Dr. JoAnn Haysbert is currently serving as the first chancellor and executive vice president and provost of Hampton University. She is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, and taught at Virginia State University before becoming the first Black woman president of any college or university in the state of Oklahoma when she took the reins at Langston University. She is a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and a stalwart in Black higher education.
Ulysses Byas called her "one of the most persuasive young people I ever met." At Langston, she introduced the first 10-year strategic plan in school history. She's best known for turning around institutions and motivating the faculty while securing the fiscal future of the institution.
In 2003-4, she served as acting president at Hampton, the only acting president in. theschool's history. One of her former students at Hampton described her saying, "She generally cares about students. If you tell her problems, she'll get them fixed. She is willing to learn about things. "
Young Students (K3-2nd Grade)
One of Dr. Haysbert's students said she appreciated that Dr. Haysbert cares about her students and is willing to learn new things. Do you believe your teachers care about you? What things can you teach them even at your young age, that they might not already know?
Middle Students (Grades 3-8)
When she was serving as acting president of Hampton University, Dr. Haysbert seized the student newspaper because the editor at the time refused to publish her memo on the front page. This sparked a lot of controversy around the country, and she eventually apologized, admitting that she didn't understand how censorship worked, and saying she just wanted everyone to see her memo. Can you think of a time when you made a huge mistake that upset a lot of people, because you didn't understand something?How did you handle it? What would you do differently if you could do it over again?
High School Students (Grades 9-12)
Dr. JoAnn Haysbert's mantra is centered around moving "from excellence to greatness." What does this mantra mean to you? How do you define excellence? How do you define greatness? What do you think is the relationship between the two?
A student described Dr. Haysbert as someone who genuinely cares about her students and "will" solve any problems brought her way. How would your students describe you? How are you making it clear that you care deeply for all of your students? Is your display of care impacted by any biases you may have about certain students or groups -- positive or negative? How much willingness have you shown to learn new things from your students?
About the Series
A Black Child Can was founded to create a better world for students by empowering the adults around them with the knowledge they need to advocate on their behalf. The 2022 blog series builds on this foundation, encouraging educators to participate in the discussion and reflect on the ways they're showing up for their students.