This is a recent report on historical black colleges in the US

Minor, J.T. (2008). Contemporary HBCUs: Considering institutional capacity and state priorities. A research report. Michigan State University, College of Education, Department of Educational Administration. East Lansing, MI.

Read report here

From The Chronicle of Higher Education News blog February, 2008, by Peter Schmidt

Many state governments continue to distribute higher-education funds and approve new degree programs at public colleges in ways that put historically black institutions at a disadvantage, according to a report released this week.

In assembling the report, James T. Minor, an assistant professor of education at Michigan State University, crunched data on enrollments and higher-education financing from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina, and examined the distribution of advanced-degree programs in those states.

Based on his analysis, supported with a grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education, Mr. Minor concluded that the states in question continue to spend most of their dollars on those institutions with the largest enrollments and most degree programs, where most of the students are white. Of the four states he examined, only North Carolina seemed to be making a concerted effort to increase the capacity of its historically black colleges, his report says.

In using financing formulas that allocate funds to public colleges based on the size and number of the academic programs they provide, states effectively maintain inequality in the distribution of resources, favoring those institutions that started ahead of the others, the report concludes.

The report calls on state lawmakers and higher-education leaders to rethink the financing of public colleges, to ensure they are getting the most for their dollar when it comes to meeting goals such as increased access and degree attainment. It also says the leaders of historically black colleges and universities must take responsibility for making sure their institutions are worthy of additional funds.

In examining enrollment data, Mr. Minor found that the desegregation of the four states’ higher-education systems had resulted in more black students’ attending predominantly white institutions, but not in significantly larger white enrollments at historically black institutions. On a positive note, the report says the states’ historically black colleges are serving more students than they did before, allaying fears that desegregation would cause their overall enrollments to decline.

“During this era of increased calls for postsecondary access, a diverse work force, and global competitiveness, HBCU’s appear underutilized,” the report says. “The need to increase support of HBCU’s now extends beyond issues of equity, social justice, or remediation of past discrimination. It is now a matter of meeting public needs and producing educated citizens that contribute to advancing communities.”

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