The Alabama State Senate approved a budget that would cut the allocations earmarked for historically Black Alabama State University from $41.5 million in the current fiscal year to $31.5 million, a cut of about $10.8 million. The budget cuts for Alabama State amounted to 90 percent of the cuts to higher education in the entire state budget passed by the Senate.
State Representative John Knight, who also serves as executive vice president of Alabama State, issued a statement which read, “For me this is personal. They will pass this budget in the House when they pry my cold dead hands off of the microphone, as I will fight this injustice until the bitter end.”
Alabama State students and staff held a rally on the steps of the State Capitol protesting the budget cuts. Gwendolyn Boyd, the new president of Alabama State University, told the assembled crowd, “Our message is clear. We will not be silent. We will not be quiet. We will not allow you to do this to us.”
Legislators on both sides of the aisle in the House, with the support of Republican Governor Robert Bentley, have vowed to restore the funding.