WASHINGTON -- As president of Morehouse College, Robert Franklin knows a thing or two about educating black men. That's why he was here last week to participate -- alongside pastors, business executives and media commentators -- in a session at the annual meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation on the crisis facing black boys and the role of African-American men in helping to solve it.
Franklin, who was named to head one of the nation's oldest and most respected historically black colleges and universities in 2007, is not sanguine about the problems. He calls the low college graduation rate of black men a "national scandal" and, at the black caucus session Friday, talked about what other institutions might learn from Morehouse's successes and approaches (while acknowledging that the institution has far to go itself, with its graduation rate hovering in the mid-50s).
As he prepared for Friday's event, he spoke with Inside Higher Ed's editors about the plight of black men, Morehouse's efforts to improve the academic and other success of its students, and the extent to which he and some of his peers -- including John Silvanus Wilson, the Obama administration's point man on historically black colleges, like Franklin a "Morehouse man" -- represent a new breed of historically black college leader.
A podcast of the interview can be heard here.