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The Wesley Peachtree Institute

To Increase the Strength and Resilience of Minority-Serving Institutions

The Wesley Peachtree Institute

Improved Strength and Resilience for Institutions of Higher Education

Our Mission

Our mission is to perform research, study, and analysis that yields actionable information which we can share with institutions of higher education to help them achieve their missions. Read more about our goals here.


Our Vision

While we seek to benefit the sector as a whole, our primary focus is on minority-serving institutions. To that end, we offer practical training and consulting for executives, administrators, managers, and staff.


Our Ethics

Integrity transparency, accuracy, completeness, and use of sound methodologies are the guiding principles for our research, studies, and investigations.


Our Team

Our use of seasoned experts and professionals committed to imparting practical work applications provides a sound foundation for our training sessions and materials.

WPI Organizational Chart
Board of Directors
Executive Director
Administrative Assistants
Training Coordinators

Our Goals

Increasing Success Across the Sector

Leveraging Information
The higher education landscape is covered with meetings and conventions about facilities, academics, gender equity, racism, tenure, student disciplinary problems, student retention, athletics, many other topics. Typically, in any given year, a wealth of information is presented at conventions, forums, symposiums, and meetings. Attendees can keep abreast on whatever is topical for the group convened. Conversations often continue in the hallways, lounges, and bars. Participants dissect, weigh, judge, and deconstruct the substance of the presentations. Whatever the particular case, these gatherings generally provide valuable information and insights. Yet, it would be difficult for any one individual to attend all the conventions. What's needed is a clearinghouse of sorts to make information available so that the benefits are attainable.

The WPI plan includes measures designed to facilitate dialogues on successful tactics; on the implications of new events; and on where further research is needed. WPI will offer coordinated meets to address the needs of nonprofit minority-serving institutions to help develop and quantify unique problems and challenges to assist in their missions of educating disadvantaged youth. More importantly, WPI will conduct and make available its own research to help minority-serving institutions: solidify their fiscal foundations, enhance leadership and administrative practices, and ultimately improve student outcomes.

There are few issues in higher education more critical and political than retention and ultimately graduation rates. There is a considerable body of literature that discusses and describes the problem, and even some research that points to variables that might be associated with it. There are countless untested or at best, unproven strategies as to what needs to be done. Each institution has a commitment to improving its results, but is constrained by mission and resources.

To address this issue, WPI's goals includes the establishment of a central library of materials relevant for and accessible by HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. WPI will also create a detailed national database of information to help institutions combat low retention and completion rates. The database will include information on exit points correlated to those exiting at each point.

WPI's goals also include strengthening institutional research capabilities at minority-serving institutions. Specifically, WPI will sponsor research on data-driven, actionable propositions to improve retention. Field testing of data-driven research-based models will be published, shared, and used in consultations.

Our focus is on assisting minority-serving institutions in implementing the U.S. Department of Education mandates for higher education while positioning themselves achieve sustainable excellence by increasing enrollment, retention, and graduation rates.

The Wesley Peachtree Institute

Improved Strength and Resilience for Institutions of Higher Education

The Wesley Peachtree Institute. Our name may sound familiar. Yes, we are affiliated with the Wesley Peachtree Group, CPAs (WPG), a firm long known for providing financial, accounting, staffing, and consulting to institutions of higher education. For decades, WPG has specialized in addressing the needs of minority-serving institutions. The newly formed Wesley Peachtree Institute (WPI) is further evidence of WPG's dedication and support of MSIs. WPI is the vision of Don K. Murphy, CEO and managing associate of WPG.

The Wesley Peachtree Institute is a non profit corporation organized to provide information, research, training, and consultation for administrators and staff of minority-serving institutions. Our vision is to provide research data that will help strengthen minority-serving institutions. Our efforts will initially be focused on improving retention and graduation rates, ensuring administrators are financially literate and have a firm grasp of current economic practices, improving financial management skills, enhancing leadership capabilities, and refining administrative and customer service practices. A key component of these services is information sharing. We hope to ignite and inspire dialogue that strengthens the entire sector. Be sure to attend the annual WPG HBCU Forum where we share strategies for success.

A New Vision for Stronger Institutions


Accreditation Preparation

As higher education specialists, we have in-depth experience with accreditation. The full range of audit services that we provide reflects the essential expertise critical to the accreditation process.

Our audit products not only comply with generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP) and mandatory reporting practices, but also are constructed to readily provide documentation of that compliance. Such documentation is essential to navigating the accreditation processes successfully.


Procedure Calibration

We provide consulting services that help institutions craft work flows, implement standardized procedures, and cultivate a culture of compliance with evidence. These services ensure timely financial audits and federal (A133) compliance audits. Specific services include:

  • •  Formatting financial for review
  • •  Defining assets (plant) and liabilities (plant debt) for presentation
  • •  Reviewing your compliance narratives
  • •  Assisting in developing compliance narratives

Response Facilitation

We provide consulting services that facilitate focused, concise responses for monitoring reports. Our services are particularly geared to address time-sensitive needs.

Specific services include:

  • •  Analyzing a finding of noncompliance
  • •  Analyzing fluctuations in financial indicators
  • •  Identifying additional financial indicators that exist
  • •  Responding to monitoring reports

Financial Literacy

Building on core strengths

The importance of a strong economic foundation can not be overstated. While their missions are not rooted in profit, a college or university that does not keep adequate reserves jeopardizes its very existence.

