It’s Time for Change

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Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have played a crucial role in American education, providing opportunities for African American students to receive quality higher education when options were limited. These institutions have produced influential leaders, innovators, and changemakers who have contributed significantly to various fields. However, HBCUs face unique challenges that hinder their growth and impact, with one of the most pressing issues being the ongoing funding challenge. 

HBCUs often struggle with financial stability due to a significant funding gap compared to predominantly white institutions (PWIs). This disparity arises from various factors, including historical and systemic inequalities, limited endowments, and reduced access to external funding sources. 

How can HBCUs innovatively move forward? It starts with change.

At the core of every HBCU is the richness of its culture and strong sense of community. Students, faculty, and staff are all part of a close-knit, supportive, and welcoming community. One question school administrators must contemplate is, How to incorporate innovative strategies from external vendors without losing the best part of the school- its culture? 

If we’re honest, change isn’t easy and can be scary. As a business consultant, I know this too well. Although change is difficult, we must remain relevant and impactful. 

Change management provides a structured approach and set of processes to transition individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. The typical steps in change management include: 

  • Define the need for change to identify and clearly articulate the reasons and drivers behind the need for change; 
  • Develop a change management strategy that outlines the approach, objectives, and critical activities for managing the change; 
  • Formulate a change management team to oversee and drive the initiative; 
  • Conduct a change impact assessment on various aspects of the organization, such as processes, systems, roles, responsibilities, and culture; 
  • Communicate the plan; and 
  • Provide training and support. 

Let’s face it. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Transitioning to where you want the organization to be regarding using innovative strategies to acquire and retain students and building robust online and in-person programs will take time. And equally important, you want to ensure that you don’t lose the core of who you are along the way. I get it! If you want to learn how to implement change management in your organization, email We’re here to help! 

Danielle Jennings, DBA, MBA.

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