Office Of The President
For more than a century, hundreds of students have arrived at Huston-Tillotson University to begin their journey toward the goal and rewards of a college education. Many, but fewer than in earlier days, are first generation college students. For more than 137 years, dedicated professors have challenged eager HT students to see in themselves the talent and potential for success. Since 1875, the sons and daughters of HT have made a dramatic difference in the quality of life for the communities and people they touch.
First generation students are often faced with academic challenges. These students are often easily intimidated and overwhelmed when faced with new academic demands.
Huston-Tillotson provides diverse students a proven environment for academic success. In the fall of 2011, the ethnicity of the student body was 69% African American, 19% Hispanic, 6% Anglo, 3% International, and less than 1% multiracial. The University provides access to an affordable higher education. Ninety-four percent of HT’s undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid.
True to its roots, Huston-Tillotson embraces the responsibility of intellectually challenging well prepared students while offering the less prepared an opportunity to reach their full potential. This sweeping commitment leads us to recruit across the spectrum of ability. If that young person has the aptitude to succeed, we want to be a vehicle for their success.
Larry L. Earvin, Ph.D.
- Harvard University, Cambridge Institute for Educational Management, Certificate
- Emory University, Doctor of Philosophy
- Georgia State University, Master of Science
- Clark College, Bachelor of Arts
Recent Honors And Awards
- National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Award in Education (2006)
- Christian A. Johnson Educational Leadership Program
- Links of Austin Award for Leadership in International Affairs (2003)
- Texan of the Year in Higher Education (2002)
- President, Huston-Tillotson University, Austin (2000 to present)
- Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Clark Atlanta University (1993-2000)
- Associate Provost and Acting Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Clark Atlanta University (1992-1993)
- Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Clark Atlanta University (1989-1990)
- Dean of the College, Clark Atlanta University (1988-1989)
- Interim Dean of Faculty and Instruction, Clark College (1987-1988)
- Chair, Department of Social Science, and tenured professor of political science, Clark College (1981-1987)
- Associate Director, Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy, Clark College (1981-1984)
- Assistant Director, Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy, Clark College (1975-1981)
- Assistant Director, Atlanta Housing Policy Study, City of Atlanta and Clark College (1973-1975)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Chair
- The Long Center for the Performing Arts
- Executive Committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. (NAICU)
- Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Inc. (ICUT)
- Council for Higher Education of the United Church of Christ
- Amistad Research Center (New Orleans)
- Capital Area United Way
- National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (Washington, D.C.)
- Texas Association for Developing Colleges (Dallas)
- Texas Campus Compact
- United Negro College Fund (Fairfax, VA)
- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
- Austin Area Research Organization
- Commission on Black Colleges of The United Methodist Church (Chair)
- Gamma Gamma Boulé, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
- Philosophical Society of Texas
- University Senate of The United Methodist Church
- Wesley United Methodist Church
Board Of Directors
- Austin Area Urban League
- Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. (Treasurer)
- Alpha Phi Alpha Building Foundation
- Greenlights for Nonprofit Success (Austin)
- Literacy Volunteers of America – Metropolitan Atlanta
- Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Butler Street YMCA, Atlanta, Board of Managers
- Clark College Trustees
- Gammon Theological Seminary, Board of Visitors
- American Council on Education
- Executive Council of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
- 100 Black Men of America
- American Academy of Political science
- American Educational Research Association
- Atlanta Consortium for Urban Research and Evaluation
- National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
- Faculty Resource Network (New York University), University Liaison
- Leadership Alliance (Brown University)
- Project Kaleidoscope (Washington, D.C.), Senior Advisor
Articles And Editorials
- Austin American-Statesman, January 31, 2014
- Tribeza magazine, August 2004, “Perspective”
- Austin American-Statesman, February 2004, Black History Month Editorial
Austin American-Statesman Editorial
Why a black university today, you ask? Let me tell you why
By Larry L. Earvin, Ph.D.
A forbearer of today’s Huston-Tillotson University began educating freed slaves and their sons and daughters on Bluebonnet Hill in East Austin. Now in our 139th year, we are alive and well.
With God’s blessing, we will continue that mission for many years to come, with greater effectiveness, innovation and service to rapidly changing community needs.
Yet, we suddenly find our work threatened. First, 70 percent of our students receive federal aid, and now Congress is scrutinizing Pell Grants and other federal programs that benefit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This comes after “sequestration” of funds by Congress in 2012 put the squeeze on HBCUs. Huston-Tillotson is one of 105 HBCUs in our nation.
House Republicans have also declined to take up the president’s budget, which includes $228 million for HBCUs.
We are even hearing doubts from traditional supporters about whether a need remains for black colleges. “With major state universities and elite colleges aggressively pursuing minorities,” they ask, “what is the argument for a historically black institution?”
A new challenge comes from President Barack Obama, who has proposed a college rating system that by 2018 would dispense money based on a set of metrics measuring outcomes.
Believe me, at HT we are determined to become more effective. I have no goals higher than increasing our six-year graduation rate, which is unacceptably low at 25 percent; increasing retention; restraining debt that becomes such a burden to our students and their parents; and strengthening our courses in science, technology, engineering and math to further prepare our students for the workplace.
But context is important in the application of metrics. We do not target the top 10 percent of students. We open our arms and accept 90 percent of students who arrive with a high school diploma, and, therefore, our graduation rates will be lower and are hard to compare with those of elite universities.
Our endowment is a modest $10 million, a sliver of the $18.2 billion endowment of the University of Texas System as of February 2013.
Perhaps our modest financial predicament can be laid at our own doorstep. In the past we have not reached out as aggressively as we should to reach corporate and personal philanthropy in the Austin community, where more than 2,000 of our graduates live, work, pay taxes and raise their children.
But for those who suggest HBCUs are mere artifacts of a distant and racist past, a past now purified by law and good intentions, let me firmly disagree. The need for HBCUs has never been greater than it is today.
Yes, the leaders of major universities have done extraordinary work in making a place for high-achieving minority students. Yet, we know that access to these public institutions is increasingly at risk because of a U.S. Supreme Court that looks skeptically at affirmative action, and hints that its end will come.
We — Huston-Tillotson and our sister HBCUs — are a different force in our society.
At Huston-Tillotson, the minority student is at the center of the educational experience; he or she is not a student assigned to a special category, no matter how importantly that category is regarded and cultivated.
Majority institutions can be extraordinary opportunities for the top 10 percent of minority high school graduates, but they can be rugged places for minorities who work hard but are often first-generation college students coming from families where there is little home technology or other opportunities of affluence. Those students can feel isolated among more privileged students.
At Huston-Tillotson, we know we must change and adapt. We are not looking for a free ride from the taxpayer. We have opened our doors to all young people, and our student population now is 17 percent Hispanic. The black majority is at 77 percent, with the balance being white or of mixed race or foreign nationality.
We live in a time when a high school diploma no longer guarantees a job. Not even a bachelor’s degree assures employment. The jobless rate for blacks remains twice that of whites in an economy that struggles with job creation.
Now is not the time to weaken support for HBCUs, which could mean closing a key door of opportunity in our great American democracy. Now is the time to cast open these doors wider. That, I submit, is a challenge for all citizens who believe in protecting economic and social mobility in our nation.
Dr. Larry L. Earvin has been president and chief executive officer of Huston-Tillotson since 2000, and is the fifth person to lead the institution. Article published in the Austin American-Statesman.
Larry L. Earvin, Ph.D.
President and CEO