The Hunt Institute, an affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy focused on improving student success outcomes, released two new briefs that explore how different states have sought to address the historic underfunding of historically Black colleges and universities.
The briefs, released Tuesday, are the final part of a three-part series on historic disinvestment in HBCUs. One brief examines the litigation pursued by advocates of HBCUs in Maryland against the state for underfunding the institutions, which resulted in legislation to give these institutions an additional $577 million over 10 years. The other brief studies legislative attempts to right chronic underfunding of Tennessee HBCUs. After years of fighting for more equitable funding, Tennessee State University was awarded new funds in the 2022–23 state budget, including $8 million toward facilities maintenance, $60 million for a new engineering building, and $250 million for strategic initiatives.
“Many states are grappling with how to remedy this historic underfunding, and some—including Maryland and Tennessee—have experienced recent bipartisan successes in addressing it,” said Madeline Smith, director of higher education at the institute, in a press release. “While recent years have brought increased grants and donations to HBCUs, it is critical for states to look at their current policies and practices to ensure that HBCUs are no longer facing unintentional or systemic barriers to their success.”
Javaid Siddiqi, president and CEO of the Hunt Institute, said HBCUs are “vital to postsecondary access, equity, and improvement.”
“These briefs are a critical lens for states moving forward, and I hope the information provided motivates states to create their own strategies for seeking justice for HBCUs and their students,” he said in the release.