“Envisioning the Future: Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education”

I’m Dr. Marcus Martin,
and I’m vice president and chief officer for
diversity and equity. It has been a
pleasure of my office to coordinate the annual
community MLK celebration. The past eight years, President
Sullivan, since she arrived, we’ve held over 200 community
and university MLK events, including those
scheduled this year, averaging about 25 MLK events
the last two weeks of January. And I try to get to all of them. So you may imagine the
situation for me at home. Anyway, the office
for diverse in equity collaborated with the University
of Virginia Bicentennial Commission on the Bicentennial
celebrations this past October. And we are pleased to partner
on this MLK program as well. So I thank the bicentennial
commission co-chairs, Mr. Tom Farrell and Dr. Bobby
Battle, and members of their staff for support. Particularly, I’d like to
think Kerry Evans and Elise Gerard for their
help in planning this particular program. Also thank Athea
Brooks and Dana Mays, and colleagues of
lifetime learning in the UVA office of engagement,
and Sherry Winston right here in the rotunda, as
well as my office staff Megan Faulkner, Michelle
Strickland, Galperin Davis, Kristin Morgan, Deb
White, and Maurice Walker. The theme for the 2018
community MLK celebration is be the difference. Dr. King dedicated his life
to being the difference from sit-ins to marches. Dr. King persevered
for the causes of social justice, racial
equity, wellness and education. And he affected positive change. And in these times when
voices of hatred and bigotry have been magnified, may we all
have the courage of Dr. King to stand up for justice,
reconciliation, and truth. And consider how we too
can be the difference. The University of Virginia’s
Bicentennial commemoration is a celebration of
UVA’s achievements, a recognition of his
imperfections of the past, and a visualization
of its future. So this event, envisioning the
future, diversity and inclusion in higher education is timely. Mr. David M.
Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman
of the Carlyle group will moderate a
panel discussion. So David thank you. I know you’ve been traveling a
lot, thank you for being here. All panelists will be
introduced shortly, but I want to take
this opportunity to also thank each of them
for agreeing to participate. So thank you President
Sullivan, Dean Pianta, Professor Aldridge of UVA. And thank you President Dawkins. UVA has had a 10 year
link with Bennett College, as both institutions are members
of the Virginia, North Carolina alliance. This is a 12 member partnership,
which has significantly increased unrepresented
minority students receiving STEM degrees over the
last 10 years, 156% increase. And thank you President
Hogan for being here. For your support of the work
of Tougaloo Professor John Rosenthal, who’s
in the audience. John has been working
collaboratively with Kurt von Daacke
and I, we are co-chairs of the President’s Commission
on Slavery in the University, and we coordinate the 30
plus member consortium in universities
studying slavery. And we are exploring a center
for practical, preparative options focusing on enhancing
research and education for minority institutions. Just before I
introduce Tom Farrell, I just saw our
president elect come in. Tim Ryan, welcome. Could you stand up so
folks could see you? Come on in. Thank you, Jim. Tom Farrell is the University
of Virginia Bicentennial commission co-chair. He’s chairman, president,
and chief executive officer of Dominion Energy
Incorporated, and former rector of the UVA board of visitors. past member of the state
council of higher education and former chairman of
the governor’s commission on higher education. Tom’s going to
give some comments and introduce the panel. Thank you, Tom. Good afternoon, everyone. I think before we
go any further, we should thank also Marcus for
the amazing amount of effort he put into this. Before I introduced
the panelist, you’ve heard what
the topic is today. I just wanted to offer a few
of my own thoughts on this. I’ve spent a lot of time working
in higher education and with K through 12 education
issues, and it’s hard for me to attend a proceeding in a
dome room that doesn’t include a quote from Thomas Jefferson. So I’m going to give
you one from a letter. In a letter to Joseph Cabell,
whose name adorns the building at the other end of the lawn. Right after the founding
of this institution Jefferson wrote, it is safer to
have a whole people respectably enlightened, than a few
in a high state of science and the many in ignorance. For many years this quote
was taken out of context. Most believed
Jefferson was saying that the University
of Virginia was for the many, while elite church
affiliated universities were for the wealthy, the elite. The other Jeffersonian
writings certainly do convey that message,
but not this one. Jefferson’s letter to Cabell
was focused on the importance of primary education. He said that he
would rather abandon the idea of a university than
the idea of public grammar schools, because
the latter would result in the enlightenment
of all the people. Over the years, state laws in
the United States regarding compulsory education with
their roots in Plato’s Republic would be adopted,
beginning in Massachusetts and concluding with Mississippi. The universities
would continue to be where those pursuing careers
in academia, science, medicine, law, among others,
would spend post adolescent young adulthood. That is generally until the
Vietnam War and the rise of the baby boom generation. In 1966, 30% of young men,
between the ages of 25 and 29, had spent some time at an
institute of higher learning. 10 years later, that
percentage had grown to 50%. Meanwhile, there were 22% of
women in the same age range, in 1966. That percentage
rose to almost 40% in our nation’s
bicentennial year. What was once for the
professional– the lawyer, doctor, engineer–
the university was becoming absolutely more
universal for some, but not for all. African-Americans
had generally been excluded from higher education,
through the Jim Crow years until the civil rights
movement, but in the 1960s the situation began to turn. 1966– and these panelists know
far more about this than I do– 1966, only 145,000
African-Americans between the age of 25
and 29, or about 12%, had enrolled at some
point in higher education. By 1976, after the
Civil Rights Act, President Johnson’s
Great Society Vietnam, with the help of the
GI Bill, that figure tripled to almost
30% of the age group. And that percentage has
doubled since that time. But today, about two thirds
of all young men and women, age 25 to 29, have some
post-secondary education. Among Asians, the figures
82%, whites it’s two thirds, among African-Americans, 57%,
and about 50% for Hispanics, 62% of men, 70% of women
have college experience. So we have made strides
in our universities to represent our nation’s
rich fabric of diversity, but obviously we have a
very long road ahead of us. My piece of this
is, I think we have to think beyond the grounds
of these universities with the campuses of our
colleagues in the higher education. It’s actually the
primary schools that matter most, as
Jefferson understood more than two centuries ago. My view to advance
diversity in our society effectively, we must look
past our universities, we must address the issue in
primary and secondary schools for all races, for
males and females. Primary and middle schools
establish the path forward for all of our citizens. We must look there first
to advance these goals. Only then are we going
to be able to ensure that universities will be
able to offer a world class education to a diverse
set of students from a diverse set of faculty. We should not lose sight
of that when we look at university settings alone. Not to our panel. You heard about the very
esteemed David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive
of the Carlyle Group. He’s a graduate. He was graduated from the
University of Chicago Law School. He also received a degree
from Duke University, who will be losing at basketball
about this time next Saturday. He worked as a lawyer in both
the legislative and executive branches and served
in the administration of President Carter. He’s on way too many boards,
very esteemed boards for me to take time to recognize today. Please join me in
welcoming our moderator. We have five very
distinguished panelists. They include, of course,
our own President Sullivan, but as we are in the
Commonwealth of Virginia, it’s our custom to
recognize our guests first. Dr. Phyllis Dawkins
has been president of Bennett college,
a liberal arts college in Greensboro, North
Carolina, since just last July. Previously serving as the
school’s interim president as provost and vice president
for Academic Affairs. She also worked in
Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, Dillard
University, and her alma mater, Johnson C Smith University. She has a PhD from The
Ohio State University. Please join me in
welcoming Dr. Dawkins. Dr. Beverly Hogan has
served as president of Tougaloo College, a liberal
arts college in Mississippi since 2002. An alumni, she is the school’s
first female president, and a 13th since its
founding in 1869. During her tenure
at the Institute for the Study of Modern Day
Slavery has been established, and many technological
improvements have been made at
her institution. She is a prolific writer,
having authored the Dissonance Analysis of Vietnam
War, Comparable Worth, The Challenging
