We need not look further than George Washington Carver for inspiration. To serve the greater good, Carver passed up other opportunities to head the agricultural program at Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute and helped revolutionize farming. How wonderful it would be if today's HBCUs could begin producing scientists and engineers with Carver-like potential.
Given that their budgets and access to resources are limited, how can HBCUs increase their science and technology focus? They should not "Rob Peter to pay Paul." They should simply take "Peter" out of the equation. The HBCUs' Peter is money-losing athletic programs.
HBCUs should consider converting resources set aside for athletic programs into resources for scientific research and development.
For example, Howard University reported that its athletic program in fiscal year (FY) 2006 would have incurred a nearly $1.1 million loss without revenues from the NCAA and sponsorships, which cut the overall loss to a little over $100,000.
For FY 2007, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) reported that, without $1.4 million from the NCAA and sponsorships, it would have incurred an operating loss of $1.8 million. As a result, FAMU's athletic program lost around $400,000.
Preserving the status quo won't change anything. Consequently, if black Americans desire a different set of outcomes, they must take new and different action.
scientists and engineers are in demand, and their compensation level
rank high on the nation's wage scale. To gain access to these
salaries, to improve job prospects and to contribute to our nation's
progress, shouldn't HBCUs implement programs to produce more scientists
and engineers? Isn't it logical to accomplish this outcome by
converting financial, physical and human resources from the cultivation
of athletes to the cultivation of scientists and engineers?
It is not clear from the author of this piece, why Howard and FAMU received the money from the NCAA. It is written as if the money was given to these schools to prevent the programs from losing a lot of money. However, I remember hearing the NCAA gives most of the money it receives to member schools. From the NCAA website:
Association believes that the amount of revenue an organization
generates should not influence its tax-exempt status. Instead, that
status should be determined by how those funds are used to support an
organization’s mission. The Association’s 1,200 member schools receive
95 percent of the NCAA’s revenue. The remaining funds are spent to
maintain the day-to-day operations of the Association.
The Association in this case is the NCAA. Was the money given to FAMU and Howard part of the regular distribution of money? Take a look at the pie chart
Look at how the money is disbursed.
The author also doesn't say that many schools, HBCUs included, have to go to a college board to get permission to offer certain programs. I know this is true of FAMU, Morgan, Coppin, and Bowie. I suspect this is true for most state HBCUs, while it's soley up to the private HBCUs.
I understand the intension of the article, besides just hypercriticism, but the article, from my POV, is poorly written and researched.