Claflin Eyes Greater Prosperity

Jun 05, 2017

Editorial by Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, President

We have just completed another academic year and it was yet another historic period in Claflin’s illustrious history. We are extremely pleased with the accomplishments made in this current climate of uncertainty regarding national support for historically black colleges and universities. It is unfortunate that HBCUs must constantly defend reasons for their existence.

Research reveals that HBCUs represent 3 percent of two and four-year colleges and universities and enroll 10 percent of African-Americans attending them. Significantly, HBCUs graduate 25 percent of all African-Americans earning a bachelor’s degree and at an affordable cost.

Claflin’s academic year focused on a number of priorities that were achieved. Our strategically defined recruitment effort resulted in the largest freshman class in university history and enrollment reached 2,000 for an all-time high. With the board of trustees, alumni, faculty and staff giving their strongest support, the university was able to begin the year with a dynamic strategic plan, “Claflin LEADS: A Shared Vision for the 21st Century.” The plan provides our path and navigational tools to greater prosperity.

The plan also places much emphasis on student success beyond the walls of Claflin, an essential element of the university’s mission. When viewed in its entirety, the plan enhances the university’s prominence in higher education and sustains its relevance as a leading 21st century institution of higher education.

We are most pleased with the launch of the RN to Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. This was significant as Claflin has become a key player in credentialing nurses for upward mobility in the health care profession. In partnership with the Regional Medical Center and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, this is another evidence of the university’s commitment to collaboration in addressing community and regional needs. Claflin’s commitment to partnering in preparing and developing teachers continued with the launching of a new Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction.

We are most pleased with the launch of the RN to Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. This was significant as Claflin has become a key player in credentialing nurses for upward mobility in the health care profession. In partnership with the Regional Medical Center and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, this is another evidence of the university’s commitment to collaboration in addressing community and regional needs. Claflin’s commitment to partnering in preparing and developing teachers continued with the launching of a new Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction.

Another signature accomplishment was the recognition of a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science who became the second Claflin faculty member to receive the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Faculty Award designation and a research grant of $550,000. This NSF recognition speaks volumes about the university’s world-class faculty and its research efforts to improve the human condition.

We are most proud to be the recipient of the UNCF/Lilly Endowment Career Pathways Initiative award along with Benedict College and Voorhees College.  As the lead institution for the Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program, Claflin received $3.3 million of the $6 million grant among the three institutions. The Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program will prepare students for high-paying private and public sector occupations in the Carolinas and elsewhere. It seeks to do this by guided pathways, curricular enhancements and integrated co-curricular engagement. This Carolina Cluster Pathway Program is our collaborative response to America’s need for talent and our graduates desire to be competitive in obtaining high-paying 21st century jobs.

Alumni support remains at a high level, which is crucial as we seek support from individuals, businesses and corporations. Support begins internally and when we cite that alumni annual support hovers around 50 percent, our case for support becomes more compelling.

But we can hardly rest on our laurels. We begin anew immediately after graduation and a new year will again test our resolve to continue Claflin’s path to certifiable excellence and greater prosperity. I want to thank all who contributed to the university this past academic year and look forward to your continued support.

 

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