Issue of Pay Equity, Public Policy Implications
of AIDS in the Workplace, and many others. A very diverse set of topics. She has a bachelor’s degree in
psychology from her alma mater, a master’s degree in public
policy from Jackson State University, graduate study
in clinical psychology and further doctoral
study at Fielding Graduate University in Human and
Organizational Development. Please join me in
welcoming Dr. Hogan. Dean Pianta is dean of the Curry
School of Education, Novartis US Foundation and
professor of education, professor of psychology and
founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of
teaching and learning at the University of Virginia. He is an internationally
recognized expert in early childhood education
and in K through 12 teaching and learning. He began his career as a
special education teacher. He joined the University’s
Faculty in 1986. Bob received bachelor’s
and master’s degrees in special education from the
University of Connecticut, and a PhD in psychology from
the University of Minnesota, where he was recognized
with a distinguished Alumni Award just two years ago. He has been a key member of
the bicentennial task force, working on a proposed new
compact for public higher education in the United States. Please welcome Bob Pianta. Derek Aldridge is director of
the teachers in the movement project and a professor
of UVA’s Curry School focusing on African-American
educational and intellectual history and the civil
rights movement. He’s a former fellow of
the National Endowment for the Humanities, a
former post-doctoral fellow of the National Academy of
Education Spencer Foundation. He had bachelor’s
and master’s degrees from Winthrop
University, and a PhD from Pennsylvania
State University. Please welcome Dr. Aldridge. And of course,
first among equals, our own President Teresa
Sullivan, the university’s eighth president. Since she arrived in
Charlottesville in 2010, the university has thrived
under her leadership. If I were to list
now her achievements over these last
eight years, I would exhaust the balance of time
allowed for our entire program. But among other very important
things, in the fall of 2002, she launched a planning
effort to provide for the university’s future. She gathered input from
over 10,000 alumni, parents, students, faculty,
staff, and many others. This effort produced
the Cornerstone Plan, the university’s long
term strategic plan, a critically important
road map, which will be followed for years to come. President Sullivan joined
us from the University of Michigan, where she was
provost and executive vise president for Academic
Affairs, following her time at the University
of Texas System, where she was the vise
chancellor for Academic Affairs. A graduate of Michigan State
University’s James Madison College. Hope she will tell us why they
don’t have a Thomas Jefferson College at Michigan State. And she earned her
doctoral degrees also from the University of Chicago. Before we turn to
our panel, again, I want to thank Marcus
Martin, and my co-chair of the bicentennial commission,
Dr. Bobby Battle, thank you. Let’s turn it over
to our moderator. Well let me echo the thanks to
the organizers of this session, and also, welcome all of you
and thank you for being here. I hope you’ll find
this stimulating. Just a few opening remarks
as I am a demographer, let me set a little
demographic framework for you. In 2014 for the first
time, white students were a minority of the students
in our elementary and secondary schools in the United States. By 2026, when we finish our
bicentennial celebration, the white students
will be only 45% of the public
school student body. It is imperative that
public universities begin to and continue to
diversify their student bodies, because those will be the high
school graduates of our future. But the second thing is that
those white students in 2014 are mostly likely to be in
mostly segregated high schools. Some 52% of white students were
in schools that were 75% white. And the same thing applied to
black students, 57% of them were in schools that were 75%
or more minority enrollment. So when we bring these students
together at the University, for many of them, it may really
be their first experience of very substantial diversity. And yet, we know from
some very good research being done in psychology that
diverse groups make better decisions, because they come up
with better and different ideas than homogeneous groups do. It is important
for us to find ways to have these students work
together with one another. And that is our future, not
just for our universities but for our economy. Sociologist Harry
Edwards did a study which pointed the
way to how we can have these students
begin to work together in diverse groups. And it is that they
do something together. And the example he
gave at Berkeley was the marching
band, which he found to be the most integrated
student group at the University of California at Berkeley. Because they all had
a purpose together, which was to make good music. In the same way,
a classroom can be organized in terms of work
groups, problem solving groups, and project based
groups, which can offer our students an opportunity
to work together in diverse groups. I believe that is
an important part of our future in all
colleges and universities. And I’ll stop there. It’s a great
pleasure to be here, and I’m going to speak a
bit about the Intersection of Diversity Inclusion with the
mission of the public research universities, teaching,
research, and public service. So we think about research,
our responsibility really ought to be about
ensuring the validity and authenticity of the
knowledge that we create. And so in thinking
of that, inclusion has to be a pillar of
that very activity. So we can think of many,
many examples, some from my own field,
in which we’ve limited our study by some
preconceived perspectives about the question
or information that comes to us from only one
population or one group. And all of those occasions, the
knowledge that we’ve created or the tools that
we’ve developed based on that research have
fallen completely flat when they hit the ground. And in fact, upon
reconsideration, oftentimes in a more inclusive
set of methods, what we find are the things that we thought
and conceived of as pathology, end up being re-conceived
with new information as a sign of health or adaptive
adaptation under challenging circumstances. So we see this in
often times, again in the field of
education, as we’ve moved from thinking
about disability to differently-abled, in the
way that we conceive of the work that we do with people. So this is really
fundamental in the way that inclusion functions in
research, to kind of broaden the perspectives in which
we engage in that activity. With respect to
teaching, I think Terry pointed out
very, very well the shifts in demography
that are taking place. And I’d also say that we are
preparing students for a future here, for a future that
is even going to be more diverse and less certain. So we cannot predict with any
certainty what that future is going to look like. We probably can
predict it’s going to be more diverse and more
challenging with respect to differences that
students will encounter. And so our responsibility
then becomes one of structuring
their learning here in a more diverse context,
in a more inclusive context, and actually to practice the
skills of inclusion, which must involve some sort
of intentional work in exposure to real
difference and scaffolding into engaging real difference. And in that context I’d argue
that some of the key skills– it’s going to
require actually us to rethink some of
what we think are the important outcomes of
higher education, which right now for most of us, sit
in the domain of knowledge. But in effect, I
think we’re going to have to think about outcomes
that have to do with empathy, and relational skills,
and things that sit in the intersection
between an individual’s vision and their skills in creating
opportunity interpersonally. Is those kind of soft
skills that I think are going to in
the end of the day, be the determining
factors of their success. And I think in the
area of service, a public university has a
mission to serve the public. And in thinking about
that, I think oftentimes we haven’t done a very good job in
public universities of taking that into a very strategic
consideration and a long term consideration. We have lots of examples
of universities taking on the community as a project
in one way, shape, or form and how those fail
miserably oftentimes, because the lack of inclusion
and authentic engagement at the outset. And for universities
and communities to think very clearly about
what their mutual benefits are and the mutual
strengths that they bring to some form of
authentic engagement. And so I think that move and
to think far more intentionally about how we as universities
more thoughtfully, authentically, long
term, and specifically engage our communities is going
to be the determining factor of whether our service
activities also stand the test of
diversity inclusion. Thank you. And let me first say because I’m
a visitor to Charlottesville, Virginia, how pleased
I am to be here. This is my first time
being here and being at the University of Virginia. It’s a beautiful
place, I’m certainly familiar with
President Sullivan. But as I was walking
over here this afternoon, I’m always struck by
students and their behavior, because they tell me a
lot about the institution. I just want to
share with you how warm and friendly and engaging
