Morning Briefing - March 4, 2021


Google’s approach to historically Black schools helps explain why there are few Black engineers in Big Tech

For years, Google’s recruiting department used a college ranking system to set budgets and priorities for hiring new engineers. Some schools such as Stanford University and MIT were predictably in the “elite” category, while state schools or institutions that churn out thousands of engineering grads annually, such as Georgia Tech, were assigned to “tier 1” or “tier 2.”

But one category of higher education was missing from Google’s ranking system, according to several current and former Google employees involved in recruitment, despite the company’s pledges to promote racial diversity — historically Black colleges and universities, also known as HBCUs. That framework meant that those schools were at a lower priority for hiring, even though Google had said in 2014 that it wanted to partner with HBCUsas a way to recruit more minority talent. (Washington Post)

NBA details All-Star support for HBCUs, communities impacted by COVID-19

It has been nearly a full calendar year since the NBA announced it was suspending the 2019-20 season due to concerns over the growing coronavirus pandemic; a time when there were many unknowns about COVID-19, the trajectory that the pandemic would take and how much it would impact people’s lives.

A year later, we have come to grips with the stark disparities within every facet of American life revealed in the form of a virus. In food security, health outcomes, and education – just to name a few – every racial gap that exists has been deepened by COVID-19. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a gleaming example of this fundamental truth. Generations and a global pandemic later, these historic disparities have been grossly exacerbated. (National Basketball Association)

Former Southern employee withdraws from SUNO executive search

Brandon Dumas removed his name from being a finalist for a high-ranking position at a campus in the Southern University System late Wednesday as word spread WBRZ was finalizing a report about his prospective hiring in the wake of Dumas' firing from Southern in 2017.

After being fired from the Baton Rouge campus, Dumas unsuccessfully sued Southern.  Until Wednesday, he was hoping to return to the university system. (WBRZ)

FAMU planning return to in-person classes this fall; limited grad ceremonies at Bragg Stadium

Florida A&M University is planning to return to majority in-person classes this fall and reverting back to full on-campus housing, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maurice Edington said Wednesday.

The university also is planning to hold in-person commencements for Spring 2021 graduates, with two ceremonies each day April 23-25. (Tallahassee Democrat)

Country trio launches scholarship fund for Tennessee, Georgia HBCUs

Trio Lady A has launched a LadyAID Scholarship Fund to help students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The scholarship will first focus on students residing in Tennessee and Georgia, the home states of Lady A’s members Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley.

Applications are open to students with a family household income of $60,000 or less who reside in Tennessee or Georgia, and who attend any HBCU across the country. Though the scholarship is renewable, students must reapply each year. (Country Music Television)