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News Release

March 26, 2013

The Interlink Alliance hosts African American Male Roundtable 

Presidents and chancellors from the nine Interlink Alliance member institutions will address "African American Males in Higher Education: A Policy Discussion," Tuesday, April 2, at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).

Hosted by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and The Interlink Alliance Chair and Wilberforce University President Patricia Hardaway, the conference will convene planning sessions to discuss policy needed at the state and federal level for the success of African American males in higher education. Highlighting the conference will be a keynote address by Dr. Karl W. Reid, senior vice president for Academic Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the United Negro College Fund and UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, III.

“Data indicates that African American males continue to be significantly underrepresented in higher education, supporting the need for a more focused national conversation on federal and state policies which would help to reverse this disturbing trend,” McDavis said. “At The Interlink Alliance’s African American Male Roundtable, we are seeking policy solutions that will raise expectations, advance academic engagement and provide financial support for African American males, paving the way for their future success.”

The Interlink Alliance, a consortium of nine colleges and universities, was established to develop and promote faculty and student development, leadership development, research collaboration, faculty and student exchanges, as well as an African-American Male Initiative. Other goals of The Interlink Alliance include expanding student pipelines, developing new teaching strategies, improving infrastructure and raising awareness about issues affecting higher education.

Roundtable objectives include proposing strategic policy at the state and federal level to prepare African American males to be competitive and successful in an educated and diverse workforce; develop ideas leading to policies addressing the needs of African American males and developing plans to commission a paper from the roundtable that will have policy implications at the state and federal levels, among others.

Throughout his career, Reid has been a leading advocate for increasing education access for minority and low income youth. At UNCF, Reid is responsible for implementing strategies to develop and fund educational, research and capacity-building programs for its 39-member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Additionally, he leads initiatives for the scholarship and internship programs for the 8,000 UNCH scholarship students in 900 colleges and universities around the country. Prior to his tenure with UNCF, Reid served as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and director of the Office of Minority Education, where he was responsible for the academic performance and leadership development of over 800 minority students.

Hrabowski has served as president of UMBC since 1992 and was recently named by U.S. President Barak Obama to chair the newly created President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the recent report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads, and in 2008, was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked UMBC the nation’s top “Up and Coming” university the past four years (2009-12). Hrabowski serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies, and universities and school systems nationally.

In addition to Ohio University, members of the Interlink Alliance are Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia; Wilberforce University and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio; Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina; North Carolina Central University in Durham; South Carolina State University in Orangeburg; and Virginia State University in Petersburg.

The Interlink Alliance holds as its central purpose the development and preparation of African-American students to learn, live, and lead in the 21st Century. Drawing on an historic legacy of access and opportunity, member institutions will leverage synergistic strengths to foster student and faculty development. The alliance’s mission is to recruit, retain, and encourage talented individuals to achieve their full potential for the betterment of community and society.

Additional conference details and background information is available at:

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