and helpful the students were. And that speaks volumes about
the University of Virginia and how you are preparing them. I’m also pleased
to be included here as president of a small
independent historical black college in the
state of Mississippi that has been
operating since 1869. Certainly diversity
and inclusion have always been
important to institutions like Tougaloo College. Our institutions were
founded on the basic fact that African-Americans were
not included and were excluded from getting an education. Diversity has been a
strength for our institutions since the founding
of Tougaloo college. We had white students engaged
in that institution getting an education, because
institution grew out of the ruins of an
old slave plantation. And not only were the
African-Americans not educated, but the whites who lived on that
plantation were not educated. So the institution
had a different kind of beginning than a
lot of institutions. Although it is
still predominantly African-American with
international students and others, but it is still
predominant African-American. We have championed the causes
of economic and social justice to bring forth a more
inclusive and humane world. During the turbulent
’60s, Tougaloo College was an intellectual battleground
for inclusion and advancement of social engagement. And to bring about
social change, it is very important
that it is understood the formation of
historically black colleges, and not only what they have
done in historic significance, but the contemporary relevance
to where we are today. And the building of
a stronger nation, I usually refer to our
HBCUs as their launching pads for America’s democracy
and in many ways it still is. So diversity and inclusion
in this 21st century, taking on new meaning,
our nation is changing, the demographics are changing. By 2050, there will be no
clear racial and ethnic group. People will look
more and more alike. The growth in the population
of students graduating from high school,
going to college, are coming from the
Latino population and African-American. There’s a decline in
the white population. Although Tougaloo
College has been on the forefront of building
collaborative partnerships to bring about more engagement
between racial and ethnic groups, we built a partnership
with Brown University in 1964 that started as
student exchange, because we felt that
it was important. At the time those
that were there felt it was important that
students learn from each other, faculty learn from
each other, and felt that there was much
that could be learned from wealthy easterners and poor
African-American southerners. And we went through that, but
Tougaloo has built it’s history on collaborating, and I’m
taking it from this angle, because I think that as
we move toward the future, particularly with
majority institutions, the traditional white
institutions And HBCUs, in order to really
address the changing demographics and the
students that will be coming to our institutions, it will
be important that institutions like Tougaloo College and the
University of Virginia form collaborative
partnerships to how we educate the masses
of students out there. There is still a need for our
historically black colleges and universities,
because students come with different needs. What we have to look forward
to today in the future as we have the coloring
of our student population and the coloring
of America, we’re going to get more students of
color, low income, probably less prepared,
because they will be coming from the public
schools of America. That not does that mean that
they would lack intellectual acumen, that means that
they have not travelled, they have not been exposed
to places around the world and doing different things and
studying at different places during the summer, and
taking trips to Europe. They may have only been in
their small environments. So when they come
to our institutions, we have to be prepared for them. We have to be prepared to meet
them where they are and take them where they need to be to
be successfully functioning individuals in our society. . That’s important, because
the communities of color will make up the
workforce of the future. And the workforce
of the future really are studying in our
institutions today. So it’s in our
nation’s best interest, it’s in our individual and
collective best interests that we prepare them to be
the best that they can be. Now we know that there are
other factors influencing higher education today,
how people perceive higher education,
[? debonding ?] of education, the influence of
technology, globalization. But nothing is going to
transform higher education more than the influence of the
changing demographics, and the students that
will be available, and how we adjust
our education to make sure that our education,
our learning spaces are inclusive, focused. The support systems must
be real and authentic. One size will not fit all. And because it is
about America’s future that we must do this. Years ago, education was
seen as being preparation for better citizenry. There may be shifts, but the
end of the day, innovation in higher education will
determine the quality of life for all of us, economically,
socially, and politically. So I think we’re
all in this together and we need to find ways
that we can work together, so that all of our institutions
can play a part in having an impact on the future, not
only of higher education, but the future of the security,
the progress of America. Good morning. It is morning right? No, it’s afternoon. OK. Thank you. On behalf of the Bennettt
College Board of Trustees, our faculty, staff,
and students, I want to thank you for inviting
me, President Sullivan, Dr. Martin, for being
part of this panel. Initially, when I got to
asked, I said, why me? But I learned that we affiliated
with the [? LSAT ?] program, and my faculty member,
Dr. Willieta Gibson has briefed me on
our partnership. And when I was at
Dillard university, Dillard was also a part
of the [? LSAT ?] program. A tradition with Bennett
is to recognize any Bennett Belles in the audience. So do I have any Bennett
Belles in that audience? OK. You’re a graduate
student, Angel Pittman, and Angel is a Bennett Belle. I would like to also recognize
any faculty or students that attended in HBCU to stand
up and be recognized. Anybody? Thank you. So there are 101
HBCUs currently. Initially, right
after the Civil War, there were about 120 HBCUs,
19 Land-grant institutions that were formed in 1980s. Many of the institutions began
right after the Civil War with the first one, one of
the schools I worked at, Cheyney University
of Pennsylvania that started in 1837
by the Quaker families there in Pennsylvania. Now that I’m at Bennett
College, Bennett is one of two HBCUs for women,
the other one being Spelman. And I think you have a Spelman
employed here, thank you. But the two institutions,
Bennett and Spelman, believe it or not,
produces the highest number of undergraduate students
in the sciences in the US. These two little institutions. One of the first
African-American females to become a president of any
institution of higher education came from Bennett,
Dr. Willa B Player. She was not only the first
African-American female president, but the first
female president of a four year institution. So Bennett was formed
in 1863, started off as the co-ed institution,
and then 1926, it became a college for women. And to this hand, we are
moving towards diversifying the institution to
be more inclusive. I didn’t say we were
going to have men yet, OK. We’re right next door
to North Carolina A&T and we have plenty men on
our campus during the week. OK? So here’s what we’re
doing and been doing for the last couple of years. We’ve been promoting diversity,
equity, and inclusion. It’s been our theme among
the freshmen coming in. This year they’re
reading a book called, Bell’s of Liberty, written by
one of our Bennett Belles, Dr. Linda Brown. It’s about gender, Bennett
College, and the Civil Rights Movement in Greensboro,
North Carolina. Many of you may be familiar with
that sit-in at the [? world ?] [? wars ?] counter in
downtown Greensboro. But prior to that, we had
Martin Luther King on our campus in about 1958. When he, at that time
in North Carolina, particularly in
Greensboro area, could not find any place to
give a speech, we opened the doors on Dr. Player. So Bennett has a legacy
of developing women, women leaders in
higher education. We have a Women’s
Institute on our campus. We have a Leadership
Institute on our campus. And so we are part of
the Greensboro community. Just like many HBCUs,
the majority of us are founded in the community. In the community reflecting
the population that we serve. A pride of ours is not only
in the Greensboro sit-in, but in 1938, Bennett
students protested the images that were portrayed
about black people at Greensboro downtown,
Carolina Theater. Another pride of Bennett
Belles is that we were known as voting Belles. Every time there’s a time to
vote, we march to the polls. And so we are proud
of that history. We’re proud of our involvement
in the civil rights movement, in terms of social
justice issues. And so to that end, I just want
to say, that one of the things we promote, we promote
four [? faulty ?] areas. We promote leadership. We promote global
citizenship, entrepreneurship, and we promote communication. So I’m proud to be here today. Thank you. So as we continue our
celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday this week
and throughout the month, I am reminded of Dr.
