Congress Looks to Help HBCUs Get a Bigger Share of Government Contracts and Grants

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation titled the HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students Act (PARTNERS), by a vote of 388 to 6. The six representatives who opposed the passage of the bill are Justin Amash of Michigan, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Tom McClintock of California, and Chip Roy of Texas.

Te bill codifies into law an Executive Order signed by President Trump that requires agencies that regularly interact with historically Black colleges and universities to submit an agency plan to both the secretary of the Department of Education and the executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs regarding efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs to participate in relevant federal programs and initiatives. Among other things, the plans must establish how the agencies intend to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements. The legislation requires agencies to provide technical assistance and information to enhance communication with HBCUs concerning their program activities and initiatives as well as applications for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements.

“Codifying Executive Order 13779 is an essential first piece of the puzzle to make sure HBCUs receive the funding necessary to be whole,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, senior vice president of public policy and government affairs at the United Negro College Fund. “When I think about what we as African Americans have experienced this year, with the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 as well as the undisputed showcase of racial inequity, we can only be bold in our asks. HBCUs can no longer wait.”

Related Articles


  1. This is a bad idea. There will need to be massive and stringent OVERSIGHT on these colleges. And not like the ridiculous oversight of the Title III grant program. Most HBCU’s seem ill-prepared to handle their finances. That grant money will disappear as quickly as their lowering enrollment numbers. Bad idea.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Students at Three HBCUs in New Orleans to Participate in Power of Prosperity Initiative

The Power of Prosperity program will help remove barriers to students’ academic success by providing students and their families with free access to financial support and resources.

Yale University Scholar Wins Early Career Physics Award

Charles D. Brown II, an assistant professor of physics at Yale University, has been selected as the winner the Joseph A. Johnson Award for Excellence from the American Institute of Physics and the National Society of Black Physicists.

Three African Americans Appointed to New Administrative Posts at Universities

Arthur Lumzy Jr. is the new director of student career preparedness at Texas A&M University–Commerce. Sandra L. Barnes was named associate provost for undergraduate education and student success at Alcorn State University in Mississippi and Roberto Campos-Marquetti has been appointed assistant vice president for staff and labor relations at Duke University.

North Carolina A&T State University to Debut New Graduate Programs in Criminal Justice

The university's criminal justice master’s and doctoral programs are designed to provide high-quality graduate education and training in criminal justice with the four areas of specialization: investigative science, digital forensics, research methodology, and social justice.

Featured Jobs