ALBANY, Ga. (WFXL) — Alumni from Historically Black Colleges or Universities, or HBCUs, met at Albany State University Tuesday, May 14 to discuss the future of HBCUs.

After a senate bill was proposed in early April, Albany State University students, alumni, City Commissioner Jon Howard and others are hosting events with the goal to save HBCUs. 

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Senate Bill 273 which has since been revised, originally proposed Albany State University, Fort Valley State University and Savannah State University would combine under one name, The Georgia Agriculture and Mechanical University System.

Under the latest version, Senate Bill 278, each institution of the university system will remain separate from each other. 

The text of the new bill says that the school’s board be composed of 19 members:

  • 11 appointed by the Governor
  • One appointed by the Presiding Officer of the Senate
  • One appointed by the Speaker of the House
  • Two appointed by the Local Board of Trustees of each institution of the university system

Albany State Adjunct Professor and Graduate of Morehouse College, James Pratt, Jr. and others believe this appointment process could potentially be problematic. 

“We know that politics being involved in education can often be detrimental to minority groups and those on the margins, particularly given the history of HBCUs,” said Pratt, Jr. “We see the consolidation efforts across the nation from Maryland and Mississippi which has decreased funding for HBCUs, decreased resources, decreased recruitment, and the admission of students that need the history and the culture of HBCUs.”

Commissioner Jon Howard says there will be other similar events in the future.