King’s last book, Where Do We Go from
Here, Chaos or Community, published in 1967. In this book, King reflected
on the movement, which he had helped to lead and he
expressed some ambivalence about the direction
of the country. King’s question, where
do we go from here, I think is also relevant
to the state of higher education, especially in 2018. As a multiplicity of
problems confront academia without the appearance of a
clear direction as to which way we should go. We in higher education find
ourselves now at a crossroads. So a cursory examination
of the chronicle of higher education
on any given day, you will find many articles. And according to
these commentaries, the issues confronting
us include, the decline of liberal arts
as the foundation of American higher education,
the increasing focus on the utility of a
college education, the decline of tenure and the
proliferation of not tenure track positions, the exorbitant
cost of higher education, and stifling student
debt, to name just a few. Each of these issues
have an influence on diversity and inclusion
in colleges and universities in a myriad of ways. And that I’m certain will
come up in our discussion this afternoon. After the end of the
Civil Rights Movement, the doors of academia opened
up for students and faculty of color on many college
campuses across the country, creating greater racial
and ethnic diversity. At the same time, college
curricula became more diverse. We witnessed the proliferation
of black ethnic studies programs in the 1970s and 1980s
that was mentioned earlier, and an increasing number
of faculty and students at predominately
white institutions. Yet today, blacks
and Hispanics are under-represented at premier
colleges and universities compared to 35 years ago. Further, black freshman
students at elite schools have gone unchanged since 1980. And while more Hispanics
attend elite schools, their numbers have not
increased in relation to the growth of young
Hispanics in the United States. These figures are
merely a snapshot of where we are 50 years after
the end of the Civil Rights Movement. And so my current
work as a historian, which I do oral
history, I’ve conducted a number of studies in
several college towns, and an issue that
continues to rise among many of the
interviewees is a need for a
stronger relationship between universities
and communities. To be clear, I have not
discovered anything new here. In 2000, higher education
scholar Larry Rowly argued that there is a
disconnect between universities and communities. And he argued that the major
impediment to social relations between academic institutions
and communities of color is cultural difference. Ultimately, he called
for the linking to renew American
discourse on civility to the public service
mission of higher education and its relevance
to urban communities. So what does this have to do
with diversity and inclusion in higher education? I contend that for universities
to become beacons of diversity and inclusion, they must play a
central role in the communities in which they reside. Sharing knowledge and resources. They should also
become intricately connected with those
communities in ways that make the community
feel like they are part of the university community. And by doing, the
universities will seriously reflect diversity
inclusion in ways that plant the seeds locally
for making their student bodies and faculties more diverse. I am happy to see that
there are several projects at the University of
Virginia who are doing some of this important work. Recently, the Curry
School of Education established the Center for
Race and Public Education itself, which is committed
to producing research on public engagement and
educational issues interfacing with the community
in substantive ways. This type of outreach,
we hope and we believe is extremely
important in creating a more diverse and inclusive
environment at UVA. And we hope that
it will be a model for higher education around
the country thank you. Thank you all. Let me start with a
question to the university presidents, college presidents. We have a prospective college
or university president here, and maybe there are others
who want to be president. Why would somebody in
his or her right mind want to be a
university president? What’s so great about being
a university president and why would you
recommend this job? Well, in my own case, and it may
be different for the other two presidents, I believe
that public higher education is very important. Most students in
the United States are educated in
public institutions. And if these institutions become
relegated to the second class institutions, the place should
go where if you can’t get into or can’t afford a
private institution, then we will have lost something that
America has given to the world. Whenever I go abroad,
particularly to China, I see this country hastening
to replicate what we have in the United States. Well when I go to
Richmond, I feel like I see us trying to tear
down what we’ve already got. To the extent I could, I
wanted to devote my efforts to sustaining and improving
great public universities. And I’ve had the
opportunity to do that at the University of Texas,
the University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia. I got to pass the
torch from that to Jim, but I’m confident
he’s able to do it. All right. Why should somebody want to
be a university president? Some days I ask that
question myself. As I said, I lead a private,
independent liberal arts college. These colleges
serve a public good. They just don’t
get public funding. That’s nothing exclusive
about our institutions. We’ve always had
admissions for everyone. We have not discriminated
against anyone. Now why do I believe in
liberal arts education? I think that’s fundamental to
who we are as human beings. I think it teaches students
objectivity, creativity, how to think, how to
communicate, but more importantly, how to
live in the world and understand your
place in that world in your relationship between
you and the universe of people. And I think that’s what helps
our society become a better place. But more importantly,
I see our work– excuse me I had a late
night flight and cold– but I see our work
and education. It’s about the
creation of the future. And that’s what I
get excited about. Everyday I meet a student,
and I see that that student represents our future. And it depends on how we invest
in that particular student on the quality of the
world that we will have. So that’s what
excites me every day, being able to impact
the lives of those who will go into our future
and build a better world. For me it was the next step. I’ve worked at five HPCU’s. I started out at South
Carolina State University, and then returned to my
Alma mater Johnson C Smith University, then
Dillard, then Cheney. And throughout
that, I progressed through the profession. Started off as instructor,
assistant professor, associated professor, dean,
chair, been everything. And so it was a
natural progression, been provost three times– that’s a lot of work
being a provost. And then when I arrived,
I think this is one of the hardest jobs on campus. When I arrived at
Bennett, I had no idea I would become president. I was there only one
semester, and got tapped to be the interim
president, and my life changed. And every night I would
say, why did I do this? But it’s been a
rewarding experience. The students at HBCU’s
though, they struggled. When I see them walk across that
stage, it’s really rewarding. As I talk to them as I
talked to some this morning that were in the broken
down car yesterday, OK. Just the reward of fixing
things and helping them to see a vision
for the future, I think that’s why I
engaged in this work and that’s why I
stay at an HBCU. OK. So as to the professors,
why should somebody want to be a
professor of education or be that school of education,
what’s the great appeal of it? I think I have the best
job in the world, even better than these– Really? –on either side of me. Yeah. I think the opportunity
to participate in the actual
creation and shaping of an individual’s
development is to me just an extraordinary honor. And that takes
place both sometimes at the individual level when
you’re teaching as a professor, but the way that there’s
an opportunity as a dean to structure the
kind of resources that can flow to that activity. And the creation
that takes place in those learning activities. To me it’s the best. When students, they’ll ask,
if you’re teaching something, do they ask, is this
going to be on the exam? Do they ever ask
you that anymore? Never. Never happens. Never happens. It’s completely open ended. I came to the study
of education by way of being a classroom teacher. And I had to make a
decision, whether or not I wanted to pursue
a degree in history or the history of education. And I ultimately decided on
the history of education, because I was still
very interested in working with teachers,
being involved in K through 12 classrooms, and I also
was interested in doing historical research on teachers
and educational policy. So this was a perfect fit for
me to go into a school that– So you’ve never considered
the higher calling of private equity? I did not. I did not, well, maybe
I thought about it. So let’s suppose Thomas
Jefferson was to appear here this afternoon and you
had a chance to ask him one question, what would be
the one question you would like to ask Thomas Jefferson
and the one thing you would like to actually tell him? So any volunteers? Surely you must have
thought about this. This is his university. It’s certainly his university. I think that if I were
going to ask him a question, I would ask him about the
durability of republics. He thought education
was one way to ensure the durability of
the republic, do we think now that’s
[? enough? ?] I’m not sure. OK. That’s one of the things
I’d like to ask him about. I would like to tell him that
he was right about education being important, an educated
populace being important, but he defined
