ST. LOUIS, MO – The Board of Regents of Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) has unanimously selected St. Louis native Dr. Corey S. Bradford, Sr. as HSSU’s 20th president, effective May 1.
In addition to earning various advanced degrees during this time away from St. Louis, Dr. Bradford has worked in higher education for more than 26 years. He currently serves as Senior Vice President for Business Affairs at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). Prior to his current position, he served for 16 years within the Southern Illinois University System in various leadership positions, including the Assistant Vice President for Financial & Administrative Affairs and Assistant to the Vice President for Planning and Budget. Bradford earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Southern Illinois University; a Harvard Institute for Management Development Education Certificate from Harvard University; and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
“The Board is thrilled Dr. Bradford has decided to return to St. Louis to serve as the next president of Harris-Stowe and believes his vast experience, boundless enthusiasm and creative vision will continue to propel the University to new heights,” said Ronald Norwood, chair of the Harris-Stowe State Board of Regents. “We believe that these attributes, coupled with Dr. Bradford’s demonstrated leadership ability, financial acumen, and student-centered focus, will not only greatly benefit Harris-Stowe, but will also positively impact the entire St. Louis region.”
At PVAMU, Dr. Bradford developed an extensive track record of working with students, faculty, staff and alumni, along with local business and civic leaders, to advance the university’s mission. In 2016, he served as the executive sponsor for the development of a new university strategic plan for PVAMU. His leadership throughout its implementation established fiscally sound practices that increased cash reserves over $170 million. A record for the university, the increase allowed for reinvestment toward hiring faculty, faculty development, upgrading classroom spaces and technology, supporting faculty research, and establishing scholarship opportunities.
“I am honored and humbles to be appointed the 20th president of Harris-Stowe State University. I have great admiration of what Harris-Stowe has achieved for over 160 years, and I am extremely excited to be a part of the university’s bright future,” said Dr. Bradford, president of Harris-Stowe State University. “This is also a dynamic time for me to return to my hometown to advance Harris-Stowe’s impact on our citizens and lead its growing reputation as an innovator in the HBCU community.”
Bradford succeeds former president Dr. Dwuan Warmack, who left Harris-Stowe in August of 2019. Current interim University President Dr. Dwayne Smith, who has served in various capacities at HSSU for 14 years, has provided invaluable stewardship for the University during this transition.
About Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU)
Harris-Stowe State University’s primary mission, as set forth in Senate Bill 153, is a to address the higher education needs of the metropolitan St. Louis region. Toward the fulfillment of this mandate, the University offers a solid General Education curriculum, which serves as the foundation for the University’s various baccalaureate programs in three broad professional areas, including baccalaureate degree programs in business, education, and arts and sciences. For more information, visit www.hssu.edu.
Institutions that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) became in existence. Currently, there are 100 HBCUs in the United States, including public and private institutions. Majority of these institutions lie in the hard of the south, but there are two mid-west HBCUs that served in the northern state of Missouri.
Founded by the St. Louis Public Schools as a normal school and became the first public teacher education institution and the 12th such institution in the United States. Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU), stands as the only HBCU in the St. Louis region, which has ties in the segregation era before becoming a designated HBCU. HSSU celebrates 161 years of existence and has been firmly committed to providing a high-quality higher education experience that is both affordable and accessible to a diverse population.
Referring back to HCF’s The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018, HSSU has been under the leadership of Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack since 2014. Under his tenure, HSSU has increase grants totaling approximately $3.5 million, approved to offer graduate degree programs for the first time in university history, which was enabled by Senate Bill 334, increased academic degree programs by 100%, going from 14 majors to 31 majors and minors in one year and increasing applications by over 100% in the past five years.
Since 2014, HSSU has been ranked nationally for its academic programs in publications such as Diverse Issues in Higher Education and as one of the top HBCUs in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college ranking. Furthermore, through it all, HSSU has faced punches from drastic state-funding cuts and being one of the “underfunding” HBCUs of Missouri along with Lincoln University located in Jefferson City.
Though Lincoln University faces diversity issues preferably being an HBCU in a more “white” populated town, LU continues to push through striving to serve academic excellence. Selecting a new president, Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk who begun her tenure as of June 1, she comes to the helm of leading the institution with a student population of 47% White, 41% African-American and 12% International and other. A big concern for the African-American students is that Lincoln University may unspecific its status as an HBCU.
