WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded the unanimous passage of bipartisan legislation he co-sponsored that will strengthen partnerships between federal agencies and the country’s more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students (HBCU PARTNERS) Act was introduced by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Chris Coons (D-DE) and a companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mark Walker (NC-06) and Alma Adams (NC-12).
The HBCU PARTNERS Act builds on President Trump’s 2017 executive order on HBCUs. It will require federal agencies with relevant grants and programs to undertake annual planning and coordinate their efforts to support and expand HBCU participation in those programs. The bill strengthens the rigor and transparency requirements of existing law by requiring that agencies track their progress toward past goals and share their plans with Congress. In addition, it codifies the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs, ensuring an ongoing avenue for the institutions’ priorities and policy concerns to be raised.
“HBCUs play an important role in developing a strong, diverse workforce in North Carolina and across the country,” said Senator Tillis. “The bipartisan HBCU PARTNERS Act will help support and expand HBCU programs and ensure the next generation of students can have the opportunity to attend these historical institutions.”
“Our HBCUs have provided amazing opportunities for generations of students, and I am excited that our bipartisan bill to help our HBCUs continue that tradition is on its way to becoming law. The HBCU PARTNERS Act is a great step forward for these schools and their students,” said Senator Scott.
“HBCUs today continue their tradition of opening higher education to new generations of students,” Senator Coons said. “They educate 300,000 students across the country, 70 percent of whom receive Pell grants, and charge almost 30 percent less tuition that their peer institutions. I’m proud to make sure that federal agencies actively work to support HBCUs’ critical missions.”
“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is proud to support the ‘HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students Act’ (HBCU PARTNERS Act),” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president & CEO. “Having all federal agencies formally develop and submit annual plans for increasing HBCU capacity building for grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements, to Congress will ensure that the most important elements of President Trump’s HBCU Executive Order are not only developed, but acted upon.”