Saturday, March 3, 2012
Forty years after a major milestone for African-Americans at UNC, the University’s black males are suffering from exceptionally low graduation rates
Richard Epps, who is now deceased, became the University’s first black student body president 40 years ago, during a time when barely 60 black students walked the campus, said Pam Campbell-Chisholm, a friend of Epps. Epps’ success was a testament to UNC’s growing accessibility for African-Americans. But now University administrators have shifted their focus to a different concern — fostering academic success for black males while also maintaining the historic accessibility. UNC’s four-year graduation rate is just 49.2% for black males, compared to a 70.8% graduation rate for white males, according to a 2010 study. The four-year graduation rate for black females is 71%, about 22% higher than their male counterparts. Meanwhile, there is about a 10% difference between the graduation rates of white males and white females.