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The Legal Defense Coalition for the Preservation of Public HBCUs is a Georgia non-profit corporation organized on August 16, 2007. The following issues have been identified:
None of Georgia’s State HBCUs are either classified as Research or Regional Universities, and those with missions that would theoretically encompass objectives in furtherance of programs to attract a wide and diverse population are not adequately supported as State Universities.
Certain programs offered by State HBCUs are duplicated in majority universities located in the same geographic area as State HBCUs without adequate demand to enable the State HBCUs’ programs to thrive.
Where duplication of educational programs is warranted by demand and would improve the variety of offerings at State HBCUs if duplicated there, duplication of educational programs does not take place.
Facility improvements at the State HBCUs are desperately needed but are not sufficiently funded and, when funded at all are slow to materialize.
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia provides funding to the State HBCUs in amounts significantly less than the provision of funding to majority-White universities.
None of the State HBCUs offer professional degree programs.
Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are defined as institutions that were established before 1964 with the principal mission of educating African Americans. They were created to address racism, a segregated society, poverty and illiteracy.
The Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education declaring unconstitutional the doctrine of separate but equal and ending de jure racial segregation in public schools, also impacted higher education as states were required to dismantle dual systems of higher education; predominately white institutions were required to admit black students who prior to this time could not attend these institutions.
Georgia is home to ten HBCUs of which three (Albany State University, Fort Valley State University and Savannah State University) are public institutions. Albany State University was founded in 1903 as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institution. Fort Valley State University was founded in 1895 as Fort Valley High and Industrial School; it was consolidated in 1939 with the State Teachers and Agricultural College. And the Georgia General Assembly created Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth, now Savannah State University, in November 1890 pursuant to the Second Morrill Land Grant Acct, which promised more funding for the states but mandated the development of black land-grant colleges in southern states or risk loss of the federal funds.
The State of Georgia, in deference to its white citizens, created two-year institutions within the same city with existing public HBCUs: Darton College, a two-year institution, located in Albany, GA was founded in 1963, eight years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Armstrong Junior College was founded in Savannah, GA in 1935; the institution became a two-year unit of the University System of Georgia in 1959, four years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The institution became a four-year college in 1964, the same year of a landmark piece of legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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