Federal grant, training and recruiting spending directed at historically Black colleges and universities jumped by 21 percent in a two-year, period, according to government figures in a soon-to-be released report.
Led by sharp increases in research spending by the Central Intelligence Agency, in training grants by the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Commerce and in teaching endowments by the Department of Energy, federal agencies spent $1.24 billion in fiscal 1995, compared to $1.03 billion in fiscal 1992.
The figures were compiled for a report to be issued to President Clinton in September by officials of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The numbers are a measure of the response of federal agencies to what has become a traditional presidential directive to increase federal support of HBCUs.
President Clinton’s Nov. 1, 1993 executive order renewing a directive first issued by President Jimmy Carter is sure to be claimed as a dramatic manifestation of the administration’s commitment to Black institutions.
Although he has not seen the initiative’s report yet, the rise in spending was applauded by Dr. Henry Ponder, president of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO).
“The Clinton administration has been a friend to HBCUs. More is needed but this is a strong start,” Ponder said. Much of the increase comes from spending by agencies with little historic contact with HBCUs.
One of the most dramatic manifestations of the increase in federal spending on HBCUs is in the Central Intelligence Agency’s contacts with Black schools.
CIA spending at HBCUs rose from $1.1 million in fiscal 1992 to $5.8 million in fiscal 1995. Much of that big jump was accounted for in an increase in donation of excess equipment to the colleges. The hardware included photocopiers, computers and office furniture.
In addition, the agency has let Black colleges and universities in on classified and unclassified research contracts. Prairie View A&M University (TX) was awarded $750,000 in contracts over the last two years for engineering projects for the CIA, according to government officials.
The agency also uses its summer fellows program as part of its drive to connect with HBCUs in a recruiting program for agency employees. Agency employees also serve in teaching posts on campuses.
The nearly tripling of the Department of Energy’s spending on HBCUs includes the endowment of nine engineering professor posts at Black colleges and universities with engineering departments at $1 million per school.
The DOE increase from $21 million in fiscal 1992 to $59 million in fiscal 1995 is part of the sharp increase in spending by the federal science and technology sector on Black campuses.
“What I have been most impressed by is that every agency has engaged in extensive outreach,” said Catherine LeBlanc, director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“The schools with engineering departments and science and tech departments have led the way in getting research dollars,” she said. She noted that federal agencies that have traditionally had little connection with HBCUs are now turning to them for work.
She noted, for instance, the National Aeronautical and Space, Administration has contracted with Alabama A&M University for research on controlling I bacteria” in drinking water on the spaceshuttle; Morehouse’s School of Medicine is working on a Health and Human Services contract studying low birth-weight children in low-income communities; and that Texas Southern University is engaged in an AIDS project aimed at education and infection prevention for health care professionals.
For agencies that, have longstanding links to HBCUs, spending has soared over the last two years, she said.
At the Department of Agriculture, federal spending on Blacks schools is approaching the $100 million mark, having reached $94 million at the end of fiscal 1995. Among the biggest increases has been the spending by the Department of Veterans Affairs, where the fiscal 1992 level of $2.7 million reached $13.7 million by the end of 1995.
Much of that increase reflects awareness of the impact of existing programs on HBCUs, said VA official Alice Bell. “We’re reporting more accurately than we have in the past about our contracts and programs with Black colleges and universities,” she said. She was referring to VA contracts for training and research work. “The big jump came in fiscal 1995 when they awarded $10 million to students for medical training at VA medical centers,” LeBlanc said.
The VA is currently training 3,100 students in its 172 medical centers, a 1,500 student increase over 1992 levels. Spending levels also reflect the overall budget decline, especially for agencies that are under fire by the Republican Congress. For example, spending declined at the two major natural resource conservation and pollution control agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior, for HBCUs between fiscal 1992 and 1995.
The drop at interior totaled nearly $5 million while EPA declined nearly $2 million. But the decline did not erode EPA spending in the hazardous waste research and control area. The agency has $600,000 contracts with Morehouse, Texas Southern, Tuskegee University, Florida A&M University, Xavier University and Meharry School of Medicine to research the health effects of hazardous waste and emergency response.
Annual Federal Performance Report
Comparison of Agency Awards to HBCUs
FY 1992 vs FY 1995, discretionary and legislated
Agency HBCU Awards
Agency for International Development 17,957,400
U.S. Department of Agriculture 82,048,103
Central Intelligence Agency 1,173,496
U.S. Department of Commerce 1,947,186
U.S. Department of Defense 51,314,067
U.S. Department of Education 651,502,302
U.S. Department of Energy 21,630,155
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 11,169,797
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 0
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services 111,865,754
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Dev. 5,061,586
U.S. Information Agency 399,064
U.S. Department of the Interior 7,052,700
U.S. Department of Labor 3,900,890
U.S. Department of Justice 1,725,080
National Aeronautics & Space Administration 24,707,874
National Endowment for the Arts 267,000
National Endowment for the Humanities 1,776,412
National Science Foundation 22,764,093
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 200,000
U.S. Department of State 564,648
U.S. Small Business Administration 2,139,263
U.S. Department of Transportation 6,879,436
U.S. Department of Treasury 1,465,913
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 2,741,506
Agency HBCU Awards
Agency for International Development 26,500,000
U.S. Department of Agriculture 94,265,537
Central Intelligence Agency 5,801,197
U.S. Department of Commerce 8,472,629
U.S. Department of Defense 76,123,634
U.S. Department of Education 680,845,677
U.S. Department of Energy 59,080,809
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 8,128,096
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 3,108
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services 150,886,433
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Dev. 8,288,280
U.S. Information Agency 983,991
U.S. Department of the Interior 2,493,286
U.S. Department of Labor 5,816,067
U.S. Department of Justice 592,578
National Aeronautics & Space Administration 56,357,000
National Endowment for the Arts 19,970
National Endowment for the Humanities 2,115,658
National Science Foundation 34,250,099
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 200,000
U.S. Department of State 772,770
U.S. Small Business Administration 2,183,551
U.S. Department of Transportation 7,758,853
U.S. Department of Treasury 2,004,895
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 13,748,362
Agency % Change
Agency for International Development 48%
U.S. Department of Agriculture 15%
Central Intelligence Agency 394%
U.S. Department of Commerce 335%
U.S. Department of Defense 48%
U.S. Department of Education 5%
U.S. Department of Energy 173%
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -27%
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services 35%
U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Dev. 64%
U.S. Information Agency 174%
U.S. Department of the Interior -65%
U.S. Department of Labor 49%
U.S. Department of Justice -66%
National Aeronautics & Space Administration 128%
National Endowment for the Arts -93%
National Endowment for the Humanities 19%
National Science Foundation 50%
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 0%
U.S. Department of State 37%
U.S. Small Business Administration 2%
U.S. Department of Transportation 13%
U.S. Department of Treasury 37%
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 401%
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