When Keivan Stassun arrived at Vanderbilt University’s department of physics and astronomy in 2003 as an assistant professor, he saw neighboring, historically black Fisk University as an obvious collaborator. The two institutions are two miles apart in Nashville. “Look, we have two good things here and they’re practically touching," he recalls thinking. "There must be something we can do with what we’ve got.”
WASHINGTON – Historically black colleges and universities are expected to play a crucial role in improving the nation’s educational attainment levels by 2020, but they are likely to face some hard truths in the process. Speaking to a group of educators and policy analysts here Thursday, the man leading the White House initiative on HBCUs said he’s mining data that may show both what’s wrong and what’s right with these institutions.
“We are not going to run from whatever news there is, good or bad,” said John Silvanus Wilson Jr., the initiative’s director.