Often on The Hill, I hear students complaining wondering about which colleges and departments get new, fancy buildings, complete with up-to-date computer labs and luxurious student lounges.
There’s a reason.
In September 2000, a state Committee on Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Issues released its report related to unequal treatment of Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University that constituted “de jure segregration.” In an effort to remedy the differences between the two HBCUs and other Texas universities, the OCR Priority Plan was established with specific programs, goals, and benchmarks for PVAMU and TSU to reach. Money was set aside from various funding sources to ensure that the Plan’s goals were met, and they targeted the following:
The plan specifies five academic areas to be enhanced that are highly supportive of the mission of Prairie View: The College of Nursing, the College of Engineering, educator preparation, the School of Architecture, and juvenile justice.
The OCR asked PV to start a doctoral program in Educational Leadership, which the College of Education did, and it’s been extremely popular and successful. That’s it, as far as the Priority Plan goes, for educator preparation.
One way of looking at things is this: if your program was not part of the Priority Plan, you probably aren’t hanging out in a new or newly renovated building. The funding for these projects was extra money, not dollars out of the school’s already tight budget, so when you’re thinking, “Why won’t PV build a new College of Education when they have that place for JJPY?” it’s because PV doesn’t have the funds. We have new graduate programs, merit-based scholarships, a great University College, beautiful facilities for Architecture, Engineering, Nursing, and Juvenile Justice & Psychology thanks to a committee recognizing that PV had been the victim of discrimination with decades of state funding and insisting that a sort of reparations be made.