag with its Confederate emblem.
Walter M. Kimbrough, president of the historically Black Dillard University, points to the “Missouri Effect” in his new Washington Post article as an explanation for the enrollment increase this year at HBCUs.
Kimbrough said freshmen enrollment is up by 22 percent at his university, 49 percent at Shaw University in North Carolina, and 32 percent at Tuskegee University in Alabama.
This upward trend goes back at least three years, according to University of Pennsylvania Professor Marybeth Gasman, director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions, and Ph.D. candidate Amanda Washington, a research assistant at the institute.
They wrote in The Hill that America’s social and political landscape contributes to the enrollment surge at HBCUs.
“Black students who choose to attend an HBCU are doing so to continue learning their history, to engage in an environment that appreciates their contributions, and to cultivate their minds in safe and welcoming spaces,” Gasman and Washington added.
Interestingly, many university presidents are apparently unaware of racial tensions on their own campus. A recent Inside Higher Ed and Gallup survey found that 84 percent of them believe race relations are excellent or good on their campus. But only 24 percent of the presidents believe race relations are good on other campuses.
Kimbrough said he graduated from predominantly White universities and believes that African-American students can flourish in that environment.
However, parents and students who choose those institutions must do so with their eyes wide open. For example, don’t expect (or demand) to find many Black professors at a university located in a rural area of a mostly White state.
At the same time, Kimbrough calls on White university presidents to lead the way on campus inclusiveness.
Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Ferguson Sparks A Social Photo Protest
1. A Call To Action1 of 47
2. Young Black Men Support2 of 47
3. No Justice, No Peace!3 of 47
4. Hands Up4 of 47
5. Don’t Shoot5 of 47
6. Beyond Color6 of 47
7. Youth Movement7 of 47
8. Don’t Shoot8 of 47
9. Generational Support9 of 47
10. Activists Of Our Generation10 of 47
11. Gathering Crowds11 of 47
12. Mike Brown’s Mother12 of 47
13. The Revolution Will Be Socially Shared13 of 47
14. Anonymous?14 of 47
15. T-Shirt With A Message15 of 47
16. RIP Mike16 of 47
17. Hands Up17 of 47
18. We Are One Race18 of 47
19. Do I Fit The Description?19 of 47
20. Am I Next?20 of 47
21. A Happy Protestor21 of 47
22. We Are Praying With My Feet22 of 47
23. Masked Supporter23 of 47
24. Just A Young Black Man, Walking24 of 47
25. Janelle Monae25 of 47
26. A Stand Off26 of 47
27. Even Kids Are Involved27 of 47
28. The Power Of Banning Together28 of 47
29. We Want Answers29 of 47
30. Mommy/Daughter Team30 of 47
31. Brave Supporters31 of 47
32. We Need Justice32 of 47
33. Black Teens Support33 of 47
34. Hands Up34 of 47
35. Don’t Shoot!35 of 47
36. Passive Aggressive36 of 47
37. The People Flee37 of 47
38. Let There Be Peace38 of 47
39. Howard University Students39 of 47
40. Reverend Al Sharpton40 of 47
41. Hell No, We Won’t Go!41 of 47
42. Solidarity42 of 47
43. Assume The Position43 of 47
44. A Sniper, Really?44 of 47
45. Never Give Up45 of 47
46. Is It A Race Thing?46 of 47
47. A Powerful Image47 of 47