Tag Archives: leadership

Can YOU Run This Institution: Prairie View A&M Looks To Train Next Generation of HBCU Administrators

President George C. Wright has been an integral force in bringing Prairie View A&M University a new stadium, but his legacy may be in a new program that allows students at the HBCU just outside of Houston to shadow administrators for a day to learn what it truly takes to run, manage, and grow an HBCU. This is vital when looking across the landscape of HBCUs where far too many HBCUs are being run by non-HBCU alums. It is almost an indictment on HBCU boards that when choosing an administration that far too many candidates have little to no HBCU connection. The pipeline from which HBCUs can choose their leadership reflective of their strategic needs and cultural values is vital to the future of them remaining true to being institutions that serve African America’s interest in higher education.

Prairie View A&M’s program allows students to shadow administration for a day is vital for both exposure and mentorship. Engaging students in the experience is also is key to their ability to participate as alumni in understanding how they can both help externally or maybe one day as leadership themselves. If the program is nurtured it could become a program that trains not only students at Prairie View, but others as well. Such a simple step could have a meaningful and lasting impact on the future of our institutions. We decided to reach out to Antony Owens (pictured above center) who participated in the program to see the impact that is truly had.

Name: Antony Owens

Classification: Junior

Major: Architecture and Construction Science

What made you decide to participate in the program?

My organization, Panther Ambassadors hosts the Can YOU Run This Institution program, as a member of the organization I wanted to lead by example and participate in the program myself.

Who did you shadow and how was that determined?

I shadowed Dr. Thomas-Smith, generally students are given a list of the faculty that will be participating and are then able to choose whom they would like to shadow.

What was your takeaway from participating?

There is a lot of grunt work done by a few key people across the university. Dr. Thomas-Smith for instance has a lot to do with the university’s accreditation, she has to work with people across campus and all the different departments to acquire full accreditation for the university. To do her job would require a strong work ethic, patience, management skills and the ability to lead.

Are there things that you were surprised at learning that it takes to run the university?

I was taken back by the fact that even after one finishes college and is done with school, they may still have homework. It was a realization because I thought homework stopped after school, but in order to complete things in a timely and well done manner, one may have to sacrifice more time in order to meet expectations.

How do you think the participation in the program will help you as an alumnus even if you do not go on to become an administrator?

It has helped me mature and get a better picture of what the work life is like when you have nobody but yourself to truly hold you accountable.

HBCU Money™ Dozen 11/2 – 11/6


Did you miss HBCU Money™ Dozen via Twitter? No worry. We are now putting them on the site for you to visit at your leisure. We have made some changes here at HBCU Money™ Dozen. We are now solely focused on research and central bank articles from the previous week.


Insects are the real rulers of this world. How did they pull that off? l New Scientist http://ow.ly/UitRa

Tablet demand next year down to just 17%, Gartner says l CIOonline http://trib.al/JhzdgTg

The benefits of adding fish oil to your active #horse’s diet l KY Equine Research http://ow.ly/U56hA

Gene editing has saved the life of a girl with cancer – a world first l New Scientist http://ow.ly/Uin3m

Could Detroit become the next Silicon Valley? l Computerworld http://ow.ly/UiIoM

Researcher says Michigan could get to 100% renewable energy by 2050 l Renewable Cities http://ow.ly/U928P

Federal Reserve, Central Banks, & Financial Departments

How equal are the world’s #education systems? l World Economic Forum http://wef.ch/1kwx29n

Fannie Mae CEO pushes for more credit-risk sharing in bond market l Housing Wire http://bit.ly/1SsNgvF

[Infographic] Here’s what the typical homebuyer and seller look like l Housing Wire http://bit.ly/1SsLVFo

5 years of research & analysis on Africa’s economic & social issues l World Bank http://wrld.bg/UcRGt

10 steps to becoming a successful young leader at #work l World Economic Forum http://wef.ch/1SsjqHI

Check your bank accounts on a weekly basis to ensure purchases are yours l Philadelphia Fed http://ow.ly/TQT6s

Thank you as always for joining us on Saturday for HBCU Money™ Dozen. The 12 most important research and finance articles of the week.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant


Long before leadership became identified as the catalyst for corporate success, the Civil War’s winning general was showing the world how dynamic leadership is the crucial determinant of victory or defeat.

