The Defender continued its Conversations series recently, this time with HBCU presidents Dr. Austin Lane from Texas Southern University and Dr. Ruth Simmons from Prairie View A & M University.  Defender Publisher and CEO Sonceria “Sonny” Messiah Jiles interviewed the pair about a number of issues, including opportunities and challenges, enrollment, finances, professor tenure, and what lies ahead for each of the schools.

The event, sponsored by Amergy Bank, Kelsey Seybold and Luby’s Fuddrucker’s Restaurant, welcomed community members to submit some of the interview questions. In the engaging-hour interview, the presidents covered a number of topics. Click the links to hear what they had to say.

Conversation 1:  Opportunities and challenges facing HBCUS

Conversation 2: Addressing enrollment and the State’s six-year graduation rate

Conversation 3: Biggest new projects on the drawing board

Conversation 4: The Value of Alumni and Corporate Giving

Conversation 5: Shaping the financial picture

Conversation 6:  Encouraging African American males to enter the medical field

Conversation 7: Top state initiatives in 2019

Conversation 8: HBCUs closing, importance of leadership and recommendation for an HBCU Summit

Conversation 9: Perspectives on tenure and promoting professors

Conversation 10: Differences between leading an HBCU vs PWI

Conversation 11: Keeping TSU independent

Video Production by: Daptwa Productions – David Wall