NAICU Washington Update

House Education Committee Holds Hearing on HBCU Investments

October 08, 2021

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were the focus this week of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment of the House Committee on Education and Labor.  The committee held a hearing focused on the long history and the continuing contributions of HBCUs to American society.  

This hearing served as the first in a series of hearings that will also focus on the importance and contributions of Tribal Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions

The witnesses who testified consisted of experts on the sector, including Dr. Glenda Glover of Tennessee State University, who was the only college president in attendance and provided the critical perspective of what it is like to work directly with students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Chairwoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who is a graduate of Fisk University, an HBCU in Tennessee, spoke about the value of HBCUs, their rich history, and the importance of the financial investments Congress made in these institutions in the recent COVID-19-related bills. She and her democratic colleagues questioned the witnesses on the need for further investment in HBCUs, to include infrastructure and research funding, and what the needs are of these institutions. 

Republican Leader Greg Murphy (R-NC) praised Elizabeth State University in his district and spoke of the importance of HBCUs and their unique role in educating students across this country. He also discussed the importance of accountability for these institutions and all institutions in the higher education landscape. His republican colleagues also stressed the importance of institutional accountability, including around the cost of financing a postsecondary education. 

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