October 11, 2016 | Written by: Tashni-Ann Dubroy
Categorized: IBM Impact Grants
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Strategic planning is a key element for growth in any industry. But in higher education, the efficacy of campuses can be changed almost instantly by the industries we serve. Institutions are adjusting to new realities in technology, student profiles and funding with a greater emphasis on securing and maintaining corporate partnerships, and Shaw University is keeping pace, in part, through its historic selection for an IBM Impact Grant.
As technology continues to advance and evolve, so does the national need for skilled professionals with specific key competencies who will utilize technology to improve the communities where they live and work. At multiple levels, the consulting expertise and tools provided by the Impact Grant helps to meet the demand for these professionals with Shaw’s emerging profile as a competitive computer science workforce development resource.
Since returning to my alma mater to serve as president in 2014, I found Shaw to be exactly as it was when I began my journey as an undergraduate – a community that brought out the best in students from diverse communities, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and economic profiles. In the last several months, the institution has implemented several initiatives to strengthen this ideal, while mirroring IBM’s long-standing approach to corporate sustainability:
- Merit-based support for faculty research;
- New partnerships with area universities and corporate entities to bolster STEM output;
- New and accelerated degree programs to meet needs of students and reduce student debt;
- Philanthropic programs that coalesce corporate and social goals.
Each of these elements is a part of our “EPIC” vision statement for 21st century industrial worth. Through Entrepreneurial thinking, Positioning and Presence, Innovation and Customer Care, IBM’s historic grant reinforces shared goals of social responsibility through education, environment, health, literacy, language and culture. As the first historically black college or university to receive an IBM Impact Grant for strategic planning, our faculty and students know that they are receiving the world’s best advice and insight across our modules for academic development and professional training.
But most important, the IBM Impact Grant paves a path for future relationships between large corporations and historically black institutions. It expands the view of how businesses define social responsibility, specifically along planes of industrial development and social innovation. We could not imagine a better institutional partner than IBM, or a better time for investment.
Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy is president of Shaw University, the first historically black institution of higher education in the Southern United States.
IBM Taps Shaw University to Receive $56,000 In-Kind Grant
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