U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting strong support in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget for Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) across the country, including 10 in North Carolina. Hagan asked the President to build upon an Executive Order he signed in February 2010 that promotes excellence, innovation and sustainability at HBCUs.
"I write to you today to request your strong support of funding for the [HBCUs] across the country in your Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal and offer my cooperation in working to ensure that these institutions are engines of innovation and success for all those seeking a higher education," Hagan wrote in the letter to President Obama. "My home state of North Carolina is fortunate to be the home of 10 HBCUs, each with a strong history and legacy of serving students across the state. I ask that you continue tobuild upon the principles highlighted in your Executive Order by providing the funding necessary for the success of these institutions."
For each of the last three years, Hagan has led the Senate in passing a bipartisan resolution designating "National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week" to recognize the 105 HBCUs around the country. Hagan has also led her colleagues in pushing to maintain funding for HBCUs.
Additionally, Hagan has supported key investments in HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions to renew, reform and expand programming to ensure that students have the support they need to stay in school and graduate.
Below is the text of the letter Senator Hagan sent to the President:
January 22, 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you know, Title III of the Higher Education Act authorizes funding for enhancing and strengthening HBCUs, HBCU Graduate Programs and also provides funding for the HBCU Capital Financing Program. I write to you today to request your strong support of funding for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country in your Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal and offer my cooperation in working to ensure that these institutions are engines of innovation and success for all thoseseeking a higher education.
Following the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress in 1965 created distinct federal support for HBCUs, which in the face of legally sanctioned discrimination had worked toraise educational outcomes for African-Americans. For more than 150 years, our nation's 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities have served as the foundation of educational attainment and economic opportunity within the African-American community. I believe that the prosperity of these institutions is intricately connected to your call to lead the world in the proportion of college graduates by 2020.
My home state of North Carolina is fortunate to be the home of 10 HBCUs, each with a strong history and legacy of serving students across the state. Even though HBCUs represent fewer than three percent of all colleges and universities in the nation, they enroll and graduate a disproportionate percentage of African-American students. This impressive group includes half of our nation's African-American public school teachers and 70 percent of African-American dentists. Additionally, HBCUs graduate over 50 percent of African American professionals. Equally impressive is the fact that HBCUs award more than one-third of the degrees held by African Americans inmathematics and one in three of the degrees held by African Americans in natural sciences.
I appreciate your commitment to the historic role that HBCUs play across our country, and I am proud to see that commitment demonstrated through your signing of Executive Order 13532 - Promoting Excellence, Innovation and Sustainability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I ask that you continue to build upon the principles highlighted in your Executive Order by providing the funding necessary for the success of these intuitions. A strategic investment in our HBCUs is an investment in our nation's future. I look forward to working with you in the 113th Congress to make this a reality.
U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan