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UC and black colleges ally for summer business classes

January 24, 2012 | 12:37 pm

University of California officials on Tuesday announced a new fellowship program that will send students from historically black colleges and universities to UC campuses for summer classes and training in business and management.

UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business this summer will host the first group of 25 undergraduates from those black-oriented colleges, and in subsequent years, the location will rotate to five other UC campuses. Students will receive all-expenses paid fellowships for the two-week program. This year’s $125,000 total budget will be covered by corporate and private donations, including strong support from Anthem Blue Cross and Wells Fargo, officials said. Fundraising will continue for this year and for future fellowships, they added.

The UC Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders is designed to encourage more minority enrollment in UC graduate business schools and to boost pipelines to business careers. UC leaders say it does not violate state law that forbids racial preferences in state university practices because the historically black colleges are now integrated and students of any race can apply and be accepted to the new program. “It will be a colorblind review,” said UC system provost Lawrence Pitts.

Pitts participated in the announcement ceremony in Pasadena at the memorial honoring Jackie and Mack Robinson, the African American brothers and athletes who were raised in Pasadena and helped break racial barriers in baseball and the Olympics. Other participants included such program advocates as state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) and Joe Hopkins, publisher of the African American community newspaper Pasadena Journal.

Founded during times of segregated education, about 100 historically black colleges and universities, public and private, exist across the country, with many in the Southeast. Among the best known are Morehouse College in Atlanta and Howard University in Washington, D.C.

More information about the program and how to meet its March 30 deadline: http://sieml.universityofcalifornia.edu/

--Larry Gordon