CHAPEL HILL, NC – University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings announced her resignation on Friday (10/26). She has agreed to continue serving through March 1, 2019, according to a press release by the UNC System.

“North Carolina’s public universities are the lifeblood of the state. They are pillars of communities, drivers of economies, and paths to opportunity for people of every age and background. The state’s commitment to higher education is what drew me here three years ago, and it’s what propelled me forward every day on the job,” said President Margaret Spellings. “I will forever be honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve alongside our terrific chancellors, faculty, staff, students and our Boards of Trustees and Board of Governors.”

“Together, we held tuition in check; opened the doors to more rural low-income, and first generation students; and earned deeper support than ever from our lawmakers and the public. We’ve kept our focus on the core challenges facing North Carolina, we’ve made real progress.”

Under President Spellings’ leadership, the UNC System capped tuition and implemented NC Promise, created a new national model for accountability and transparency, modernized its data systems, and shifted its focus as a System to tackle key issues of upward mobility and economic impact in all 100 counties.

In partnership with the Board, President Spellings led the creation of a new Strategic Plan Higher Expectations, which holds institutions accountable for hitting ambitious targets to lower achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, and broaden college access. In the plan’s first year, the System improved on nearly all performance metrics including graduation rates, rural and low-income student completions, research productivity, and critical workforce degrees.

“The Board is grateful and appreciative to Margaret for her service, commitment, and dedication to the University and the state,” said Harry Smith, Chair of the UNC Board of Governors. “Under Margaret’s strong and capable leadership, we have worked together to achieve a lot of great things – keeping college affordable, holding ourselves and our institutions accountable, and getting the facts, data, and details we need to be world-class. Moving forward, we’re focused on a healthy transition from President to Interim, a positive departure for the President, and continued progress on our shared goals and initiatives.”

“All leaders are for a time,” added President Spellings. “I came into this position knowing that most lasting contribution I could make was to help create a culture of higher expectations for the citizens of this state — and we have done just that.”

The UNC Board of Governors is working to identify an interim President and expects to announce details on the appointment in the coming weeks.

Dr. Aaron Thompson

FRANKFORT, KY – The Council on Postsecondary Education has unanimously selected Dr. Aaron Thompson as its fourth president.

Thompson, who presently serves as the Council’s executive vice president and chief academic officer, will transition to his new responsibilities November 1, according to WTVQ.

He is the first Kentucky native and African-American to hold this position since the Council was formed 21 years ago.

Thompson came to the Council in 2009 from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), where he held a variety of academic leadership positions and was a tenured professor in the department of educational leadership and policy studies. In May 2016, he left the Council for more than a year to serve as interim president of Kentucky State University.

At the state level, Thompson serves on the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board (KWIB), KWIB Employer Engagement Committee and KWIB Education Attainment and Completion Committee, the Charter Schools Advisory Committee, the Kentucky Humanities Council, the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and the Citizens Action Committee for the Destruction of Chemical Weapons, among others.

Thompson earned a bachelor of arts in political science and sociology from Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in sociology, both from the University of Kentucky.

Thompson will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Robert L. King, who served as president for nearly 10 years. The national search was conducted by AGB Search.

The Council will negotiate a final contract at its next meeting set Nov. 15-16.

For more information on the search process, and to view Dr. Thompson’s curriculum vitae, visit:

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Philander Smith College (PSC), a historically black college, has announced that Tamika S. Edwards, J.D., has been selected to lead the College’s Social Justice Institute following an extensive national search. The appointment, which makes Edwards the second Executive Director in the institute’s history, will begin September 4.

According to an press release by the university, established by Philander Smith College in 2007, the Social Justice Institute is the center incubator for the College’s focus on its mission to “graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice….” In recent years, the Social Justice Institute has been inspired to rethink and re-imagine its approach to justice-driven education. With a newly broadened scope, the Social Justice Institute has reorganized with the intent of making a greater impact not only locally, but also regionally and nationwide.

“We are thrilled that Tamika Edwards is joining us to lead the critical work of the Social Justice Institute, the heart and soul of the campus culture at Philander Smith College. We are confident in her tremendous ability and experience in bringing people together to help enact meaningful change. Furthermore, her passion for addressing policies that breed inequality will help to elevate the Social Justice Institute’s status as a regional center an resource for justice work,” said Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., President of Philander Smith College.

