HBCUs are not minority-serving institutions (letter)

HBCUs are not minority-serving institutions (letter)

To the Editors:

In “The Forgotten Predominantly Black Establishments of Higher Ed,” Kurt Schmoke and Zalwaynaka Scott, respectively presidents of the University of Baltimore and Chicago Condition, equally specified predominantly black establishments (PBIs), make an “urgent” appeal for positioning PBIs “at the forefront of bigger training fairness conversations,” along with HBCUs.

In so undertaking, the authors mis-determine HBCUs as minority-serving establishments (MSIs) and current a comparison amongst congressional investments in HBCUs and PBIs, which, for the point they look for to make, is like evaluating the proverbial apples to oranges.

The misaligned comparison among HBCUs and PBIs is rooted in the failure of the authors, like quite a few, to comprehend that compared with PBIs, Hispanic-serving establishments (HSIs), Asian American, Indigenous American and Pacific Islander institutions (AANAPISIs), Indigenous American serving non-tribal establishments (NASNTIs), Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian-serving institutions (ANNHSIs), all of which are by definition minority-serving institutions (MSIs), neither HBCUs nor tribal schools and universities (TCUs) are MSIs.  

HBCUs and TCUs are mission-based mostly establishments that had been born out of the affirmative discrimination by the federal governing administration. HBCUs and TCUs were being started to remediate the de jure discrimination in opposition to African Us residents and American Indians, respectively, and the continuing vestigial impacts of the discrimination. Neither HBCUs nor TCUs has a race or ethnicity necessity.

In spite of the shortcomings of the argument posited by our esteemed colleagues, we share their conclusion that PBIs need to have potent federal guidance. The appropriations system employed to identify the PBI share of federal dollars by Congress has shortcomings.

PBIs are underfunded relative to other individuals in their MSI cohort (PBIs, HSIs, AANAPISIs, NASNTIs, and ANNHSI) in significant measure simply because properly-meant congressional appropriators battle to ensure equitable investments in the underneath-resourced, assorted MSI subsets, as the amount of MSIs are raising for the reason that of  America’s rising variety. In individual funding streams,  our winner appropriators, battle to fund at levels to accommodate their increasing desires and demonstrated outcomes, the mission-centered HBCUs and TCUs, founded to redress affirmative discrimination by the federal government.

PBIs ought to not feed into the myth that PBIs and HBCUs are virtually the same with distinct histories, nor that PBIs and HBCUs are competing establishments. Neither the histories, missions, focused college student cohort, nor desired results are the very same.  

Our group, NAFEO, led in shaping the PBI provisions in the 2008 HEA amendments at the request Congressmen Danny Davis (Sick.),  Major Owens (N.Y.), Ed Townes (N.Y.), Donald Payne Sr. (N.J.) and Senator Ted Kennedy (Mass.), to build a application to deliver users of Congress who had pockets of lower-cash flow, 1st generation African Individuals in their states, who attended public and personal nonprofit establishments that enrolled a sizeable proportion of these students, a car or truck for Congress to commit in strengthening these establishments, as a usually means of accelerating closing the instruction hole.

We appear forward to continuing to do the job with Congressman Danny Davis, the authentic writer of the 2007 PBI laws, and a stalwart champion of PBIs, and with the Chairs and customers of the congressional schooling authorization and appropriation committees, with presidents Schmoke, Scott, the CEOs of the other 78 institutions we consider qualify as PBIs,  and the HBCU community, to make particular the PBIs get funding comparable to their MSI colleagues, and that we have a frequent agenda and powerful collaborative voice for PBIs.

–John Pierre
Chancellor, Southern College Law Middle
Chair, NAFEO Presidents’ Do the job Group on Policy, Advocacy and Law

–Lezli Baskerville
President & CEO
Countrywide Affiliation for Equal Opportunity in Bigger Education and learning