Three Nonprofits Give $3M to HBCUs

These institutions will use the funding to support faculty development and collaborate on best practices. 
$3M to Develop HBCU Faculty

Graves Hall at Morehouse College. (Photo by Thomson200.)


THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION of New York, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have distributed US$3 million in grants to three historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the U.S., to support faculty development. In November, Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, announced that it would receive $500,000 from the Carnegie Corporation and $500,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation. Morehouse College, also based in Atlanta, received $1 million from the Carnegie Corporation. Prairie View A&M University in Texas received $1 million from the Mellon Foundation.

The grants recognize the increasing difficulties that HBCUs face in recruiting and supporting high-quality faculty in a competitive market, Spelman College officials note in a statement. At the same time, HBCUs must build strong faculties to educate the growing number of underrepresented minorities pursuing higher education.

Spelman will use its funding to support curriculum development, award research grants, design training for junior and mid-career faculty, and host off-campus faculty retreats where professors can work on scholarly and creative endeavors. “We anticipate using a portion of the funds as well to document and disseminate the innovative teaching strategies that have accounted for the academic success of Spelman students,” says Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of the college.

At Morehouse, the funds will support a new initiative, Modeling 21st-Century Faculty Development at HBCUs, which aims to reduce the teaching loads of existing faculty, support them at critical stages of their career cycles, and increase their research productivity via sabbaticals, seed funding, and workshops. Morehouse will document the program’s success through metrics such as the number of faculty applying for full professorships, the number of applications to posted job openings, and the frequency of grant applications and manuscript submissions.

Prairie View will use its funding to identify effective practices in faculty recruitment, advancement, and retention, as well as to establish a Center for Faculty Excellence. The center will track and monitor scholarly output and professional engagement across its programs.

As a condition of the grants, the three HBCUs are required to share best practices in recruiting and retaining faculty, both with each other and with the broader HBCU community.