populist too narrowly. It’s more than white males. OK. By the way, he’d be horrified to
see, first of all, that there’s a president, he didn’t want a
president in this university, and secondly, that it’s a woman. Well. OK. All right, what would
you ask Thomas Jefferson? I think I’d tell
him, no, I would I would ask him about
his ideas related to education and democracy. He fundamentally
believed that education was the cornerstone
of democracy, how’s that playing out. I’d ask him to observe how
how that’s playing out now. All right. And I think I’d
also want to ask him about the degree to
which his views on kind of a more laissez-faire
approach to governing are consonant with sort of the
Jefferson Hamilton dialogue. I’d want him to
sort of comment on whether what Hamilton had
right, and what he had wrong. OK, what would you
ask Thomas Jefferson? Well, I was thinking about the
same question along the line that he just mentioned,
about his views on education as so
fundamental to the democracy. Whether or not he would
have envisioned a democracy like it is today. And what I would tell
him is that he really was a part of inclusion
and diversity, he just didn’t
realize at the time. OK. All right. I think– OK, I get it. OK. I think I would approach
it from the stance of, how do you fund a diverse
population of students to get an education,
particularly after slavery. We’re still struggling. I always look at the
difference between the school like my alma mater,
or Ohio State. I also went to the
University of Michigan. And I was looking at your
demographics yesterday, University of
Virginia, and how you educate and support
your students and what we [? struggle. ?] Dr. Hope and I were
just talking earlier during the reception
about making a class, how much of a struggle
it is for us to provide the resources to close that
gap between the costs to attend and the amount of federal
financial aid awarded. So I would ask Thomas Jefferson,
how do you financially support an education? I would like to know how his
educational thought would have evolved. Would he support the education
of black Americans in 2018? I’d also be interested
to know, what are his thoughts on
technology and education, because we know that he was
very much excited and enamored with technology. What would he think about
the technological age that we live in now? And last, I would like
to know, what does he think about Barack Obama. OK, well, if I to ask him two
questions if I could ask him, I would just say
is one, how could you say that all men
are created equal when you had two slaves with you
and you had 100 slaves or more, how could you say that, write
that, and actually mean that, what did you actually mean? And as we all know, he
never actually defined what he meant by saying
all men are created equal. And also ask him why he didn’t
put bathrooms in lawn rooms? What was he thinking? OK, leave that aside. So let’s suppose a
student talks to you you’re all able to talk
to a young student. And the young
student comes to you, let’s say, claims she’s
a female, and she says, I am first in my class in
a good public high school, I don’t have a lot of
money, but I can probably get scholarships. I’m a good athlete, I’m
a good music player, I can do many different things. I have a choice. I can go to University
of Virginia, or I can go to
historically black college. What should I go to? And she is African-American. So why would you recommend
that this student could go to University of Virginia
or any other school in the Ivy Leagues, or things like that. Why should she go to a
historically black college, or why should she go to
University of Virginia. What would you recommend to her. Well, when I’m talking to
students about making decisions about college, I ask them,
what are they looking for? I ask them, what do they want? I don’t try to tell
them that it’s better to come to Tougaloo
opposed to a UVA, or any other institution,
because there are choices that they have to make. What do you want? Think a little bit about what
will be a good fit for you. Visit that institution,
and then you determine, because it’s
going to be ultimately up to that individual how they
progress in an environment that embraces them, and provide
the support systems that will help them achieve the kind
of things that they want to. Where learning will
be natural for them, whether that’s a
serious student. I will tell them what
Tougaloo college has to offer. I will tell them about
the support systems. I will tell them about
a legacy of alumni and what they’re doing,
the success rate. But in the end, I
will say to her, you have to make the choice. OK. You know I hear about this,
I was just recently getting my hair done, OK. And my hairdresser was
talking about her son that wanted us to go to
Harvard University and she’s trying to get
him to go to an HBCU. And she was passionate about
it, and I said, please do not deny him the opportunity. OK? Please promote a
choice, because we fought hard to have
choices at one time. I grew up in Asheville,
North Carolina. I grew up very poor
in the projects. And so at one time during our
history, people from the south had to go to schools
in the north. And the state pay for
African-Americans to go north. That’s why a lot of
us attended schools like Ohio State, University
of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and so on. You’ll see an aggregate
number of African-Americans from these schools. And just even today, I saw two
young ladies in the audience, and I said, think about
Bennett when you graduate. So it’s a matter of
what’s a good fit, but at Bennett, one of the
things that we’re known for, we promote the sisterhood. And so we not only
provide academic support, we provide a mentor at the
beginning of the school year. For example, a fresh-man woman
is connected to a big sister. And those sisterhoods,
and those relationships last throughout a lifetime. I see 90-year-old
women coming back, talking about their
little sisters who are 60 and 70 years old, really. But I think that
support system– and it really does
work at Bennett. And I think the opportunities
you can get at a small HBCU– I was with students this year
is in Seoul, South Korea, and I saw that
sisterhood in operation. You know women don’t
always get along, you guys know that, right? But in that time of
need, the sisterhood, I mean students, when it’s
time to support each other, I see that. So it’s a matter of
choice and also having the opportunity to choose. And one other thing I think
is important for students to understand is they don’t
have to give up anything to choose an HBCU. It’s just a matter of choice. The opportunities are there too. So with all of your career
or careers in education, what would you say based on many
years of dealing with students, is the most important
quality that a student should have to succeed in college? Should it be great writing
skills, great articulation skills, great study skills,
great time management skills, wealthy parents, what is it
that is the thing that enables people to succeed the most. So I’d say it’s perseverance. One of the saddest
things is when students come here believing
that if a subject doesn’t come to them easily,
then they must not be meant for that subject. And so they give up in
fields that they might find ultimately quite rewarding. It’s really a matter of a
mindset that if I persevere, I can learn this, even
if it doesn’t come easily to me at once. We lose almost 50% of the
students who start and STEM majors, because they hit a
difficulty in that first year STEM course, and they conclude,
I’m not meant for this. As if you are
genetically programmed to understand physics or not. You’re not genetically
programmed for it. Do you believe there is too
much of a push by parents to have their kids major in STEM
things so they’ll get a job, or do you think the STEM
push isn’t really on toward, it’s OK? I would say that the
push from parents is more towards business
not towards STEM– OK –but there is a push. Yeah. All right, so– I would echo President
Sullivan’s emphasis on perseverance. I’d frame it as
persistence, same attribute, and I think that’s
the attribute I think that’s important
to survive and to remain engaged and finish. But to thrive, it’s got to
be paired with curiosity. And so I think the
best students that I’ve seen that have really been
able to take advantage of the opportunity
at the University have combined both
of those naturally. Have you ever had bad
students who actually turn out to be successful in life
and you were surprised, or has that never happened? We don’t do enough of chasing
down what they do later, So that’s the problem. All right. Well, it’s easy for us, I agree
that perseverance is important, but also what I ask my students
to be is the serious learner. That don’t have to
come to us as a 4.0, but they have to come
as serious learners and be willing to
engage with faculty and take advantage of
all the offerings there. OK. I would say, the students have
to demonstrate resilience, especially at the HBCU’s. Many of you may not know, but
the majority of the students are lower income
first generation. Family income among the
five schools I’ve been in, I found it interesting the
average family income was between $35,000 and $40,000. And so you asked them to
come to private institutions, such as Bennett
and Tougaloo where the tuition is around
$28,000, and you ask them to pay that gap. And that’s hard, so they
have to have a resilience. And then they have to take the– once they are provided
that opportunity, they have to take it serious. It is an opportunity. Whether you attend an HBCU or
a majority white institution, you have the opportunity
to go to college. And so to that extent,
those four years that you spend there,
you really have to knuckle down and do the work
that you do and have a vision. A vision, it’s all
about a vision. I visioned my way
out of the projects. OK. I had to, I had to get above it. OK. And with support. And I think one of the
things that HBCU’s do well, we provide a lot of wraparound
