Odiase is one of two valedictorians at Fisk University, a historically black college in Nashville, Tennessee.
Classes started at Howard University this week. Students are returning after a summer in which the historically black university in Washington, D.C. has been in the news.
In April, a Howard trustee warned in a provocative letter released to the press that the school “will not be here in three years if we don’t make some crucial decisions now.”
Thirteen deans from Howard followed up in June with a letter to the board of trustees that said “fiscal mismanagement is doing irreparable harm to the University’s academic programs, institutional reputation and future viability.”
The school has announced it will cut 75 positions.
On a more positive note, Howard recently announced plans to launch an online university that will offer degree and certificate programs.
A number of historically black colleges and universities have been hit hard by the recession, but historically black schools are also facing the fact that black students have more choices for college than in the past.