Black-Serving Institutions

This initiative addresses the need to fund black-serving institutions in the context of education-led economic development. Most Black colleges are deficient in going after federal funds and many are located in or near depressed communities, and/or serve a population that comes from such communities. In addition to the current limited Congressional authorization to fund such institutions directly, Catalyst suggests equipping these institutions with their own, individual development capacity that will enable them to seek and acquire funds from all possible sources. The expanded capacity will free the institutions from their internecine competition for limited earmarked federal funds within the current system, and will also allow them to address the community and economic development needs of their respective communities. We propose a pilot program to set up a central development institute with responsibility for a limited number of universities. Ideally the institute will be sectioned into geographic regions each with a respective program officer who will be accountable for a portfolio of colleges. Compensation packages for each officer will be dependent on the productivity of their respective portfolios. The resulting capacity will have a tremendous impact on every Black college in the nation, HBCU's included, and many of our nation's depressed communities as well.