A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Edwards has nearly twenty years of experience in public policy and community development. Most recently, she served as Director of Governmental Affairs at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) where she led the development and execution of the organization’s legislative strategy. Prior to AACF, she was Director of Public Policy at Southern Bancorp Community Partners and previously served as Community Affairs Specialist in the Office of U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln.

Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), a master’s degree in professional and technical writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), and a juris doctoral from UALR Williams H. Bowen School of Law. In addition to serving in numerous community leadership roles, she is a contributor to Talk Business and Politics, a news website that covers business, politics, and culture throughout Arkansas. In 2017, she was recognized in the inaugural edition of The Arkansas 200, published by Arkansas Business, as a leader “who influences the way we live, learn and do business in the state.”



With its most recent activities and events – to include a refreshed brand and look, to its Law and Justice Summit for local leaders, to its first-ever two-day ‘JusticeCon2018’ convening targeted at awakening and nurturing social justice activism in students – the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College is poised to become a global leader in justice education by inspiring and equipping students, thought-leaders, activists and community members to tackle the work of combatting inequity. More information about the Social Justice Institute can be found at


Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is a small privately supported, historically black, four-year liberal arts institutions related to the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.

The College offers four degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Business Administration, and the Bachelor of Social Work. The College’s mission is to graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better.

Philander Smith College, the only United Negro College Fund member institution in Arkansas, strives to provide a quality education for all regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or ethnic background. For more information about Philander Smith College, visit


[Photo creds: Demetrius Johnson, Jr., – HBCU Campaign Fund]
ATLANTA, GA – Clark Atlanta University (CAU) received a $20,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, which drives global corporate citizenship and philanthropic programs for UPS.

According to a press release by the university, for the fifth consecutive year CAU has been selected as a university partner for this vital program. The fellowship empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and local community engagement.

CAU hosted 25 students from 18 African countries. Their activities included a hands-on learning day at the UPS headquarters in Atlanta. Additionally, they experienced site visits to other Atlanta anchor companies, including IBM, The Coca-Cola Company and Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. They also exercised their philanthropic muscles with community service opportunities with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Trees Atlanta and MedShare International.

“We are honored to receive this vital donation from The UPS Foundation,” Mesfin Bezuneh, program director of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for CAU “Funding is a critical component for us to be able to continue this important initiative. We are immensely grateful for UPS’s generosity.”

“The UPS Foundation is honored to support the Young African Leaders Initiative’s efforts to engage rising African leaders,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”


Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety and the environment. In 2017, UPS and its employees, active To get UPS news direct, visit


The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State a conversation at #YALl2018. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at CAU, please contact Mesfin Bezuneh at or 404-880-6274.


DENMARK, SCVoorhees College continually holds the distinct honor of being the last institution standing that was founded by one of Booker T. Washington’s students.

Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, who was at the age of 23, began her studies at Booker T. Washington’s famed Tuskegee Institute. She said time at Tuskegee gave her a mission in life: being “the same type of woman as Mr. Washington was of a man.” Knowing the importance of education, she moved to Denmark and started the first of several schools in the rural area. She survived threats, attacks, and arson.

Wright went back to Tuskegee to finish her degree before returning to South Carolina to try again. Undeterred and envisioning a better future for blacks through education, she founded Denmark Industrial School in 1897, modeling it after Tuskegee. New Jersey philanthropist Ralph Voorhees and his wife donated $5,000 to buy the land and build the first building, allowing the school to open in 1902 with Wright as principal. It was the only high school for blacks in the area.

In 1947, the school became Voorhees School and Junior College. And in 1962, it was accredited as four-year Voorhees College.

Today, Voorhees College survives as a small institution that takes pride in its rich history and is dedicated to catering to student’s academic, professional, social, and spiritual needs in order to assist them in fulfilling their higher education goals. Dating back to Wright’s era, there has been a debate between those who follow the philosophy of Dr. Booker T. Washington and advocated education aimed at teaching job skills and those who believe, as Dr. W.E.B. Dubois did, that a liberal education would help young adults develop as leaders. The Voorhees curriculum today is a mix of the two views.

