The AAUP today sent a letter to South Carolina legislators urging them to reject a panel’s proposal to close South Carolina State University (SCSU), which was founded in 1896, and is the state’s only publicly funded historically Black university.
The letter notes that historically black institutions (HBIs) like SCSU came into being as a result of the discrimination and racism that prevented Black students from attending existing white institutions, and that they still serve an important purpose. HBIs represent 3 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher education but account for 20 percent of African Americans who receive an undergraduate degree. However, these institutions have been starved of funding and tuition has risen steeply.
The AAUP urges the South Carolina Legislature to keep SCSU open and provide adequate and appropriate financial support, to protect and sustain its legacy for future generations of South Carolinians.