Despite that these institutions were established as HBCUs, they are often overlooked and criticized for failure. None like no other black college or university, these institutions are also encountering with enrollment and retention difficulties. Also named as one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018, under Dr. Kevin Rome leadership, Lincoln University was reported to only graduated one-quarter of its student, according to a source and federal statistics. Meanwhile, Lincoln also saw a 7 percent drop in enrollment back in 2016, while losing two-degree programs and sports programs. Though, he was responsible for a 50% increase in student enrollment in addition to the creation of institutional programs and initiatives. Dr. Rome left Lincoln University in the summer of 2017 to become the 16th president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Recently, published in an op-ed that appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, a “guest editor,” launched a savagely racist rant, attacking HSSU President Dr. Dwaun Warmack, Board of Regents, administration and faculty and staff, stating “Poor leadership is rewarded at Harris-Stowe.” Dr. Warmack was criticized for spending his state-funded travel allowance to walk away with nothing more than a photo and a story about a meeting with President Trump. The article also states, Harris-Stowe failed to meet four out of five basic performance-based funding criteria, and that university official continued to stupidly cheerlead and cover up what has effectively become an academic shipwreck. He was also criticized for asking for more money from the state and allied with the local branch of the NAACP to demonstrate on his behalf and ignoring the consequences of performance-based funding.
In the mist of the NAACP standing to challenge the rights and the state’s treatment towards black colleges. The organization announced the formation of a group called the Coalition of Equity and Excellence in Higher Education, which will “conduct activities to achieve educational and charitable objectives within the State of Missouri, focusing primarily on activities that ensure equity for Missouri’s Historic Black Colleges and Universities.”
Dr. Warmack strikes back with a co-op entitled “Harris-Stowe has the right to exist.” In that article, Warmack expressed that HSSU is far from being an endangered institution and from data the reflects during 2014-2018; three years of enrollment growth landed at 19.3 percent, with no additional state-funding, while donor and external funding has doubled during that same period.
Consequently, as a segregation state being that HBCUs are not wanted in the state of Missouri but were and are allowed, will our HBCUs continue to thrive in the forthcoming years? I have faith they’ll, with the aid of a dominant and compassionate administration, Board of Regents or Curators, faculty, and staff, students, alumni and stakeholders, our HBCUs in Missouri must not continue to be overlooked for their operational and academic serving use as state institutions.
Giving up is not an option when it comes to the state of Missouri and its treatment towards black colleges. A continued fight and given support must occur in so that the black colleges not only in Missouri back across the nation receive the proper state-funding that is needed so that students are adequately equipped with the necessary and demand tools for economic growth. Lincoln University also holds the distinction as an 1890 Land-Grant institution, which was reported that the U.S. House of Representatives voted 213-198 to defeat what is known as The Farm Bill. This bill supports agricultural extensions at 1890 Land-Grant institutions such as Lincoln.
In 1866, Lincoln University (formally Lincoln Institute) was formally established under an organization committee. At the close of the Civil War, soldiers and officers of the 62nd and 65th U.S. Colored Infantry took steps to found such an educational institution in Jefferson City, Missouri. On September 17, 1866, the school opened its doors to the first class.
As President and CEO of the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), our mission is to support the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at HBCU and PB institutions, while also advocating for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. We stand behind the Presidents of the two illustrious Historically Black institutions that deserve the right to exist and continue providing that high-quality education to scholar students who will succeed as dominant leaders. HCF will continue to advocates for HBCUs as long as we are in existence as an organization.
Each Tuesday the HBCU Campaign Fund organization will highlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves at a Historically Black College and University.
This initiative recognizes the current individuals who serve historically black colleges and universities changing and educating lives daily and producing visionary leaders of the next generation.
This Tuesday (1/26/16) highlight feature Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack (pictured on the right),
President of Harris-Stowe State University.
Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack was named in 2014 as the President of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis and at the age of 37 is one of the youngest serving presidents of a four-year institution in the nation. Within five months of his arrival to Harris-Stowe he raised a million dollars for student scholarships and for infrastructure needs.
Dr. Warmack earned a bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in sociology from Delta State University. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in higher education from Union University in Jackson, Tenn. He is a peer reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission, the largest regional accreditation body in the United States.
He is both a scholar, practitioner and possesses a wealth of experiences in program design, faculty and student development, assessment and accreditation. Prior to his appointment as president of Harris-Stowe, he served as senior vice president, administration and student services at Bethune-Cookman University overseeing a staff of 170. His successes include oversight of a multi-million dollar renovation of the institution’s residence halls. Prior to his tenure at Bethune-Cookman, he was the associate dean of students at Rhodes Colleges in Memphis, where he had oversight of student affairs areas including judicial affairs, student activities, Greek life, new student and parent orientation and multicultural affairs. Warmack has also held positions at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, and Delta State University.
Warmack provides a brand of leadership and that is characterized by an unqualified insistence on data-driven decision-making and a commitment to higher education’s current best practices. A visionary with a unique understanding and appreciation for today’s millennial students, he is committed to academic integration and the holistic development of students. Dr. Warmack is committed to developing programs that promote diversity and pluralism.
He has received several awards for his work in higher education and the community. He received the Delta State University Young Alumni Award and was recently inducted into the institution’s Hall of Fame. He served as a Board member for the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) Foundation, the Alumni Board of Directors for Delta State University. He currently serves on the boards of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Grand Center and the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Over the years he has presented more than 120 diversity and leadership presentations and workshops to array of individuals and group.
For more information about Harris-Stowe State University, visit www.hssu.edu.