Bill Would Require Federal Agencies to Report Work With HBCUs

Bipartisan legislation introduced Wednesday would codify into law a 2017 executive order directing federal agencies to work more closely with historically black colleges on opportunities for federal grants and contracts.

HBCU groups in Washington had praised the executive order from President Trump, which called for those agencies to come up with written plans to work more closely with HBCUs. But they say the executive order lacks any enforcement mechanism. The bill, dubbed the HBCU PARTNERS Act, would require each federal agency to report their work with black colleges.

“This legislation would basically hold agencies responsible for making sure that they’re doing things that align with the president’s executive order,” said Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

The bill was introduced by Senator Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, and Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat. Representative Mark Walker, a North Carolina Republican, and Representative Alma Adams, a North Carolina Democrat, introduced companion legislation in the House.

By Andrew Kreighbaum of Inside HigherEd.