Titrating Equality: An Event History Analysis of Federal Oversight of State Governmental Funding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Leveraging historical legislative appropriations and IPEDS data from one state, North Carolina, this paper uses event history analysis to examine linkages between federal enforcement of equal funding laws and state appropriations to the state’s five HBCUs. Preliminary results suggest that during periods of intense judicial scrutiny of higher-education desegregation, the North Carolina General Assembly makes statistically significantly higher appropriations to HBCUs than in times of lesser scrutiny. Archival content analyses suggest that the General Assembly’s investment in HBCUs during high-scrutiny periods is motivated by preserving non-HBCU colleges. I argue that these observations reveal that North Carolina, as a stand-in for segregationist southern state governments writ large, understand investment in HBCUs to be a wasteful expenditure to be minimized, as it is justified only by the need to maintain access to federal funds. This observation is bolstered by state-governmental behavior during times of less scrutiny, particularly during the post-segregation era. During these times, legislators express beliefs that investments in HBCUs are unnecessary and inefficient and support a variety of strategies to close and divest from HBCUs or to merge them into non-HBCUs.