ST. LOUIS, MO – BCSG 360, the organizer of the St. Louis Heritage Classic has announced that all events including the football game between Lincoln University of Missouri Blue Tigers and Kentucky State University Thorobreds have been canceled for November 23, 2019. The Ol’ Man River Classic event was originally scheduled to be held at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis.

According to a press release by the organization, due to the result of low ticket sales it was mutually agreed by BCSG 360 and both Lincoln University and Kentucky State University not to move forward with the event in 2019. BCSG 360 is working with stakeholders to execute the event for a date in 2020.

The organization goes on to thank Lincoln University, Kentucky State University, The Dome at America’s Center, local school districts, many other sponsors/strategic partners for their hard work and effort in making the event appealing to HBCU football fans across the country.

An HBCU Experience Scholarship and Career Fair still scheduled for Friday, November 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as well as the “Show Me Classic/Battle of the Band” basketball game featuring Harris-Stowe State and Lincoln University at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

For more information, contact Prentiss Hill at prentiss@bcsg360.org, 773-726-3056 or by visiting www.bcsg360.org.

Dr. Dwayne Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Harris-Stowe State University. Dr. Smith has been named interim president while the a full presidential search is completed.

ST. LOUIS, MO – Harris-Stowe State University is please to welcome Dr. Dwayne Smith as the University’s Interim President. Dr. Smith will replace Dr. Dwaun Warmack, who announced his resignation earlier this summer to pursue a presidency at another university. Dr. Smith began his tenure on August 1, 2019 and will serve until a full presidential search is completed.

Smith is no stranger to Harris-Stowe. He is currently in his 12th year as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the institution, and overall has more than 30 years of progressive administrative and faculty experience in higher education.

Dr. Smith is well-versed in accreditation, enrollment management, student success, strategic planning, faculty and staff development, and obtaining external funding. Since his arrival to Harris-Stowe, he has successfully procured more than $12 million in external funding for various university initiatives. He successfully led the institution through five major accreditations, currently serves as a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, is the Principal Investigator of a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to substantially strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the state of Missouri, and serves as a Grants Reviewer for the National Science Foundation.

Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, the institution has increased its degree offering by more than 75%, developed undergraduate research opportunities, added STEM degrees and increased its yearly degree production – ranking as one of the top five institutions in Missouri in awarding undergraduate degrees to Minority Students. Additionally, Harris-Stowe ranked in the top 40 in the nation in graduating African-Americans in Education and the top 50 nationally in graduating African-Americans in mathematics and statistics (out of more than 3,000 institutions nationally). During his tenure, Harris-Stowe has been cited in national college rankings including, U.S. News and World Report, Best Regional Midwest Colleges, the Washington Monthly College Guide Rankings, the Economist College Rankings, Niche College Rankings, and Diverse Issues Annual Degree Producer Rankings. Dr. Smith has been instrumental in developing more than 20 collaborations and partnerships with Harris-Stowe and other institutions and organizations regionally and nationally valued at more than $2 million.

Prior to Harris-Stowe, Dr. Smith served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at Avila University where he provided leadership over Student Retention, the Weekend and Evening College for adult learners, the Institutional Research Board, and Study Abroad. Dr. Smith has also served as Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Park University, was on the graduate faculty at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and as an Associate Dean in the area of multicultural affairs at Truman State University where he created Truman State’s first Diversity Department.

Dr. Smith is a Fulbright Scholar, serves on the Board of Higher Education Consortium, and Chairman of the Board of NewPot Solutions Charitable Foundation. He also serves on the Council of Chief Academic Officers, and the American Academic Leadership Institute Strategic Planning Council. His other honors includes Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in America and a member of the national honor societies, Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi.

Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D. In Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri, Columbia, M.A. in Education Administration and BS degree in Psychology from Truman State University. He also completed post-doctoral at Harvard University and participated in the Executive Leadership Academy for emerging University Presidents sponsored by the American Academic Leadership Institute.

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About Harris-Stowe State University

Harris-Stowe State University’s primary mission, as set forth in Senate Bill 153, is 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.

Photo of Harris-Stowe State University’s campus in St. Louis, Missouri.

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.

Photo of the campus of Lincoln University located in Jefferson City, Missouri. Photo credits Demetrius Johnson, Jr.

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.

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