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ATLANTA (Nov. 18, 2011) -- Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College are part of a coalition of more than 100 colleges and universities that have partnered with the National Association for Equal Opportunity In Higher Education (NAFEO), the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), and United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to persuade Congress and its deficit-reducing “Super Committee” not to cut $85 million or more in federal funding for the colleges and their students.
These organizations, which collectively represent the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 50 Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), are opposing proposals that will cut federal funds to HBCUs by $85 million or more and would zero out support for PBIs. The proposed funding cuts would come on top of $30 million in cuts already made in HBCU funding.
The institutions face a double-barreled threat. Funding cuts also could result from Super Committee recommendations or made through the normal appropriations process for the current fiscal year. UNCF, NAFEO and TMCF support funding levels included in an appropriations bill passed by a Senate Appropriations Committee for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Therefore, they oppose the sharply lower levels proposed by House appropriators.
“HBCUs and PBIs have long leveled the field of opportunity in America. We provide unparalleled access to students from historically disenfranchised, economically disadvantaged sectors of the population and transform their paths to leadership in diverse arenas,” said Clark Atlanta University President Carlton E. Brown. “The drastic reduction of Title III funding—totaling nearly $33 million in Georgia ($6.6 million annually and $32.8 million over the next five years)—would essentially dismantle critical elements of the infrastructure through which we have successfully completed this mission. “In addition,” Brown added, “a reduction also would have significant, injurious impact on local economies statewide.”
“Morehouse, like many HBCUs and PBIs, is taking seriously President Obama’s challenge to increase significantly the number of college graduates by 2020,” said Robert M. Franklin, president of Morehouse College. “We are further committed to closing the gap of students who are prepared to go into the fields of science, technology, engineering and math [STEM]. The White House challenge to all colleges and universities to prepare students in STEM programs is clear. Reducing federal funding to organizations like Morehouse and others would deliver a critical blow to an entire population of deserving students who could go on to become doctors, scientists, researchers and educators, leaving them with no higher education alternatives. And that would be a national tragedy.”
“Title III Part B is essential to sustaining and enhancing the quality of HBCUs, and aids institutions like Spelman College to meet national challenges associated with global competitiveness, job creation, and changing demographics,” said Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. “Title III B has been instrumental in supporting key academic programs, the expansion of technology, and enhanced student learning resources at the College. Today more than one-third of our graduates are STEM majors, thanks to Title III Part B funds which have helped fund initiatives to increase the number of students in the STEM disciplines. As a nation we need to sustain this kind of investment, not undermine it when we need it most.”
The coalition seeks to rally students, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators and all supporters of HBCUs and PBIs to get their U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives to persuade the Super Committee members not to cut the deficit by disinvesting in higher education. The Super Committee has until November 23 to submit recommended budget reductions and revenue increases. Supporters can visit www.UNCF.org/Advocacy and click on the “Take Action” icon to send a message to Congress to protect HBCU funding.
About Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University is a private, coeducational university located in the historic heart of Atlanta. It is the largest of the nation’s 39-member UNCF institutions and is classified by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Doctoral Research University (D/RU). Our nearly 4,000 students are engaged in some 38 areas of study in our four schools and five Centers of Excellence. National business and consumer publications rank Clark Atlanta high among the best buys in American higher education. The University is accredited to award the bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Ga., 30033-4097; 404-679-4501). For more information, call 404-880-8000 or go to www.cau.edu.
About Morehouse College
As the nation’s largest, private liberal arts college for men, Morehouse College was recently recognized as the number one liberal arts college in the nation by Washington Monthly; one of 45 “Best Buy” schools for 2011 by the Fiske Guide to Colleges; one of the nation’s Most Grueling Colleges in 2010 by The Huffington Post; the number three HBCU in the nation for 2011 by U.S. News & World Report; and as one of American’s Best Colleges for three consecutive years by Forbes magazine.
Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil and human rights non-violent leader; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director of the National Center for Primary Care of Morehouse School of Medicine; Shelton “Spike” Lee, filmmaker and president of 40 Acres & A Mule Productions; Samuel L. Jackson, Academy Award-nominated actor; Maynard H. Jackson, founder of Jackson Securities and the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Nima A. Warfield, the first African American Rhodes Scholar from an HBCU. For more information about Morehouse College, go to www.morehouse.edu.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.