Jul. 25, 2019
Dr. David Wilson, A Visionary Educator His Focus Is On Tomorrow As Should Be Every HBCU
When I was a rising sophomore at then Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland in the Fall,1974. I became engaged in the battle that the Student Government Association deemed vital to the survival of Morgan State College. The battle for university status. It seemed the entire collective base of the students, professors, and the administrative staff was fighting this battle for Morgan State's survival.
The state of Maryland had consistently disrespected Morgan State College. The had the audacity to even open a University in Baltimore County providing that institution with university status. It was clear that the state had its eyes focused on dissembling the historically black colleges in the state. The clearly showed financial favoritism to the white schools in Maryland. They held Towson State College higher in status than either Morgan or Coppin. They virtually ignored Bowie State College. When you looked towards the Eastern Shore, Salisbury College was held in higher esteem than Maryland State College. Those white politicians who controlled the bankrolls of university and college funding slighted each and every black state college.
It was the intention of Maryland to slice up our black historical institutions into tiny satellites that would become divisions of the University of Maryland. We fought that battle successfully and won the university status for our beloved Morgan State University. However, let's understand this the battle for Morgan State University's survival isn't over. Back in the 1970s', 80s' and 90s' the idea that the brick and mortar institutions will eventually go the way of shopping malls and become extinct was not even imagined.
Yet, it's 2019 in our historically black colleges and universities and the within the next quarter of a century the real possibility exists that our brick and mortar institutions will not be the primary source of delivering education to our students by 2044. It is going to be imperative that today's college administrators have detailed plans for a diverse transformation of how a college education will be delivered. I cannot see technology slowing down for educational facilities to catch up. The old ideas of campus life, dormitories, and brick and mortar buildings will eventually become passe. Not because of student or university disinterest but because of the growth of informational delivery services.
The President of Morgan State University, David Wilson, is engaged right now in forecasting that educational survival transformation. Each and every HBCU needs to be focused on how a college educational classroom will engage its students in 25 years or even less. You think that the world's geographic borders are small now. Just think about how small they will be when transportation technological growth exceeds the time constraints that are currently shrinking. The fact that ecological concerns will have to been aligned with instructional concerns. Where it will be significantly cheaper to be educated at homes than on college campuses. These are the concerns that are in reality major concerns that must be addressed. If the HBCU's don't address these issues and effectively forecast for them. They will no longer deliver education to the next generations of minority student. Not because of explicit racist policies but because of the economics of the newly designed educational policies and procedures.
This evening I wrote this post and expanded on it responding to Dr, David Wilson's editorial in the Baltimore Sun requesting that the University of Baltimore merge with Morgan State University and become Morgan University Downtown Baltimore. I believe that this is simply one of the first steps in ensuring the survival of Morgan State University. There will be many more decisions to be made that will create a national, and international campus for Morgan State University. It and other colleges, HBCU's just like it must become universities and colleges without borders.
The brick and mortar universities are going to be mostly nonexistent within the next quarter of a century. In order for Morgan State University to survive in the future generations of colleges and universities, it must be able to make intelligent compromises as well as intelligent alignments. The combination of a downtown university facility will benefit Morgan in both the short as well as long term. Morgan will need multiple satellite sites on the African continent, Latin American nations, the Carribean Islands and the nations of South America. These sites will not be comprised of brick and mortar but will be informational and knowledge-based delivery sites. They will allow partnering and on-site research to solve the complex problems not only in Baltimore City but across the vast terrain of the globe.
Morgan Baltimore 2 will be just the beginning of this educational transformation. If you think that a quarter of a century from now the majority of students attending Morgan will bound by a campus, you will be sadly mistaken. That’s why this idea is a sound venture. It will allow Morgan to engage more students in a non-traditional format. In order for any HBCU to survive in the new generation of learning environments, we will need to make smart future-oriented decisions. This is a smart move but the next moves over the next decade will determine the fate of brick and mortar schools like Morgan. Let’s support David Wilson’s visions for the future of our great university.
Dr. Wilson hasn’t lead us astray yet. As a matter of fact, he’s been on point 100% of the time. You know because Dr. Wilson truly understands the complexity of future educational delivery processes that are soon to be part of a new day in college educational instruction. Many of us reading my writing will be either middle-aged, elderly, or passed on by 2046. Yet the cycle of educational advances must start to accelerate in HBCU's or otherwise these institutions will evaporate from the nation. Partnering and aligning once seen as an enemy of our community must now be envisioned as a savior solution.