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    Dillard President is among finalists for "Male HBCU President of the Year" PDF Print E-mail
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    Dillard has Finalists in Eight Award Categories

    Walter KimbroughNEW ORLEANS - Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough is one of several finalists up for the honor of being selected as the "Best Male HBCU President of the Year."  Known as the "Hip Hop Prez" by his more than 9,000 Twitter followers @hiphopprez, Dr. Walter Kimbrough has fostered a forward-thinking, student-focused culture on Dillard's campus and is one of the most dynamic leaders in higher education today. The media has taken notice and Kimbrough has been featured in a myriad of local and national media including, the Times-Picayune, the New Orleans Advocate, the New Orleans Tribune, NPR's "Tell Me More," radio show, MSNBC's Melissa-Harris-Perry Show and Huffington Post Live, to name a few. He is an expert on Black Fraternities and has been an outspoken figure in matters of educational standards, blacks in technology, black male education, and philanthropy in HBCU arena.  Most notable are his opinions regarding the recent $25 million gift from the Koch Foundation to the UNCF and Dr. Dre's $35 million gift to the University of Southern California. 

    The University was selected as finalists in seven other  "Best Of" categories sponsored by the HBCU Digest annual awards ceremony that will be held this week on Dillard's campus. The HBCU Digest is a daily blog/news resource providing news synopsis, links and commentary on stories about America's 105 historically black colleges and universities.

    Each year it sponsors the HBCU Awards event to honor, acknowledge and celebrate achievements at historically black colleges and universities throughout the country. Crowning winners in the fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research, and community engagement, the HBCU Awards is the first and only event to recognize the influence and impact of HBCUs on American culture. The HBCU Awards ceremony will be held July 11 during the HBCU National Media Summit, which is July 10-12

    This year, Dillard University was selected as a finalist in the following areas: Best Choir; Best Fine Arts Program; Best Nursing Program; Female Faculty of the Year  - Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy; Female Alumna of the Year - Cynthia Butler McIntyre, '84; Female Student of the Year - Nicole Tinson, '14; Male President of the Year - Dr. Walter Kimbrough; and HBCU of the Year.

    Click here to see other finalists and categories

    Proceeds from the awards ceremony benefit the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy (CHMA), a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the mission, culture and development of America's historically black colleges and universities through new media exposure, training and education. 

    There is still time to register for the 2014 Summit. Click here to for more details and registration information.

    Dillard University is a private four-year liberal arts historically black university with a history dating back to 1869. It is located on a picturesque 55-acre campus in New Orleans, Louisiana which boasts an "Avenue of Oaks," spacious greens and white buildings of both Jeffersonian and modern architectural styles. Academically, Dillard ranks among the top in a number of areas including Forbes' 2013 list of Top Colleges and Universities in the U.S.; top 60 liberal arts institutions by the Washington Monthly (2013); consistently ranked as one of U.S News and World Report top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); American Institute of Physics' top producer of African Americans with bachelor's degrees in physics (2012); and according to the National Science Foundation (2013), among the top 50 colleges whose graduates earn doctorates in the sciences. 

    Money for everything but a college education: Walter M. Kimbrough PDF Print E-mail
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    Recently the CNN documentary series "Inside Man" focused on the issue of income inequality. Having lived in New Orleans two years now, I immediately recognized my new home in the opening scene. So I was quickly drawn in to the show. Within a few minutes, host Morgan Spurlock indicated that one in five Louisianans depend on food stamps. So for this show on income inequality, he picked New Orleans, a place he says "where the rich and poor live side by side."

    We meet Selear Smith, a woman who wants to work full time but now is only able to get a part time job that will provide 10 to 25 hours of work a week at $12 per hour. Essentially, she and her son attempt to live off of $13,000 a year. With that kind of salary she said she can't save any money for anything.

    That anything includes college. Just days before I watched this show, I received two desperate emails from students trying to figure out how to be in school for the summer. On the surface, some might suggest they should go home and work for the summer. Then they would have money for the fall. But what if summer school was not only an avenue to pursue your career, but to ensure that you have somewhere to live? One student wrote the following:

    "I have nowhere to live at this time or no place to go. My mother is disabled now. She receives only one check a month that is barely enough to cover the bills. After having a stroke recently, my mother has been unable to work and therefore unable to meet payment demands."

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    When a $25 million gift can be controversial PDF Print E-mail
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    Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University, joins to talk about the controversy sparked by the $25 million Koch brothers donation to the United Negro College Fund.

    My Brother’s Keeper: Stop Writing Letters, Just Do the Work PDF Print E-mail
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    Your Take: Dillard University’s president talks about what should be done to focus on both black boys and girls without waiting for the president’s initiative.

