Federal Judge to Review Studies on Improving Miss. Black Colleges

Federal Judge to Review Studies on Improving Miss. Black Colleges

LONG BEACH, Miss.

The state College Board has reviewed draft reports on Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State that will be submitted to a federal judge in the college desegregation case. Details of the reports will be released to the public after the judge reviews the documents, says higher education commissioner Pam Smith.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr., who is overseeing the desegregation case, has frozen $3.6 million for the schools until he reviews the College Board’s studies targeting improvements at the two historically Black schools (see Black Issues, Aug. 3). Leaders at Alcorn and Valley say the funds are critical at a time when all eight universities are trimming budgets due to a slowdown in the state economy.
In recent months, Biggers has complained that efforts to enhance Mississippi’s three historically Black universities have seen little progress in attracting more White students. Alcorn, Valley and Jackson State universities have received more than $61 million in funds resulting from the state’s desegregation case for programs, facilities and scholarships for other-race students since 1995.
Biggers also told the board he wants to review the board’s annual funding proposals before they are submitted to the Legislature. 



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