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Office for Civil Rights
Annual Report to Congress FY 2005

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Higher Education Desegregation Agreements

In the 1994 U.S. Supreme Court case United States v. Fordice, the Court set forth standards for determining whether states that previously operated racially segregated higher education systems had met their affirmative duty to dismantle those systems and their vestiges under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Title VI.  After the decision, OCR negotiated and entered into agreements to eliminate such vestiges in Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

During FY 2005, OCR continued to monitor implementation of its higher education agreements with these seven states, which continued to make progress in enhancing the programs and facilities of their historically black institutions and in carrying out the other commitments in their agreements.  Central State University in Ohio began construction of a new multidisciplinary academic building to house its academic and science programs.  Virginia State University and Norfolk State University each added six academic programs and completed several enhancements of major facilities.  In Texas, Prairie View A&M University completed all but one of its facilities rehabilitation projects, awarded 16 merit-based scholarships for the fall 2005 semester, and established endowed chairs in the colleges of nursing and education.  Texas Southern University reported the successful implementation of a B.S. degree program in computer science technology and an M.S. degree in computer science, filled an endowed chair in its School of Science, and fully endowed two chairs in its School of Business.

Monitoring reports from the Maryland state government indicate it has made progress with respect to the provisions of its higher education desegregation agreement.  OCR engaged the services of consultants to provide expert opinions concerning areas such as the avoidance of unnecessary program duplication and enhancement of programs and facilities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).   OCR and the Maryland Higher Education Commission continue to communicate on the state’s progress in carrying out the terms of the agreement. 

Kentucky has completed many of its commitments under its higher education desegregation agreement and worked with OCR to ensure that a new dormitory building will be constructed at Kentucky State University.  With respect to Florida, OCR is currently concluding its review and evaluation of the state’s reports.  

Pennsylvania submitted its final report on the implementation of its agreement with OCR following the close of the 2004–05 academic year.  After several on-site visits to public institutions of higher education, OCR is in the process of analyzing the report. 

In the United States, we make schools a national priority. We educate boys and girls, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and people of all different faiths, children of different races and cultures—all children, whether their families are wealthy or poor.

Remarks by
Mrs. Laura Bush, 2005

 


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