Vanderbilt Law Review


Herman H. Long

First Page



American higher education, especially in the Negro college, is in a time of major crisis; the institutions are beset by many new problems and issues. Perhaps at no other time in the nation's history has higher education been more widely discussed and written about in the public press as well as in educational circles. Indeed, higher education has emerged in recent years as a national issue that ranks close to the problems of poverty, welfare, and the decline of the cities. A national policy on higher education is being formulated; resource allocation priorities are being determined; and Congress is struggling to implement new forms of legislation that will translate new goals into programs. In sum, a general reassessment of educational policies and goals and a girding for the future are taking place among governments, corporations, private foundations, church sponsorship groups, and others. A national policy of equal educational opportunity and access for non elite groups and individuals--the blacks, the poor, and the traditional minorities-stands at the center of this reassessment; achieving this policy in fact and marshaling the nation's financial resources to effect it are the principal unifying task. The historic Negro colleges are essential and critical components of this effort, for they constitute, in a sense, the central core of the process of resolving the larger issue. This confluence of higher education interests presents the Negro colleges a strategic current opportunity, although awareness of that opportunity is neither widely nor evenly shared.

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