The institution offers each student a comprehensive general education experience coupled with a values-centered liberal arts environment that supports opportunities designed to help prepare students to function in a diverse and increasingly technology society.



Contact Division of Communications
(773) 988-2106

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) announces 107 days of HBCU Campaigning & Giving. The campaign designed to encourage individuals to donate to the financial needs of students, and furthering academic success at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as Predominately Black Institutions.

Each day for 107 days, HCF will choose an HBCU or PB to advertise on social media in encouraging supporters throughout the day to make donations directly to the selected institution and its students in enhancing scholarship funding, programs, and services. The initiative will also provide educational fun facts and history about the schools.

The official hashtag will be #HBCUCAMPAIGN.

The first round of selected schools are:

  • July 23rd – Clinton College
  • July 24th – Paine College
  • July 25th – Denmark Technical College
  • July 26th – Paul Quinn College
  • July 27th – Stillman College
  • July 28th – Morris College
  • July 30th – Harris-Stowe State University
  • July 31st – Claflin University
  • August 1st – Chicago State University

The remaining schedule will be announced closer to the ending of the first round of selected schools.

For more information, please contact HCF’s Division of Communications, at or (773) 988-2106.

Follow HBCU Campaign Fund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @HBCUCampaign.


About HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit


MIAMI GARDENS, FL – A veteran of higher education administration has been selected as Florida Memorial University’s interim president on June 22.

Dr. Jaffus Hardrick

Dr. Jaffus Hardrick replaces interim president Dr. Castell V. Bryant, the FMU Board of Trustees announced this past Friday evening, according to The Miami Times. Hardrick, who worked for ten years at Florida International University, begins his tenure on July 16.

Hendrick will be the third interim president since the departure of Roslyn Clark-Artis, who was named the president of Benedict College on July 1, 2017. Michelle Howard-Vital was appointed interim president shortly after and left for medical leave in November. Bryant assumed the role on November 20.

“Dr. Jaffus Hardrick is a visionary and transformational leader with 20 years of higher education experience in academic affairs, student services, human resources and diversity and community relations,” said JoLinda L. Herring, FMU board chairwoman. “He has a strong community presence and involvement, and we look forward to this service to our student, faculty, staff, and community.”

Hardrick was appointed as FIU’s first provost for Student Access and Success in 2014; a role created to showcase the university to “economically disadvantaged students.” Hardrick served as vice president of Human Resources and vice provost simultaneously.

“This appointment recognizes Dr. Hardrick’s commendable efforts in support of our minority student population,” said Douglas Wartzok, FIU provost, and executive vice president.

Hardrick has responsibilities ranging from strategy and innovation in academics, policy development and governance to donor development and community relations. As vice president of Human Resources, he managed an $800 million payroll, as well as a $30 million operations budget. Previous to his 10-year run at FIU, he served as assistant vice president of Human Resources and assistant provost for Academic Affairs at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

While at Baylor, Hardrick earned his doctorate in education, upgrading his education master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University. He earned his bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Hardrick is affiliated with numerous service and civic organizations including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and the 100 Black Men of South Florida.

Hardrick made the shortlist to become the next president of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee in 2015. Friday evening he issued this statement regarding his FMU appointment:

“For over 40 years, FMU has been a key educational institution educating and preparing students to be globally competitive leaders. I am honored to serve FMU in this capacity to help move the university to the next level of excellence.”

The FMU board wished Dr. Bryant well. She said she came out of a nine-year retirement to take the reins of FMU and is heading right back in. She served for almost six months, and she didn’t expect for it to last as long.

“We sincerely appreciate the service of Dr. Bryant during her time with us,” said Herring





Miami Gardens

The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) organization cordially invites Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominately Black Institutions to participate in part of its Supported Institution of the Month Initiative Program that is designed as a monthly awareness and another venue of advertisement for HBCU and PB institutions which targets the areas of infrastructure, academic programs, fundraising, recruitment and enrollment, and institutional development.

