Documenting the Perspectives of Past HBCU Presidents, An Oral History Project

Documenting the Perspectives of Past HBCU Presidents: An Oral History Project provides reflections of former presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, giving insight into their leadership philosophies, the challenges they faced, and the contributions they made. In roundtable discussions and individual interviews, the presidents converse about issues of American higher education within the context of the HBCU experience and the unique educational value HBCUs provide. Discussion topics include qualities of leadership, mentors and role models, institutional mission, accreditation, governance, finance, fundraising, financial aid, entrepreneurship, and issues of gender, race, and national educational policies. With candor and humor, the presidents discuss HBCUs through the lens of their experiences at the institutions they served and they address the proverbial question, Why do we still need HBCUs. The accompanying monograph, The Politics of Success: An HBCU Leadership Paradigm provides an overview of the development of HBCUs since their inception in the 1860s and the challenges the leaders of these institutions have overcome to succeed-against-the-odds. This oral history project was conducted by the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, in collaboration with the Council on Past HBCU Presidents, and funded through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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