College Finances
In higher education, senior leaders and administrators seldom arrive at their positions with a good and actionable understanding of college finances. With the exception of chief financial officers, individuals come to their roles with strengths in other areas and often have little experience with financial matters.

WPI will offer broad support to improve financial literacy at nonprofit organizations. WPI will offer workshops specifically designed to assit nonprofit colleges and universities by providing training and professional and development opportunities for administrators, directors, and staff.

Financial Management

Protecting Students and Institutions

Whether it is a player eligibility mix-up, employee misconduct, late audit submission, or maintaining insufficient cash reserves, noncompliance with the myriad of rules and regulations can be costly.

Acts of Congress and federal rule-making constantly add to regulations regarding how colleges and universities can spend, account for, and report on their financial resources. Rating agencies, accrediting agencies, and the NCAA regularly create new ratios, presentations, and reporting formats. The administrative burden can be overwhelming. With so many demands, CFOs and their staffs must retool and run fast just to stay in place.

WPI will offer financial management workshops and educational programs designed to ensure institutions have the requisite knowledge to keep up with non-academic administrative demands. Our programs will help onboard new CFOs, provide consultation regarding federal requirements, NCAA regulations, and accreditation compliance.

WPI 2021 HBCU Forum

Annual HBCU Forum

March 8-9, 2021
Register Now!

Financial Stability in Uncertain Times:
Emerging Opportunities for the HBCU Board and Administrative Leaders

The 2021 HBCU Forum is this year’s must-attend event for HBCU Boards and Administrative Leaders. This year’s forum will be conducted by the Wesley Peachtree Institute in an engaging, interactive virtual format. We’re excited about the freedom of the virtual environment, where we can offer you the opportunity to hear from a variety of leading thinkers and intellectual champions in the sector who will address issues directly impacting your institution.

Right now, investment in minority-serving institutions is increasing as our institutions receive unprecedented attention. However, we know that this cannot magically erase decades of underfunding, marginalization and deliberate attempts to scuttle our institutions and underserve our students. We want to join you in creating strategic roadmaps to keep our institutions top of mind for exceptional students, talented faculty, successful alumni, corporate heads, and political leaders.


Choose from four distinct conference tracks and more than 30 exciting sessions and networking opportunities to customize your experience! Conference tracks include:

  • Cost Controls & Fiscal Compliance
  • Fundraising & New Opportunities
  • Enrollment & Retention
  • Courageous Leadership & HBCU Distinctiveness

Keynote and Featured Speakers

The forum will feature well over a dozen esteemed speakers tackling the issues that impact fiscal stability. The following is a selection of speakers and the topics they will address.

Dr. Ruth Simmons

Dr. Ruth Simmons
Prairie View A&M University

HBCU Leadership within the Higher Education Landscape

Dr. Ruth Simmons is president and CEO of Prairie View A&M University. With successful tenures at Brown University and Smith College, she is arguably one of the most successful presidents in higher education today. She has previously served as in various capacities at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College. She is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards.

Dr. James Minor

Dr. James Minor
California State University

The Board’s Role in Financial Oversight

Dr. Minor is the assistant vice chancellor and senior strategist in the Office of the Chancellor at California State University. He was appointed by President Obama to serve at the US Department of Education, where he oversaw the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, TRIO, Title III and Title V and other programs. He is a recognized as one of the top minds in higher education policy development.

Dr. Bridget Terry Long

Dr. Bridget Terry Long
Harvard University

Re-examining Economic Models: Considerations for Boards and Presidents

Economist, Dr. Bridget Terry Long, dean of the Faculty of Education and Saris Professor of Education and Economics at Harvard Graduate School of Education, is noted for her research on student outcomes and for investigations into the impact of factors such as instructor quality, class size, and student support.

Dr. Kassie Freeman

Dr. Kassie Freeman
African Diaspora Consortium

HBCUs – Proud History & Dynamic Future

As the head of the African Diaspora Consortium, Dr. Freeman has played an instrumental role in promoting educational success across the African Diaspora. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. She served as interim president of the Southern University System and is known for her research on HBCUs.

Dr. M.C. Brown

Dr. M. Christopher Brown II
Kentucky State University

HBCUs – Proud History & Dynamic Future

Dr. Brown served as the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Southern University and A&M System and as president and institutional executive officer at Alcorn State University before assuming his role as president of Kentucky State University in May 15, 2017. Dr. Brown is also a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees.

Dr. Joseph H. Silver, Sr.,

Dr. Joseph H. Silver, Sr.
Silver and Associates

Audit Considerations and Strategies for Post-Pandemic Viability

Dr. Silver served as president Alabama State University and in administrative capacities at Clark Atlanta and Savannah State Universities. He was vice president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and an administrative fellow with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Currently, he is the managing partner of Silver and Associates, a full service higher education consulting firm.

Donate to WPI

Your generous contribution will be used to support our research, outreach, and training initiatives. Thank you.

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Get in Touch

Metro-Atlanta Office

1475 Klondike Road Suite 100 Conyers, Georgia 30094

Phone(404) 874 0555

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