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A۰P۰L۰U Statement on Land-grant Status
Many universities experiencing state funding reductions consider restructuring components of the institution. A۰P۰L۰U understands that each university has a process to review and make decisions on those proposals. A۰P۰L۰U recognizes that the university and others as appropriate have the responsibility to make those decisions and the Association has no authority in those decisions.March 2010
For more information on land-grant universities:
The Land-Grant Tradition
The Spirit of the Land-Grant Institutions
America’s system of public universities is the legacy of the Morrill Act of 1862 which established new public institutions in each state through the grant of federal lands. The original mission of these new institutions was to teach agriculture, military tactics, and the mechanic arts as well as classical studies so that members of the working classes could obtain a liberal, practical education. The Morrill Act provided a broad segment of the population with a practical education that had direct relevance to their daily lives.
The Second Morrill Act (1890) sought to extend access to higher education by providing additional endowments for all land-grant institutions, while prohibiting distribution of money to states that made distinctions of race in admissions. However, states that provided a separate land-grant institution for blacks were eligible to receive the funds. These institutions, known today as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, were founded or designated the land-grant for blacks in each of the then-segregated Southern states came to be known as “the 1890 land-grants.”
In 1994, Native American tribal colleges were granted land-grant status through passage of the Improving America’s School Act of 1994 and are sometimes called the “1994 land-grants,” in reference to the year they were granted land-grant status.
Today, America’s land-grant universities fulfill their mandate for openness, accessibility, and service to people through a variety programs and activities. Many of these institutions have joined the ranks of the nation’s most distinguished public research universities, enrolling more than 3.5 million undergraduate and 1.1 million graduate students who explore fields of inquiry far beyond the scope envisioned in the original land-grant act. A۰P۰L۰U campuses employ more than 645,000 faculty members, and conduct nearly two-thirds of all federally-funded academic research, totaling more than $34 billion annually.
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