But the definition of an HBCU is expanding, Chancellor James Anderson says in the accompanying video.
“We like to say FSU is an institution that has a great historical foundation that primarily was African-American,” Anderson says. “However, we recognize that in order to be a competitive, diverse, global institution, we have to change how we look, how we market ourselves, how we brand ourselves.
“Those two have to go together. Your legacy as an HBCU cannot stand alone anymore,” Anderson says.
That also means that no longer are 98% of FSU’s student’s black, the chancellor says, and no longer are its faculty and staff more than 90% black.
“Our alumni and most of our folks who work here recognize that the kind of environment we are working in now has to account for inclusion, has to account for diversity, has to account for globalism. And in doing so, we’ll make sure that we really sustain that historical brand and move into other things,” Anderson says.
“We’ve chosen to admit and produce successes among non-traditional populations. We are diverse by race. We are diverse by age. Of the 17 UNC campuses, we are the oldest – average population about 25. We admit more transfers than anyone else – over 50 percent of our students are transfers. We admit more military – over 20 percent of our students are military.”
In turn, that diverse student body has implications for the kinds of courses the university offers and for internships it arranges for students.
“All of that now becomes part and parcel of the new definition of an HBCU,” Anderson says.