The program will annually select twelve (12) partner schools with support by the HCF organization. The partner schools are exposed to HCF audience and support system socially and publicly and are giving the opportunity to be advocated throughout a month on HCF social media handles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, and Website).

During the partner schools months, HCF strives to bring awareness toward recruitment and monetary giving (if the school chosen to do so, through its institutional advancement or foundation office).

The partner school will be given a partnership page on HCF’s website dedicated to its designated month. The page will include school pride photos, student profiles, the institution’s history, a recruitment video (if accessible), a link to the institution’s website, admissions application link, and information provided by the institutional advancement or foundation office pertaining to ways to give, and any other accessible information requested to be added by the institutions. HCF will have designated hashtag for social media engagement.

TIMELINE – Partner schools will be selected in three parts:

  1. Interest institutions may submit an application via HCF’s website at and must be submitted no later than September 1, 2018.
  2. October 2018: all submitted applications and proposals will be reviewed. The partner schools advancing in the process will be notified by email.
  3. December 2018: the organization will make an announcement of the selected partner schools.

If you would like to request the Supported Institution of the Month Initiative Program handbook or have additional questions, please do not hesitate in contacting Demetrius Johnson, Jr., Initiative Program Coordinator at with “Supported Institution Initiative Program” in the subject line.


Dr. Mickey L. Burnim

PRINCESS ANNE, MD – University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Robert Caret named Mickey L. Burnim interim president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Dr. Burnim will begin transitioning into the position on June 18, 2018, and will begin his service as interim president on July 1, 2018, according to a press release from the University System of Maryland. Dr. Burnim served as president of Bowie State University between 2006 and 2017.

Current UMES President Juliette Bell announced in February that she will step down this summer. In March, Chancellor Caret appointed a search and screening committee for the new president.

“Mickey Burnim is a widely respected member of the USM community with success leading two Historically Black Institutions, including more than a decade of excellence service as president of Bowie State University,” said Chancellor Caret. “He is the ideal leader to guide UMES on an interim basis while the search and selection process for a new president concludes.”

During Dr. Burnim’s 11 years as president, Bowie State University experienced significant increases in regional and national recognition, added majors in cybersecurity and informational technology, opened three new buildings, grew enrollment and graduates, and undertook a successful fundraising campaign.

Dr. Burnim previously served as chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, an Historically Black Institution in North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Chaired by Michelle Gourdine, M.D., a member of the USM Board of Regents and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the search and screening committees work will conclude with its recommendation of finalists for consideration by the chancellor and the Board of Regents. The board will make the final selection. Typically, the search process for a new president takes approximately six months to complete.

GRAMBLING, LA – Grambling State University (GSU) has announced that the campus continues to see enrollment growth, with a 10 percent year-over-year jump in enrollment as of its Summer l 2018 certification date.

In a press release by the university, the University’s certified enrollment report showed 1,527 students enrolled, up from 1, 391 students at the close of certification the previous year. The jump follows the University reaching a 5-year enrollment high of 5, 188 students for the fall of 2018.

“We’re excited about this continuous campus growth,” said GSU Provost Dr. Ellen D. Smiley. “We welcome every new Tiger and are encouraged to see both traditional and non-traditional students leveraging in summer semester to get closer to graduation.”

The summer progress comes just weeks after the University launched a series of key partnerships with Adidas, the New Louisiana Angel Fund 2, and breaking ground on new construction with its intramural center expansion projects.

“The momentum from the fall and spring is still building,” said GSU’s President Rick Gallot. “Students and faculty alike are using the time to get ahead and really innovate.”

One example of this forward movement is in the University’s Sponsored Programs office, which was recently awarded $2.2 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to grow the University’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programming and enrollments.

In addition to the summer academic activity, the University’s campus is also home to more than 20 summer programs for youth, adults, and incoming students. These programs, which are coordinated by the Office of Continuing Education and Service-Learning, include popular academic sessions robotics, student leadership, and technology.

This year’s programs also feature popular GSU hosts Men’s Basketball Coach Donte Jackson, the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year; big data expert, Dr. Yenumula Reddy; and GSU’s World Famed Tiger Marching Band.

For more information on summer programs and activities, visit GSU’s website at