ERIC Number: EJ956219
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 19
Reinventing Black Colleges in Postethnic America: The Case of Knoxville College
Hatton, Barbara R.
New Directions for Higher Education, n156 p49-64 Win 2011
As America moves toward the ideals of its founding documents, some scholars have termed it "postethnic America," where culture rather than color or ethnicity will have more influence over the country's affairs. In postethnic America, the country will realize that all "are created equal," and no groups will be treated differently with regard to legal rights and privileges. A salient question for institutions, specifically small, private colleges founded expressly to counter the race-based and gender-based discrimination supported by law in past eras, is this: Will these institutions have a viable future in postethnic America? One answer asserts that the survival of such colleges is a cultural imperative, both for these threatened institutions and for the good of the United States. Knoxville College's response to the prospect of its imminent demise in 1995 provides a timely case study of organizational survival and renewal among small colleges facing uncertain futures. As president of Knoxville College from 1997 to 2005, the author determined that the college must remake itself after its near collapse and the loss of its regional accreditation in 1996, by becoming the nation's first urban work college. To do so would require returning to its original mission that integrated learning, work, and service. Knoxville College's history during this period reveals much about the factors that create opportunities for institutional renewal. The setbacks the college suffered as it attempted its reinvention show how some of the missing elements in such efforts can threaten or limit the success of similar initiatives. In this article, the author recounts the struggles and the innovative strategies used to turn the college around.
Descriptors: Black Colleges, Cultural Pluralism, Institutional Survival, Educational History, Educational Development, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Strategic Planning, Politics of Education, Organizational Change, Institutional Mission, Change Agents, Case Studies, Cultural Maintenance, College Presidents, Reputation, Recognition (Achievement)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States