Category Archives: Education

Report: Many Missouri State Colleges in Disrepair

By Free Radical

Harris-Stowe State University will need $34 million to complete its most needed capital projects.

Harris-Stowe State University will need $34 million to complete its most needed capital projects.

A recently published report by the Missouri Department of Higher Education projected that the state’s public colleges and universities are in dire need of $1.4 billion in revenue to cover a range of deferred maintenance. The 26 campuses require basic repairs such as repaving sidewalks to more extensive improvements such as brand new computer systems and science laboratories.

“Literally, [there are] college classrooms for chemistry that were below the standards of their local high school, just because they didn’t have the ability to keep up,” said Jeff Barlow, an assistant commissioner of higher education, who led the review.

Public HBCUs in particular are in great need of physical plant upgrades. The report described the St. Louis based Harris-Stowe State University as “operating at full capacity.” Even though the college created a new dormitory just six years ago, it is at full capacity and some students have to be housed off campus. Harris-Stowe’s Dr. Henry Givens Administration building is where the lions‘ share of classes are held. The facility was built in 1925 and needs improvements in its science laboratories and auditorium which requires new wiring and electrical equipment.

Other buildings such as the older Vashon Center and the newer Innovation Center could alleviate the university’s space problems but they must first be renovated before they are put into use.

The college has identified three capital priorities: a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building, a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and renovations to the Dr. Henry Givens Jr. building. Altogether, these projects will cost a total of $34 million.

Missouri’s other HBCU, Lincoln University, located in Jefferson City, also badly needs physical plant improvements. Despite its proximity to the state capital, it has received few political favors.

In 2015, former Governor Jay Nixon vetoed appropriations for a $2.8 million recreation center to balance the state budget. Two years later, $200,000 was withheld from a study to assess how the St. Mary’s Hospital building could be used by the university.

Lincoln also has a great need for space as many of its buildings such as Founders Hall and Elliff Hall cannot accommodate student demand.

The campus’s steam distribution systems, electrical, plumbing, and heating/cooling systems are also under major duress. Buildings show signs of water infiltration or structural damage from the chipped, flaking, and compromised paint.

Lincoln has identified its top three capital projects as campus wide renovations, a new science building, and a new academic building. These projects are collectively slated to cost $136 million.

White NCCU Student Threatens Classmates

indexBy Free Radical

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have historically been considered safe spaces for African-American students to learn and mature into adulthood. The supportive environment of faculty, staff, and classmates is often contrasted with the isolation and many microaggressions Black students  face at predominantly White institutions. However, white aggression surfaced last week at Durham based HBCU North Carolina Central University when a White law student made terroristic threats to the campus.

Black classmates have demanded that the school expel Morgan Kendall for her hostile actions. In responding to a Facebook article about terrorist Cesar Sayoc, Kendall replied “Wish I could take credit.” Sayoc is suspected of sending numerous bombs to liberals and Black politicians such as Barack Obama and Maxine Waters. In her social media rant, Kendall also referred to Blacks as n-words.

Incensed NCCU Black law students have called for the university to take disciplinary actions.

“This particular HBCU has charged itself with putting out socially responsible attorneys. That’s in the school’s mission. This is not what’s happening. She is not a socially responsible person,” law student Anastasia Mebane said.

Similarly, student Kayla Britt expressed, “I don’t feel safe. I don’t know what she’s capable of, and I would like to see her expelled immediately.”

NCCU officials disallowed Kendall from attending classes the week of November 5 but will allow her to return on November 12. The school’s Associate Vice Chancellor Ayana Hernandez relayed, “NCCU denounces the use of racially offensive language.” School administrators have also committed to reviewing its social media policy.

Alumni of Georgia College Push to Remove Clarence Thomas’s Name from Building

By Free Radical

An online petition has been gaining steam to remove the name of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from a building on Savannah College of Art and Design's campus.

An online petition has been gaining steam to remove the name of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from a building on Savannah College of Art and Design’s campus.

Students and alumni at Savannah College of Art and Design have created a petition to have Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s name removed from one of its school buildings. They have called for the Clarence Thomas Center for Historic Preservation to be renamed for Anita Hill, the Black woman who alleged that Thomas sexually harassed her when they worked at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Thomas is a native of Savannah and once served as an altar boy in the building when it was a convent before it became a school building.

Sage Lucero, a 2018 graduate who created the petition on change.org, learned of the building’s origins during the recent hearings to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh who was also subject to multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Lucero could easily draw comparisons between Hill and Kavanaugh’s main accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

“For women like Dr. Ford, and Anita Hill to come forward and speak out about what happened to them is extremely traumatic,” Lucero wrote. “For someone to not believe a victim who remembers sheer details such as laughter and has gone through therapy because of it is honestly disgraceful.”

As of Wednesday, the petition garnered more than. 2,400 signatures.

Kansas and Missouri Worst in Educating Black Collegians

Despite protests in 2015, Missouri still lags behind most other states in educating Black college students.

Despite protests in 2015, Missouri still lags behind most other states in educating Black college students.

By Free Radical

The states of Kansas and Missouri rank worst when it comes to educating Black college students, according to a new report. On a 4.0 GPA-style scale, the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center ranked Kansas the lowest at 1.61 followed by Missouri at 1.68.

The study’s authors USC professor Shaun Harper and research associate Isaiah Simmons employed a rubric that weighed the percentage of black students compared to the percentage of black people 18- to 25 years old in the state; the graduation rate of black students; the number of black women versus black men in the student body; and the ratio of black students to black faculty.

Though no state earned a “B” average, Massachusetts scored highest with 2.81.  In Missouri, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Missouri-Kansas City received the highest marks of 2.25. The stage’s flagship college, University of Missouri in Columbia scored a 1.75.

The report called on institutions to take diversity seriously and work to correct the microaggressions, culturally irrelevant curricula, and other offensive experiences that repel Black students and faculty.

These circumstances caused Mizzou to erupt along with many other colleges in 2015 as Black students protested their alienation on White college campuses following uprisings in major cities prompted by the police killing of Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, MO. Mizzou has since made strides to hire more faculty of color, offered aggressive scholarship packages for low-income students, and hired Kevin McDonald as Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Black faculty have increased at Mizzou from 61 in 2014 to 65 in 2017. Yet they still make up just 7 percent of all instructors. The number of Black students has dropped from the 2,500 pre-protest number in 2014 to 2,067 currently.