services for our students. OK. I can’t tell you the things
I do as a president that’s even beyond what a
president should do, but we really try to rescue
students before they leave. So to that extent, the students
also have to demonstrate, yes, you’re going to have
life’s ups and downs, but first and foremost,
you’re at this institution to get an education. So you have to push
through those challenges. I would say
perseverance as well. I have something
I do in my courses with students who
seem to struggle, and I always call them scholar. And for some reason,
they will often tell me, don’t call me a scholar,
I’m not a scholar. But over time they will begin
to kind of embrace that term. And almost on every occasion
that this has happened, the more they embrace
that term, the more they would persevere
in class and they would begin to push themselves. So when you’re president– I’m sorry. He has made a great point. I think helping students
to build confidence is the best pathway
to a success. At Tougaloo College
many times– and I’ve got an Alum in the audience
but, they look at our students and especially our graduates as
arrogant, and even as students but, we teach them to
believe in themselves. But it’s not arrogance, it’s
the confidence that we have. OK. If you’re president of
University of Virginia, do you get a lot of
people calling you saying, how do I get my kid
into the university? And what do you
frequently say to them? What’s the best way to
get them off your back? So yes, it happens every
time I go out to dinner. It happens in the grocery store. It happens everywhere. Yes, people ask me
about it quite a lot. And they bring their five
and six-year-olds to meet me, because you know they– So the early, early,
early acceptance– Yes, that’s right. And the advice I give
is, it’s very important to take high school
seriously, and to take the most challenging program in
high school that you can take. And beyond that, to
explore your opportunities beyond the classroom. So we look for students who
are pretty well-rounded, who’ve been able to
demonstrate leadership, who’ve got some background
in community service, as well as having a very solid
and challenging high school curriculum. In fact, we’ll often take a
student with a lower grade point average whose taken the
most challenging curriculum available, than one with a
higher GPA who played it safe. And that’s really the
best advice I can give, because the numbers
are so large that you can’t make an exact prediction. And right now, your
acceptance rate is very– So we have 37,000 applicants
for a class that’ll be a little under 4,000. Now, you have a better
chance of being admitted if you’re from the
Commonwealth of Virginia, because 70% of the
class is from Virginia. But the odds aren’t
terrific either way. OK, so let’s ask about SAT’s. The SAT’s and college boards
were set up in the 1930s and ’40s as a way to say,
we don’t want just wealthy families who have
ne’er-do’well children, but they can get into
Harvard, Dale, and Princeton. We want people
actually merit based. And so we have
merit based testing. It’s actually worked the
reverse in some people’s view, because you can hire–
if you’re wealthy– expensive tutors, and they can
get you better board scores. So what’s the argument
for having board scores, and is it racially
discriminatory to have these college boards scores
be such an important part of college admissions? So the weight one puts on scores
of course, varies by school. But one of the things
that we use it for is that it gives
you an opportunity to equilibrate from a
high school you may never have heard of before, and you
have no track record with. And so two students are there,
ones got a 3.5 from a school you know and one’s got a 3.5
from a school you don’t now. The board scores
can help give you an idea of what that 3.5 means. We’ve got schools
in northern Virginia where the top half of the
class has a 4.0 or higher. And so– Thomas Jefferson. Exactly. Yeah, but they’re not
all Thomas Jefferson. So you know the GPA itself is
not always really sufficient. I will also say that
increasingly your top students in math, the SAT is
no longer a good guide to what they can do
either, because you can’t build a test hard enough
for them not to get an 800. And when people
write these essays, how can you be sure
people actually wrote these essays as kids? Is there a test to figure out
whether they plagiarize, or you can’t figure that out? Well, I understand
that our readers who are quite experienced
in this are are able to detect an essay
that is overly polished and may have been done
by a professional editor that mom and dad hired. I see, OK. I think that this brings
up an interesting point, partly because the SAT is
just one piece of information, and most people
would say, we use lots of pieces of
information in making those decisions about
admission, as Terry suggested. I think if we
point to the future and you look at the ways in
which for example, high school education is being kind of
rethought in ways that students will soon structure their
own performance portfolio. Certainly, that’s going
to happen the next decade. And as those
performance portfolios become increasingly
sophisticated, you’ll very much see the
decline in the use of a metric like SAT, because
you’ll just have much more authentic
indications of performance on a much broader set of
a performance indicators. I agree with him. But let me just
say that, basically at schools like
Tougaloo College, we look at those for what
they are, as indicators, not predictors of what
a student would do. We look at their leadership,
because we’re not nearly as large as UVA, our
recruiters and people in those schools that, from
which we draw our students, so they have a relationship
with counselors who can tell them about the kind
of leadership skills they have. And we have a measurement on
the ACT, I think some of them take the SAT, but we have
a measurement of that. But we balance that with a
GPA and other kinds of things that we would know. And what’s discerned from
the enter application, and give that child
an opportunity. And that’s what HBCU’s do. We give them an opportunity,
and I can tell you the success rate at Tougaloo
College historically has been very, very good. In your college, what is the
percentage of first generation students first– 21%. 21%? And UVA, it’s about 15% or? A little under that, although
we saw a substantial increase in the applicant
pool for next year in first generation students. We have over 50%
of our students. First generation,
80% PALE eligible. Well, we have a
challenging group of students that need
financial support and that we need to provide
wraparound services. And at the same time, we also
have high GPA SAT students, as well. So we have the full
range of students. Important point. Sometimes, people can say,
well, the important point of getting into
college is getting in. But then people forget,
you have to actually get through college. And first generation students
often have a struggle, because they don’t have the
means to actually acclimate themselves, so what do you
do to help first generation students actually acclimate
themselves to a college campus? It’s not always, it’s
not money, necessarily. It’s often the sense that
everybody else seems to get it and you doubt. You just don’t
know about college and your parents can’t tell you. So one of the things we did was
to ask our faculty members, who were themselves first
generation, to identify themselves. Because, unlike someone
from a visible minority, the first generation
faculty blend right in. They look the same as
all the other faculty. I put out that
call to the faculty and I had 80 volunteers
within the first 48 hours. And those faculty
have a little insignia they can put on their door,
which not everybody knows, but the first generation
students know what it means. It means there’s a
faculty member here who knows what
you’ve been through, and can maybe give
you some help. How many people here
are first generation? OK. Anyone on the Panel how? How many first
generation, just me? Oh, OK. All right. OK. So in first generation,
you have something special that you do for
them, either of you? Well, we provide services
for all of our students who need it. We have first year
experience program that all students go through,
their faculty coaches, work with them, get
them acclimated. We have support systems like
writing labs, tutorial labs, if a student needs it. And we have a Student
Success Center for those students who are
moving beyond the first year experience and into that. Our faculty are and
have always been very available to the students. They help them in many ways. Our staff people
do the same thing. Our alumni are engaged. As a small college,
I’ll say, when I talk about that success rate,
just talk about STEM fields. Tougaloo is among the top 25
US institutions whose graduates go on to graduate
school, earn their PhD degrees in the science and
engineering disciplines. We are ranked on all of the– in the top rankings
of graduation rates for HBCU’s retention rates. 66% of our students
graduate and gone to get into medical school
and prestigious schools– law, and go to Princeton, and
get their PhD degrees. 88% of the students
who graduate in English go on to get their PhD
degrees in humanities. And these are not
necessarily all first year, first generation, but they
are poor students, low income students, who come from
largely from Mississippi and other areas. But the majority of our
students historically, have come from the
State of Mississippi, and that parallels the research. Students tend to
choose institutions within 100 to 500 miles radius. But I think it’s
the intentionality, it’s being there,
it’s knowing that they care– believing in them. I mean, those are soft
things, but you have to communicate that with them. And teaching them perseverance,
being resilient, not making any excuse, letting
them know that they’re in a rigorous
academic environment, that others like John Rosenthal
