Discover more from the 1890 journal
New Report: The 2023 Farm Bill Must Address Inequities in the Land-Grant University System
Sara Partridge | Center for American Progress
There is a frequently used adage that minority-serving institutions “do more with less.” While this is undoubtedly true, it is also undeniably unfair. Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), in particular, have fewer resources and facilities than predominantly white universities to carry out their work and serve their communities. Despite these institutions’ important role as innovators and engines of economic opportunity, they have not been afforded equal opportunities to participate in the nation’s system of public land-grant universities.
Importantly, the farm bill funds many of the important agricultural programs at land-grant universities, and it is up for reauthorization this year. The 2023 Farm Bill represents an opportunity to address the underfunding of HBCUs and TCUs, better supporting important agricultural research and delivering on the nation’s promise of a fair and equal education system for all.
As Congress revisits this legislation, it is vital that policymakers work to address the funding inequities built into it that magnify the broader resource challenges of historically Black and Tribal land-grant institutions.
Notably, historically Black LGUs have some of the highest levels of research productivity among HBCUs. They also play an important role in graduating Black students for a range of in-demand careers, including in STEM and the agricultural sector. HBCUs, in general, play an outsize role in providing educational and economic opportunity to Black students and are important centers of Black culture, community, and identity.
Yet special-mission LGUs such as 1890 institutions and 1994 institutions have historically been underfunded in relation to predominantly white flagship LGUs. Established later and funded through different legislation, historically Black and Tribal LGUs face resource challenges while serving students from predominantly low- and low-middle-income backgrounds. While about one-quarter of undergraduate students at flagship 1862 land-grant institutions qualify for Pell Grant funding, more than 6 in 10 students at special-mission land-grant universities fall into this category.