Spelman College, Morehouse College and Prairie View A&M University announced that they are the recipients of $3 million in grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Rockefeller Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of faculty on their campuses.

Excellence and student success at the historically Black colleges and universities rely on pedagogically innovative, research active and creative faculty who provide students with the tools that enable them to take responsibility for their learning. The grants allow the colleges to provide an array of faculty support structures and require the three institutions to share best practices with each other and with the broader HBCU community.

Prairie View received $1 million from Mellon. Carnegie awarded $1 million to Morehouse and $500,000 to Spelman, which also received $500,000 from Rockefeller.

“Faculty are the heart of a liberal arts education. At historically Black colleges and universities, heavy teaching loads often get in the way of professional development, time for research and/or creative production. Yet, time for these activities not only keeps faculty current in their fields, but provides undergraduate research opportunities for our students,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “We are grateful for the foresight of the Carnegie, Rockefeller and Mellon foundations in making this historic gift to Spelman, Morehouse and Prairie View. We anticipate using a portion of the funds as well to document and disseminate the innovative teaching strategies that have accounted for the academic success of Spelman students.”

Expanding Development
The colleges’ plan to deepen and expand faculty development through the generous grants and support the institutions’ innovative and effective teaching, excellent academic outcomes, robust research and creative activity.

Spelman College: Academic excellence requires faculty excellence. The Carnegie  Corporation and Rockefeller grants enable Spelman to provide enhanced support to its excellent faculty by investing in their continuing development as teachers and scholars. Specifically, the grant supports faculty plans to grow the curriculum in areas of emerging importance, and nurtures their trajectories as leaders on campus and in their respective fields. Spelman’s strategic plan identifies faculty as “The Spelman Difference” because the college’s distinguished and dedicated faculty are the drivers of student success. These generous grants will enable Spelman to expand our support of our faculty and to share with Morehouse and Prairie View what is learned over the next five years about the strategies that work to recruit and retain excellent faculty in an era of heightened market competition.

Spelman will use the funds to support faculty success, recruitment and retention efforts through the awarding of “Distinguished Scholar/Maker” grants and course-release funding for academic departments, seed grants to develop curriculum in emerging areas like data science and analytics, research grants for global learning and accessing international archives, furthering strategic partnerships that advance faculty research and grantsmanship training for junior and mid-career faculty. The funding will allow Spelman to create a sustainable action plan for development, host off-campus writer/maker retreats for faculty to focus on scholarly and creative endeavors common to the academy, including completing books, book proposals, articles, manuscripts and screenplays. Spelman will also use the awards to gain membership in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity for professional development, training and mentoring through the organization, which has a proven record of success in improving productivity.

“The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support this effort to ensure historically Black colleges and universities continue to thrive and promote equal opportunity and academic excellence to its diverse community of scholars and alumni,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “This mission is as important now as it was when John D. Rockefeller Sr. and Laura Spelman Rockefeller first committed resources to Spelman College in 1882. Today, we honor their legacy with a grant to support the development of the next generation of women leaders at Spelman.”