After years of financial trouble and heartbreaking enrollment decline, Cheyney University, one of the oldest Black institutions of higher education in America, is on the verge of fiscal ruin and in danger of losing its accreditation.
Cheyney’s problems have sparked rallies, protests and an outpouring of support and outrage from state senators, alumni and others.
“On the one hand, it’s tragic. On the flip side, this didn’t happen overnight,” said Johnny Taylor Jr., the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “While there were all sorts of other factors, including a bad economy in 2008 and state and federal [agencies] that failed to help, this still reflects badly on Cheyney’s board of trustees and the university’s president.”
Founded in 1837, by Richard Humphreys, a reformed slave trader, Cheyney represents more than just a place of learning, said Pennsylvania State Representative Stephen Kinsey, who recently joined students and others at a rally for the school. (New York Amsterdam News)