Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University & Spelman College Receive Grants from Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller Foundations to Support Faculty Development

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University & Spelman College Receive Grants from Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller Foundations to Support Faculty Development

ATLANTA, Nov. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University and Spelman College announced today that they are the recipients of $3 million in grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of faculty on their campuses. Excellence and student success at the historically Black colleges and university rely on pedagogically innovative, research active and creative faculty who provide students with the tools that enable them to take responsibility for their learning. The grants allow the colleges to provide an array of faculty support structures and require the three institutions to share best practices with each other and with the broader HBCU community.

Prairie View received $1 million from Mellon. Carnegie awarded $1 million to Morehouse and $500,000 to Spelman, which also received $500,000 from Rockefeller.

"Faculty are the heart of a liberal arts education. At historically Black colleges and universities, heavy teaching loads often get in the way of professional development, time for research and/or creative production. Yet, time for these activities not only keeps faculty current in their fields, but provides undergraduate research opportunities for our students," said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. "We are grateful for the foresight of the Carnegie, Rockefeller and Mellon foundations in making this historic gift to Spelman, Morehouse and Prairie View. 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."

Leveraging History

Over their histories, HBCUs like these three institutions have engaged high-quality faculty, who are attracted to their unique institutional missions to educate talented, hardworking minority student populations. In the last decade or so, however, despite the growing need to educate more underrepresented minorities who comprise a larger portion of the college-age population, market pressures have made it increasingly difficult for HBCUs to recruit top faculty and support their development after hire. The foundations' critical support of these new faculty development programs leverages these institutions' history of success preparing scholars and leaders of African descent for lives of impact and meaning.

"Our founder Andrew Carnegie was concerned about the lack of educational opportunities for African Americans. As a result, in 1900 he made a grant of $20,000 to Tuskegee University to fund the construction of its library, the first of 13 grants to the institution," said Vartan Gregorian, Ph.D., president of Carnegie. "Throughout its history, Carnegie Corporation of New York has continued to invest in a range of organizations serving African Americans, including historically Black colleges and universities, civil rights organizations, the National Urban League since 1921, the United Negro College Fund since 1946, as well as more recent grants to support reforms in K-12 and higher education. We are pleased to help ensure the future health and welfare of the faculties of our country's HBCUs through these latest grants to Morehouse and Spelman colleges."

Expanding Development

The colleges' plans to deepen and expand faculty development through the generous grants from the foundations support the institutions' innovative and effective teaching, excellent academic outcomes, robust research and creative activity.Morehouse College: Morehouse will use the grant funds to support the new program, Modeling 21st Century Faculty Development at HBCUs. The program will help to make the college more competitive in attracting and retaining top talent by providing funds for start-up packages and robust opportunities for faculty growth and development. Morehouse also plans to reduce the teaching loads of existing faculty and provide support at critical stages of the faculty's developmental life cycle. In addition, grant funds will be used to increase faculty research productivity by providing sabbaticals, seed funding, and workshops to enhance the effort...