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Breaking Barriers: HBCU Legacy, Future Investments, and North Carolina A&T’s Success Model

Jan 30, 2024


Explore the enduring legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) despite historic underfunding and discuss future investment visions. Highlight the vital partnership between libraries and faculty, drawing inspiration from North Carolina’s A&T successful model.

Delve into the success story of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), exemplifying a decade-long trend of growth. With a current enrollment of 13,883 students for the 2023-24 academic year, a 3% increase from the previous year, NC A&T solidifies its position as the nation’s largest HBCU for the 10th consecutive year. Noteworthy factors include a surge in North Carolina students, a significant rise in doctoral students, and improved retention rates among first-year students.

Underscore the tangible impact of HBCUs on the workforce, with statistics revealing their contribution to 27% of African American STEM graduates, 50% of African-American lawyers, 40% of American engineers, 50% of African-American public school teachers, and 80% of African-American judges.

Join us in exploring the success and future prospects of NC A&T as it positions itself for continued growth and prominence in higher education.


Vicki Coleman has been the Dean of Library Services at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) since 2011. Prior to joining N.C. A&T, she held leadership positions at Arizona State University, the University of Virginia, the University of Kansas and at Texas A&M University. Coleman is a member of the American Library Association and the HBCU Library Alliance and is the past president of the Association of 1890 Land-Grant Library Deans/Directors Association. She serves on the Editorial Board of portal: Libraries and the Academy and recently served on the American Library Association – Center for the Future of Libraries Advisory Group and the Association of College and Research Libraries- 2021 President’s Program Planning Committee. Coleman holds a BS in mechanical engineering from N.C. A&T and a MILS from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Dr. Jelani M. Favors is a passionate educator, an award-winning author, and the Henry E. Frye Distinguished Professor of History at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where he also serves as the inaugural director for the Center of Excellence for Social Justice. He has received major fellowships in support of his research that includes an appointment as a Humanities Writ Large Fellow at Duke University in 2013, and he was an inaugural recipient of the Mellon HBCU Fellowship at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke in 2009.