Are HBCUs Still Needed? New Morehouse President Shares Views
In a radio interview with NPR, Morehouse's new president shares his views of HBCUs.
Michelle Martin of NPR News sat down with John Silvanus Wilson, the new president of Morehouse College, on Tuesday to discuss the state of HBCUs and whether America still needs them. Wilson, who was named the college’s 11th President last year, said that there is still a need for HBCUs but changes must be made. “In the Obama administration, we never questioned whether HBCUs need to exist. As a matter of fact, we did the reverse. We built in a set of high expectations for HBCUs in terms of the numbers they needed to graduate to help the nation reach the 2020 goal. That’s the first time that has happened,” he said, alluding to his experience serving as executive director of The White House Initiative.
He admitted, however, that there is a challenge in leading an HBCU in a time like this. “The value proposition and the financial model—particularly for a liberal arts institution—they are under a lot of stress. And it’s unsustainable.”
When it comes to giving back,“Many of the graduates are concerned, have left with a kind of attitude,” Wilson said, acknowledging the huge elephant in the room. The HBCU experience is like a bootcamp. He said it takes a good 25 years for the nausea—caused by the administration—to turn into nostalgia.
Wilson officially takes the post of President of Morehouse College at the end of January. (NPR)