Ulysses S. Grant never sought fame of glory, nor did he try to tie his performance to personal reward. Instead, he concentrated on contribution and service. He looked upon being given increased responsibility not as increasing his power, but as increasing his ability to get the job done. “The great thing about Grant…is his perfect correctness and persistency of purpose.” (Abraham Lincoln)

In this masterful retelling of Grant’s story, Al Kaltman draws on Grant’s writings and life experiences to present a series of practical lessons on how to get superior performance from the troops.

Going beyond mere “how-to’s”, Cigars, Whiskey & Winning deals with character traits, core beliefs, and fundamental values to reveal the secrets to becoming a winning leader that are as much about “who to be” as “what to do”. And there isn’t a chart, table, or checklist in sight-just a handy index of lessons for ready inspiration on demand.

HBCU Presidential Opening? Hire Neil deGrasse Tyson

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery


I will admit that while I respect a great many of the new and rising leadership at HBCUs I still feel as if there is a secret sauce missing. We often still mentally box what we view leadership must be like to lead our colleges and universities. They are often from traditional African American disciplines or professions. That is not meant to be a slight at them because they are what they are. Those disciplines are needed but sometimes you need different. That difference could be the missing sauce to make this new hamburger we are building or re-building standout (depending on how one looks at it). To make it dynamic.

After watching Dr. Tyson speak before the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee it became clear to me that this is someone who could lead the STEM and research revolution amongst HBCUs. There is currently no more prominent of an African American face associated with STEM. Would it cost to get him? Yes. Is he interested in an HBCU? As often the case we will not know unless we ask. The real question is what board or alumni would be creative and aggressive enough to pursue someone like Dr. Tyson. If we want to improve our place in STEM then we need someone who understands it intimately on a structural level and on a public relations level.

Currently, HBCUs as a whole do about $600 million combined annually in research expenditures. On the surface while that sounds like a lot, it would not make the list of top 30 list of  research budgets at colleges and universities across the nation. Yes, there are 30 plus institutions that do over $600 million individually annually in research. Florida A&M, who led HBCUs in research in 2012, is doing only $53.5 million. The top of the heap continues to be John Hopkins University who conducts $2.1 billion annually in research by itself. It also would potentially create avenues that could allow HBCUs to become more competitive among the minefield that is the National Science Foundation and its questionable grant disbursements. Historically, HBCUs have received inadequate research funding from even the NSF and while President Obama has promised HBCUs $850 million over 10 years it would be much nicer if HBCUs were in position to receive the over $1 billion annually that the NSF hands out to the top tier research institutions.

If we need a reminder of why research is important then we just need to look at the economic state of our communities and our institutions. My favorite example of just what research on college campuses can produce is Google. It was developed at Stanford University while the two founders were PhD graduate students. An issue of HBCUs further developing their graduate programs and keeping their most talented within HBCU institutions is another article itself. The search engine that is now a verb currently employs 50 000 people. That is equivalent to 1/6th of the entire current HBCU student population. That is just ONE company whose co-founders have a combined net worth of $52 billion. There are thousands of other companies who have emerged as a result of STEM research on college campuses. The impact is so profound that the Kauffman Foundation’s study shows that MIT created companies alone would be the 17th largest economy in the world if they were their own nation. Unfortunately, due to a number of different reasons – a scientific vision not least among them – HBCUs have been slow to re-embrace its strong research heritage of the late 19th and early 20th century when men like George Washington Carver and others were transforming the American way of life through scientific research on HBCU campuses.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson could provide a necessary spark to bring attention and resources to an HBCU willing to make the commitment. His presence would certainly make many gifted African Americans interested in STEM potentially pause and consider an HBCU. A school like Morris Brown, St. Paul’s, or Lewis College of Business who want to transform themselves could become the HBCU Institute of Technology. If we want to reach for the stars just maybe it is time we give leadership to someone who knows literally where to find them.