Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rap Sessions

This past Wednesday, Professor Michael Wilson, freshman instructor and part of the African World Studies program brought Rap Sessions to campus. Rap Sessions brings a panel of scholars, activists, and even artists to look at contemporary issues. The topic this night was "Does Hip-Hop Hate Women?" With the lyrics and videos, it is easy to ask this question. We had a great panel who really engaged the audience.

I was excited by the crowd. The students came out in large numbers for this conversation. I heard over and over again that we need more of these events on campus. Historically, Dillard has been a place for these kinds of events.

Soon, we will be a place where this happens again... regularly.

The Prez

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cradle of Leadership

Not much to say. Dillard is probably the only university that will simultaneously have 2 sitting presidents of historically Black Greek-lettered organizations. On the left, incoming Alpha Phi Alpha presidet Mark Tillman, and on the right, current Delta Sigma Theta president Cynhia Butler-McIntyre.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Black College Fund Meeting

Tonight I returned from Nashville after attending the fall meeting of the Council of Presidents for the Black College Fund of the United Methodist Church. The Methodists support 11 HBCUs through an apportionment system. This system generates about $9 million a year.

So it is great to be part of the connectional church. The schools that are members, and the presidents pictured above, are (from left to right):

Rust College, David Beckley
Wiley College, Haywood Strickland
Paine College, George Bradley
Clark Atlanta University Carlton Brown
Huston-Tillotson Universty, Larry Earvin
Claflin University, Henry Tisdale
Dillard University, Me
Philander Smith College, Johnny Moore

There are interim presidents at Bethune-Cookman University and Bennett College. The 11th school is Meharry Medical College led by Wayne Riley.

At our meetings a number of emeritus presidents participate. At this meeting there were 5 of us who had led Philander Smith College. We are, from left to right:

Johnny Moore, Present
Me, 2004- 2012
Julius Scott, Interim, Fall 2004
Trudie Kibbe Reed, 1998- 2004
Myer Titus, 1988- 1998

Dr. Moore is a PSC alum, and his president was Dr. Titus, also a PSC alum.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Liberty Bank Reception

A few weeks ago Liberty Bank sponsored a reception for us. We had a great turnout. Thanks to bank president Alden McDonald, Dillard trustee Ronnie Burns, and Xavier president Dr. Norman Francis, chair of the Liberty Bank board for hosting this event.
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

United Methodist-Related Colleges Rank in Top 100

I am not a fan of rankings, but at least Washington Monthly has been able to neutralize the priviledge of rich schools. In this ranking, HBCUs have done exceptionally well. That includes Dillard, which in this ranking is a top 60 liberal arts institution.

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United Methodist-Related Colleges Rank in Top 100


(Nashville, Tenn.) -- What are colleges doing for the country? The Washington Monthly magazine named 13 United Methodist-related colleges in the top 100 in its 2012 liberal arts college rankings, based on schools’ contribution to the public good in three broad categories (social mobility, research, and service).

“We are very pleased to see a recognition that education should include character and community building, as well as spiritual formation,” said Dr. Gerald D. Lord, who heads the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. “United Methodist-related institutions have a long history of being able to reach thousands of people in their most formative years and give them opportunities regardless of their income, race or gender.”

Here are the United Methodist colleges and universities in the top 100 and their overall rankings: 22 – Millsaps College; 23 – Willamette University; 33 – Emory and Henry College; 34 – Wesleyan College; 38 – Claflin University; 41 – Allegheny College; 45 – Southwestern University; 59 – Dillard University ; 65 – Albion College; 80 – Hendrix College; 89 – Drew University; 90 – Centenary College of Louisiana ; and 95 – Dickinson College.

United Methodist-related institutions such as top-ranked Millsaps College not only provide a first-rate liberal arts education that explores the relationship between values and knowledge, but also affords students vocational discernment to reflect on questions of faithful living across a range of professions. “Millsaps strives to connect the life of the mind with the habits of the heart, and we aim to educate and nurture the entire person – mind and spirit,” said Robert Pearigan, president of Millsaps College. “All the intelligence in the world profits little if not guided by good character.”

Those values scored high on the Washington Monthly rankings. Each school was evaluated in three main categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students); research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs); and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). Three United Methodist schools – Emory and Henry, Willamette and Wesleyan College– were ranked in the top 10 schools specifically for community service participation and hours served.

The Washington Monthly editors say in an online statement that they created their ranking system to offset rankings that push individual colleges to raise prices and only cater to the most privileged students.

“The more expensive college becomes, the more students are encouraged to see higher education as a mere return on investment. The students in our best colleges are taught by example and design to look beyond themselves and give back.”

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Opening Convocation: When I Think of Home

On Thursday we had our opening convocation. Our student leaders started this event last year so this was the second one. As you can see, we had a tremendous crowd- standing room only. People were standing in the foyer of the chapel as well.
During our orientation week, we used the theme "Ease on Down the Oaks" inspired by The Wiz. So I used as a theme forhe convocation, "When I Think Of Home." I wanted to describe what a healthy family looks like. The first criteria is to have respected and responsible elders. Students should respect faculty and staff, but likewise, the faculty and staff must carry themselves in a manner to role model positive behaviors.

Second we must promote and protect each other. In a social media world, people often lash out at each other or their organizations via Facebook and Twitter. We have to use social media to encourage and motivate each other. Finally, healthy families have an active love. We go out of our way to cheer each other up, to help when needed. We just don't say we're a family, we act like one.

I tried to say that my family is here because we want to be, and that we want to be involved in the lives of our students. My wife spoken to a dozen or more pre-law students after the event since she is excellent in helping students navigate that process. The point was that when we think of home, we think of Dillard, and I hope that everyone else there does as well.
The Prez

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Aftermath (I Don't Mean Dr. Dre)

I haven't been able to access the internet to update my blog, but you all know why. Here's a look at what Isaac left at Dillard. Not too bad so we are thankful!

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