and I have gone through that, and there was nothing
unbelievably remarkable about us, wouldn’t say,
but maybe there was. But we did it and they can to. Alumni come back to the
campus all the time. In the history of
American higher education, what has been the most
significant development for minorities? Would you say it’s the
’64 Civil Rights Act, Brown v Board of
Education, desegregation of major universities
in the south? What would you say is the most
important event in American higher education for minorities? I would say the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, because the federal government
had teeth to withhold funds from school districts
that discriminated against African-Americans. So I would say that
was very important. And then also the voting
rights of ’65, I think really brought in a number
of politicians who are able to make changes
in higher education as well. So those two acts, I think were
the most significant for us in the 1960s, and of course,
the Higher Education Act of 1972 as well. OK. So let me ask you all a question
about international students. UVA has 10% or 12% international
students something like that. 9%. 9%, OK. So these students are taking the
place of presumably Americans who could come here. What is the argument for letting
international students take the place of American
students, many of whom might be minority students? Are we crowding out
minority students by letting international
students come in and what’s the benefit of
having international students? So disproportionately our
international students are graduate and
professional students. And interestingly,
in some fields, we have a hard time
getting Americans to apply for graduate programs. So there are specialties,
particularly in STEM areas, which are mostly
international students. At the undergraduate
level, one of the things that I think is
part of diversity is that our American
students, many of whom don’t have a passport, never
been out of the country, they need to have the
opportunity to meet people from other parts of the world. And we have 127
countries represented in our student body. It’s a great
opportunity for them. And if you’ll indulge
me in an anecdote, I had advisee whose
roommate was from Peru. That’s just the
luck of the draw, you there, they were
sorted randomly. And at Thanksgiving, his
parents in northern Virginia invited the Peruvian
roommate to come up for Turkey and the
trimmings, because they knew the Peruvians couldn’t go home. Well the Peruvian parents
reciprocated that summer and invited young man
to come down and spend two weeks in Peru. And he got to see
everything there. And as a result, he came
back and changed his major. He wanted to work in
Latin American business. So that was a pretty
life changing experience from a young man who had never
been to a Spanish speaking country. OK. Do you have international
students sent to either of your colleges? Yes. Yes. Not many, only 2%. And along those
lines, we probably have less than 2% white
students on our campus. Our goal now is to
diversify the campus. 2%– 2% white. So why do you find
that white students want to go to historically
black college? When you interview
them, they must have a reason why
they’ve gone there, what is the reason
they typically give? I think they want a
more diverse experience. And we have Latino
students as well. And just talking to them,
I think the opportunity to engage in a different
educational environment, they gone on to
graduate, and they seem to engage in
the campus community. For our students, for our
African-American students, we try to provide them a
more global experience. We provide passports
to all the students. We take them abroad,
just this past year, we took them to South
Africa, Korea, France, and other places. But we think that
the students need to have a diversity experience. So we tried to promote more– International students? –international students. Yes we do have international– From Alabama or is that– Between– Do you regard Alabama
as international for– Well, believe it or
not, in Mississippi, we know the difference between
the regional, national, international students. So actually, they come from– we have students who come
from China, Japan, Korea, and even some of the
African countries. But like President
dawkins’s said, we do not have a
large percentage of students coming there. I want to speak to two
things, I want to speak to– you said, why would students
want to come to HBCU. Students tell us they come
to the Tougaloo College, because of his
history, and because of the record of
academic excellence. They can get the same thing
at Tougaloo College they can get it any other institution. And they get it in a
familiar environment, because say the Latinos who
come, they like closeness. They like the familiar
environment, a family, a supportive, helpful,
understanding their needs. The same thing with
the Chinese students. They like that but they
like academic excellence. They want to know
that they can succeed and they can get that
same thing there. The other question I
think you mentioned about international
students, but I wanted to talk a
little bit about how we bridge that gap, because
international students, that kind of diversity,
that kind of globalization, it’s important to the
education of our students today as they go out
into a global world. It helps to build
international understanding when you started that level. It breaks down
barriers, and that’s what really stagnates
a society of growth, and it starts there
with students. And so they get to
understand each other. So I think that’s
what’s important. Places like Tougaloo, where we
can attract the large numbers, we build collaborative
partnerships with majority
institutions so that we can have exchange programs,
internationally and nationally. So if Tony Bennett
came to you and said, I want to recruit a
minority for my team, it’s a Jewish basketball
player, what would you say? Tony, that’s your decision He never comes to
you and ask you to get help with any of the
players or anything like that? No. You’re not involved in– Nope. OK. Not my skill set. OK. So today, if you were talking
to students and they said, I want to have an impact on
the country and the world and make the world
a better place. Would you tell them
going into government is a better thing to do or doing
some things in the NGO world? Where do you think
a young student could have more impact today? I’d tell him to
go into education. Higher education? OK. No K-12 education. K to 12? OK. What would you say to somebody? I would tell them to
find their passion and make it work in
their communities. OK. I think I would
do the same thing. I did that same time
with my daughters. One went into the arts
and one went into STEM. So that’s what they
are interested in. Nobody would say
private equity, right? Of course, I’m going
to say, education. I would encourage them
to become teachers. So right now in
most universities, like the University
of Virginia, they have a higher percentage
of minority students than they do minority faculty. I think that’s
generally the case across all major universities. So one of the reasons
some people say is that, because of
tenure, you can’t really move out some of the
older, whiter faculty. So are you still a big
believer that tenure is essential in
major universities to hold on the faculty
and get good faculty? Or do you think
some rules on tenure might be looked at afresh? Well let me remind you that I’m
a demographer and so what I see is a very large number of
our older faculty approaching retirement. And that has let us hire a
younger generation of faculty who are much more diverse. And that’s going to continue
as the baby boomers retire. I think that’s more
or less inevitable. How do you retire faculty
members anymore though, because there’s no
law that allows you to say you have to leave right? No, that’s right. Mother nature
takes care of that. OK, all right. All right. All of you, big believers
that the current tenure system is more or less OK? Or you think it
should be changed and would be to the advantage
of minorities if it was changed? I think it would be helpful– and you know, I
look at our ability to recruit faculty and talent
into the School of Education and even in the
university more broadly. And tenure has great appeal,
and so can oftentimes be a real magnet for talent,
including diverse talent. So that’s really important. But at the same
time, to your point, it kind of clogs the
system, sometimes. And I think there’s ways in
which we in higher education can continue to
improve upon elevating the performance of
folks in all the areas that we hold important,
and elevating that. And maybe that doesn’t always
take the form of tenure, maybe it may take other
forms of advancement within the university in a
more stable position here. I will admit that I have some
mixed feelings about tenure. I think is going to change. I think it does give faculty
members a certain level of prestige and security. I do think in
majority institutions, probably it makes it
more difficult for more of the faculty to get tenure. And institutions
like ours an HBCU, they’re always
subjective factors. But we’ve worked hard to
do an objective system so that faculty members are
not necessarily discriminated against each. That there are
measurements and metrics that can be used to look at
their service, their faculty, their teaching. With a small HBCU like
Tougaloo, we don’t tell faculty, they have the publish
or perish, but we encourage them to do research to
inform that classroom teaching, to advance their
own scholarship, to build up those skills in
students as well as themselves. And when the PhD was first
developed many, many hundreds of years ago, it was thought
that to be an educated person, you need to have two
languages– foreign languages, so you have to take two
languages to get a PhD, more or less. But what did you think
about instead of that, they got rid of
that and just said, you have to learn
how to fund raise, because most people