    Over the past few days my Twitter feed has buzzed about the letter signed by 1,000 women and girls urging President Barack Obama to broaden his My Brother’s Keeper initiative. The letter and subsequent commentaries attack the president, accusing him of any number of sins for not including women and girls in this program. Yes, the issues facing women and girls of color are significant, and while ignored in research and programming as the letter states, they do deserve attention and focus.

    And that’s my problem with the letter. In short, would this letter have been written if this initiative had never been announced? I mean, the hash tag #WhyWeCantWait is problematic because people have been waiting for years. When it comes to waiting, #YesWeCan! And did.

    There wasn’t even a sense of urgency to ask for inclusion. This letter comes almost four months after My Brother’s Keeper was announced, and weeks after 200 men wrote to support inclusion of women and girls.

    Black folks even waited to complain.

    Simply stated, many are mad that the first black president has not been our messiah, righting every structural wrong in six years. Hosanna in 2008. Crucify him today.

    When My Brother’s Keeper was announced, I was not fazed. I began doing that work as president of Philander Smith College a year before President Obama was elected. In 2007 we had horrific graduation rates for men (about half that of the women). A group of men and women came together on campus to study the issue and launch a Black Male Initiative. We read the numerous research articles and books on black male achievement and success. We engaged my friend Dr. Shaun Harper, who is the nation’s preeminent scholar on black men in higher education, and our work was in full swing.

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    Sallie Mae giving you the blues? PDF Print E-mail
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    Latest posts from on 06/24/2014

    Kem Washington

    Yes, graduating from college is great but student loans sometimes can be a headache! However for many grads, this is becoming a common story. Approximately 70% of 4 year college graduates are leaving not only with a college degree but student loan payments.

    According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), student loan debt has risen to more than $1.2 trillion dollars, a more than 20% increase from the year 2011. Furthermore, student loan debt is rising at an alarming rate, only second to household mortgages.

    Although the burden of student loan debt can be a bit overwhelming, there may be some relief in sight. The Department of Education offers the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to individuals who qualify. The PSLF program allows for student loan forgiveness for borrowers who work in the area of public service full time.  If you are having making payments, also consider exploring payment options.

    Here are some helpful tips to determine if it would work for you:

    1.) Consider your boss

    “Any federal government, state government, local government, or tribal government entity is an eligible employer for the PSLF Program,” says Christine Isett, spokesperson for the Department of Education. “This includes the U. S. military, public elementary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities, public child and family service agencies, and special governmental districts.”

    Tax exempt entities under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code may also qualify for the program. In addition, private not for profits that offer public services may also qualify. To determine whether your employer qualifies, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

    2.) Don’t delay payments

    The key to forgiveness is to make certain your payments are timely. According to the Department of Education, borrowers will be granted forgiveness if they make 120 qualifying payments while employed by qualified employers. Borrowers are required to make payments within 15 days of the due date, and the payment has to exceed or equal the required payment.

    If a borrower has difficulty making payments, he should contact his servicer to review possible options. Periods of deferment or forbearance, which allow a borrower to cease making payments temporarily, are not qualifying payments for the purposes of PSLF. That being said, the 120 qualifying payments do not need to be consecutive. For example, if a borrower makes 10 qualifying payments, spends 6 months in an unemployment deferment, and then resumes employment with a qualifying employer and also resumes making payments, the borrower will still start at the eleventh qualifying payment when payments resume.

    3.) Any student loan won’t do

    The type of student loan will also determine whether or not it qualifies for loan forgiveness under the PSLF program. According to the Department of Education, only loans made under the Direct Loan Program – William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan – will qualify. Therefore loans made under the Federal Perkins Loan (FPL) and Federal Family Education Program (FFEL) will not qualify.

    However, there is a work-around. Borrowers can consolidate these loans into the Direct Loan program to take advantage of the PSLF program. But keep mind, you should do your homework or speak with a financial advisor to determine whether consolidating will make sense for your unique financial situation.

    4.) Do the math

    Since the program allows for forgiveness after ten years, you should consider doing the math first. Selecting the best payment plan is essential. Obviously, if the borrower is repaying the loans subject to a ten-year standard repayment plan, subsequently there will be no remaining balances to be forgiven. However, other payment plans may extend payment terms. Although these plans allow for lower payments, they can also have higher accrued interest payments.

    Again, take time to understand what payment plan works best for you. Also, get an understanding of the pros and cons of each payment plan. Most importantly, understand while this program may be a good fit for some it may not be the best fit for all.

    For more information and to determine if you qualify, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

    Remember: your choice, your future!

    –Written by Kemberley Washington, CPA,a professor at Dillard University and former IRS agent. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook. Like, Love or Share this post!

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