TIAA Hosts The ELC’s Q4 CBI Event in Charlotte Focused on Strengthening HBCU Boards and Public-Private Partnerships

November 14th, 2017

The Corporate Board Initiative (CBI) held its Q4 Panel Discussion and Networking Reception at TIAA’s offices in Charlotte, NC where ELC members and event co-chairs Shelley Stewart and Hilda Pinnix-Ragland welcomed a strong panel to discuss Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) board governance and public private partnerships. Guests were welcomed by ELC Member Jana Brown, Senior Vice President, Human Resources Chief Operating Officer and Business Partner at TIAA.

TIAA’s Jana Brown welcomes guests to the Q4 CBI on HBCU Board Governance in Charlotte, NC.

Stacey J. Mobley, retired Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel at DuPont and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Howard University moderated the panel. Panelists included Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College; Richard D. Legon, President of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and a Board Trustee of Spelman College; and, Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., Chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University.

The audience included current and former HBCU presidents and advocates.

The panelists engaged in a lively discussion about the historical and traditional roles of HBCUs in educating black students and building the pipeline of black professionals. They also addressed the current challenges that threaten the survival of HBCUs, including lower enrollment, reductions in funding from government, industry and alumni, and the increasing opportunities for black students at community colleges and predominantly white institutions.

Panelists agreed that there is an urgent need for HBCUs to attract and retain strong boards of trustees to add value through expertise and financial support. As one panelist stated, attending a board meeting to listen to a financial presentation and applaud politely does not bring value. Strong boards need participants who will help the schools adopt best practices and better ways to serve all constituents.

North Carolina A&T State University Chancellor Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr. makes a point.

As the number of HBCUs in the recent past declined from nearly 120 to fewer than 100, there is greater interest in attracting more people with business leadership skills to HBCU boards. Some of the schools are considering procurement consortia to achieve economies of scale in acquiring commodity items such as classroom, cafeteria and dormitory equipment. Yet, a recent study by UNCF documents the extended positive economic impact of HBCUs.

(l-r) Jana S. Brown (TIAA), Hilda Pinnix-Ragland (ELC), Stacey Mobley (DuPont/Howard), Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis (Benedict), Richard D. Legon (AGB), Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr. (NCA&T), Shelley Stewart, Jr. (DuPont), Stephanie Bell-Rose (TIAA), and Ronald C. Parker (ELC).

While HBCUs are facing enormous challenges, more than 75 ELC members have offered their support for them through serving on boards or in advisory capacities. Their profiles are available in The ELC HBCU Initiative profile book.

Click here to visit our photo gallery on Flickr and view additional photos from the event.

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