DUBROY: Shaw University Rising through partnerships

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
Dr. Tashni Dubroy

Shaw University has a robust legacy of preparing scholars to be global leaders. We’ve been in this line of business for more than 151 years, and since taking the helm in August of 2015, I’ve engaged a team who is committed to strengthening Shaw University’s value proposition and competitiveness. We have focused on becoming leaner in our operations, more selective and engaged in our recruiting practices, more strategic in our fundraising and development strategies, and more intentional in our research and development approach.Internally, these efforts have paid off in historic ways. We’ve increased freshman enrollment by 70 percent, increased philanthropy and grant funding and cut expenditures by 16 percent after only one year. We’ve received more positive media coverage over the same period than in the five years preceding it. We’ve streamlined our budgets and worked to reinvest resources in our faculty and students. Within our borders, we are realizing the benefits of process optimization and results-based management.Raleigh is one of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan areas, primed for rapid development in key industries such as clean and sustainable technology, advanced manufacturing, public health and medical research, and professional services. Nationally, Historically Black Colleges and Universities are taking advantage of industrial growth, particularly in tech development, healthcare and science research.Shaw University is increasing its standing as Raleigh’s premier workforce development resource and entrepreneurial hub for job creation and community revitalization. Our academic strengths are in technology, theology, civil service, mass communications, and public administration, and we are improving upon those strengths to create more opportunities for our students and your investment in the institution. Shaw University is uniquely positioned to address how the state of North Carolina sets its course for community revitalization, start-up culture, health care administration and building its civic infrastructure.In addition to its main campus, Shaw University has nine satellite sites across the state in Ahoskie, Kannapolis, Rocky Mount, High Point, Greenville, Durham, Fayetteville and Wilmington. We are uniquely poised to grow our campus through strategic partnerships.We entered a new partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub, American Underground. The Durham-based American Underground campus at the American Tobacco Historic District is home to Shaw’s adult degree program, CAPE (Center for Alternative Programs in Education). The university’s Rocky Mount CAPE program was moved to Rocky Mount Mills, the historic manufacturing campus owned by Capital Broadcasting Corporation and being reinvented on the banks of the Tar River.Recently, Shaw partnered with the Carolina Small Business Development Fund to establish an innovation and entrepreneurship center that will launch in January 2017. The center will serve entrepreneurs with ideas for making our economy stronger. We partnered with the Child Trust Foundation to help single parents set a new course for their children and families through earning a degree and gaining access to the wealth that accompanies a stable career.Education is the machine that powers community development. It spurs inspiration, innovation and bipartisan support for the things that matter most in communities. We’re proud that Shaw is at the center of all of these essential elements of community building. In a city known worldwide as a vibrant college town, we are meeting the expectation of financial autonomy, community value and economic productivity, while maintaining our historic brand as an institution of service and advocacy.Our world is changing quickly, and people are learning how to adapt to these dramatic changes across many areas of their lives. However, what should remain constant is that higher education is a resource which promotes adaptability and mobility across lines of age, race, political affiliation and economic status. Shaw is proud to be a leader on that front, and even prouder to welcome your support of our work to strengthen the heart of North Carolina at large, and downtown Raleigh in particular.Tashni-Ann Dubroy is president of Shaw University. She graduated from Shaw with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, earned a doctorate in physical organic chemistry from N.C. State University and a MBA from Rutgers University.