that are PhDs really spend most of their time or
a large part of the time fund raising. So how much of your time
do you spend fundraising as university president? Oh, that’s a good question. You know, there’s a
good part of every day that you’re spending
on fundraising. There’s no question about it. And also, when you’re a
faculty member, you’re doing it but you’re doing it
in a different way, you’re writing grant
proposals or pursuing other forms of funding
for your own research. So it is true that
is an important skill that anybody who wants
to go into the academy needs to acquire,
whether you require it like a foreign
language, I don’t know. But it’s certainly
something that we want to train our PhD candidates
in knowing something about. The best way to get a $25
or $50 million gift is what? Ask. You need to know the donor’s
passion, because nobody’s going to give you money
for something they don’t care about. That takes a certain period of
time to get to know the person. Nobody gives you $25
million the first meeting? No. Oh. No, it doesn’t work that way. All right, so how much time
you have to spend fundraising? I would say, somewhere
between a third and a half. And what’s the most
important skill set that you’ve learned, in
terms of being a fundraiser? For me personally,
it’s been asking. And just learning the art
of asking someone for money. OK. You do a lot of fundraising? Yes. I think that I do a
lot of fundraising, because even when I’m not
[? focusedly, ?] intentionally fundraising, I think I am. It’s building relationships,
getting to know people, sharing the vision and
mission of the institution. I agree with President
Sullivan, you have to know what donors
are interested in, and you have to
follow up with them, and you have to build
relationships with them to do that. It’s important when you run a
private, independent college, that you have fundraising skills
and that you engage others who can share the same vision
and develop those skills, so that you’re not only
out there by yourself, but you have a cadre of people,
whether it’s your trustees, staff people, or even alumni. I agree with what has
already been said. I think the biggest part
is building a relationship and taking the time to do that. I’ve been trained that
it takes eight times, meeting, and wining and
dining, and playing golf with people to get them to– Playing golf? Oh, wow, OK. I can’t play golf though. OK So as researcher I write
most of my grant proposals to foundations. And the skill set
that’s really required is learning how to shape
my interests in a way that will appeal to the foundation,
and that takes a lot of work. So I currently chair six
national capital campaigns, three for universities,
and I would tell you this is the secret. You tell people
that if they give, they are likely to
live a longer life. And that when their time
does eventually come, there’s a special place in
heaven reserved for them. And then if they don’t believe
that say, why would you take a chance that I’m wrong? You know, generally,
the money comes forward. David, are you open
for more campaigns? Well, let me finish a
couple that I have now. So today, would you say
that University of Virginia, for example, is at the forefront
of trying to make changes in racial composition
of its student body, do you think you
are at the forefront and how would you
compare yourself to other major universities. So I think that we’ve got
some creative ideas that have been very good and and
they are showing results. We are limited in
an important way by a 4th Circuit opinion, which
does not allow us to give race based scholarships. And many of the terrific
minority candidates that we’ve admitted and
lose, because they do get such a scholarship
at another school outside the course– You can’t give what kind of– Race based. Race based. OK. Yeah. But let me ask you– well, OK, you can
give merit based and– We actually have
relatively little merit– Mostly it’s aid based. We meet full need, yes? And do you think
more merit based scholarships would be
advantageous for minorities or less advantageous, and you’re
more in favor of aid related? Well the problem with
a merit based money from my perspective,
is it often goes to the students who don’t really
need it given their family’s economic position. And we can’t guarantee that it
will go to deserving minority students, because of
this opinion I mentioned. Let me ask you all a question
that’s been very serious debate recently, and it’s
been along these lines, some people say that some
high school kids should not go to college, that they’re
not really cut out for college and they can be a blue collar
worker and do quite well and their life will be fine. And they’re just wasting
resources of themselves and the country
going to college. Do you agree– let’s
start down here– do you agree that that’s
a mistake or do you think that’s a good idea,
that we shouldn’t discourage certain people from
going to college. I think we should
give people a choice. And the reason I say, because
I know quite a few students who graduate from high
school with me who’re making a lot
more money than I am and who are a lot more
successful in many ways than I am by going to
a technical school. So I think we should
give people a choice. OK, so you don’t think it’s
racially discriminatory to say to people, maybe you
shouldn’t go to college? It can be racially
discriminatory. But I think, overall,
I think we just need to look at it on
a case by case basis. OK. I would say, who
makes the choice? Which groups are you targeting
in terms of who can and cannot go to college. I think we should open
a door for everyone to have the opportunity
to go to college. And I really think that
even us in higher education, we probably need to educate
our students differently so that they’re even more
marketable than just having students with a college degree. For example, we need
to look at more career pathways for students
so as they matriculate through our colleges, that
they’re picking up skills, they picking up
internships, they picking up service, projects, they picking
up soft skills, and so forth. So the traditional higher
education degree, just getting a degree
is just not enough. Of course, I think that when
it’s asked, when it’s said that college is not for
everybody, that it’s race related. That’s because it’s certainly
directed more at minority students than any one else. I believe that there
should be a quality education for all students
from K through 12. I think all students
should be prepared to make that choice of
whether they go to college or whether they go
to technical school. They should be introduced
to the courses that are college preparatory
courses, because even when they graduate, they might decide
that they want to delay it, but they want to go back
to college at a later time. So that’s where I think that
preparation should come, and then they should
be able, if they want to go to college, to have
that opportunity, because they have a set of skills, a
foundation to help them to be more successful in college. But I don’t think we
should limit anyone. I think that could be said
of any group of individuals, but it’s often referred to as
directed toward minorities, and I do think it is. OK. So some of you have
experience with students of both genders, who are better
college students, men or women? Women. Women. What? Women? More mature students. And that tends differentially
at age 18 to be women. But we do have older
students, and men and women are equally perseverant
and achieving in a somewhat older age group. I assume you have– Women. Women are better. Anybody want to speak
up for men, nobody? I agree with President
Sullivan, it’s really that they are
more mature, prepared, serious student who– All right, so let’s suppose
Congress did something and they said they were going
to change the national drinking age and lower it to 18. Would that be better
or worse for colleges? In some ways I think
it would be better, because it would no
longer be forbidden fruit. Our student council
came up with an idea that I think worthy of
consideration, which was a graduated drinking
license, something like the graduated
driving license. So at age 18 you
could drink beer, you could drink
wine, assuming you had a clean record two years
later, and hard liquor at 21. OK. I think that’s kind of
an interesting idea. It sounds like a student
solution, I think, yes. Was that the men who came
up with that or the women. It was a coeducational– Co-educational. OK. I can’t imagine it
would make a difference. Wouldn’t make a difference. No.
I don’t think so too. Wouldn’t? OK. So I started the beginning
with one question, I’ll only end with one. If you had a chance they asked
Sally Hemings one question, she lived in Charlottesville,
she knew this area, what would you, if you had a chance
to have dinner with her, what one question would you
like to ask Sally Hemings? It’s an interesting idea. What I would like
to know and I don’t know that I would
be able to ask this without knowing
somebody much better is, was any part of this consensual? [INAUDIBLE] I was going after that,
you know, did you love him? And however form she
would define that. OK. I was right with President
Sullivan, was it consensual? Same. I’m going to say
the same as well. OK. OK, well I would have asked, how
persuasive was he to convince you to come back from France
where you were a free person, and you could have come back
and then you’ve been a slave, but if you stayed there,
you would have been free for the rest of your life. How persuasive was he,
and what was his argument? But OK. I would probably
ask her, what do you think of the
MeToo movement today? OK. So we have reached
our appointed hour, so I want to thank all of
you for a very interesting conversation and we covered
a wide range of subjects, some of which are on the topic
and some of which we’re not. I thank you all for a very
interesting conversation. Well thank you for your
provocative questions.

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