Public Purpose Magazine, Summer 2008
Public Purpose Cover Summer 2008


Challenges, Opportunities and TraditionsA Snapshot Look at Today’s HBCUsBy Stephen Pelletier
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) add a rich texture to the fabric of higher education in the United States. Their legacy is one of access and opportunity. Like every institution of higher learning, HBCUs must work continually to sustain quality. Always a test, that’s even more difficult in today’s economic climate. While in many ways the issues that HBCUs face mirror those of all universities, the unique HBCU mission adds an overlay of additional factors that must be considered. At times, presidents of HBCUs must feel like they’re walking a tight rope in a typhoon.

Got Debt?Universities Respond to Students’ Personal Financial IlliteracyBy Kevin Boatright
It’s become apparent most students have no clue about managing money and planning their financial future. As a result, they’re making poor choices, digging a deep hole of debt and facing the prospect of bankruptcy. Lack of savvy about money can also affect admissions, retention and the ability to contribute someday to an alma mater. The consequences of a sub-prime knowledge base are huge, and can linger for a lifetime.

The Emerging New GI BIllBy Steve Kime
AASCU has been in the forefront of the effort to craft a new GI Bill. Funding for this legislation had become woefully inadequate, and veterans benefits were no longer a priority. The Veterans Advisory Committee on Education, the Congressionally-mandated Committee to advise on the GI Bill, was challenged by members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee to prove that there was strong public concern about the meager benefits available to student veterans.

Endsights:The Challenge to HBCUs in the 21st CenturyBy Mickey Burnim
Today’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) face the challenge of remaining true to their historic mission of providing access to higher educational opportunity for African Americans and simultaneously positioning themselves as resources which enjoy broad-based support for their continued growth and vitality. HBCUs were founded largely between 1837 and 1920, principally to provide educational services to recently freed slaves and their progeny. Many of these institutions began as grammar or primary schools and later evolved into Normal schools preparing African American teachers to teach African American students. Now a number of them serve as comprehensive universities that offer a broad range of baccalaureate, master’s degree and some doctoral programs to diverse student populations. Except for a handful of them, these institutions are located south of the Mason Dixon Line.