Academic journal article Negro Educational Review

Desegregation Policy and Disparities in Faculty Salary and Workload: Maryland's Historically Black and Predominately White Institutions

Academic journal article Negro Educational Review

Desegregation Policy and Disparities in Faculty Salary and Workload: Maryland's Historically Black and Predominately White Institutions

Article excerpt


Although ambiguity exists regarding how states must respond to the mandates of Fordice to dismantle dual systems of education in previously segregated states, several scholars note Fordice should manifest itself in the enhancement of public Black colleges. Responding to Fordice, the state of Maryland entered into an agreement with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to make its Black colleges comparable with their White counterparts. While Maryland claims that it has satisfied its agreement with OCR, findings of this study challenge this assertion. Data from AAUP, University System of Maryland [USM], and the Morgan State Office of Institutional research show significant disparities in faculty salaries and workload between historically Black and predominantly White colleges in the state.


In the case of United States v. Fordice (1992), the Supreme Court ruled that states with segregated educational systems were obligated to actively dismantle their dual system of education by rectifying discriminatory policies and offering historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) adequate support to enhance their campuses. It was thought that this decision would result in the enhancement of public HBCUs, making them comparable and competitive with their predominantly White institutional (PWI) counterparts and enabling HBCUs to attract non-Black students (Gasman, Baez, Drezner, Sedgwick, Tudico, & Schmid, 2007).

The Fordice case stemmed from Mississippi's efforts to continue de jure segregation in its public university system by maintaining a public university system segregated along racial lines (Stefkovih & Leas, 1994). In 1975, James Ayers, along with other plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit against Kirk Fordice, the Governor of Mississippi, for racial discrimination in the state's university system (Gasman, et al., 2007). During the time that Ayers filed the litigation, there were vast differences in institutional mission statements, admission standards, and financial allocations which disadvantaged the state's three HBCUs (Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, and Mississippi Valley State University) when compared to its five PWIs (University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, University of Southern Mississippi, and Delta State University).

In 1992, Fordice reached the United States Supreme Court, where in a decision rendered by Justice White, the state of Mississippi was found in violation of their obligation to eradicate policies and practices which foster and maintain institutional segregation. The Court identified four policies in practice which were traceable to the vestiges of de jure segregation. The first of these involved the use of the American College Testing program (ACT) in college admissions. The minimum ACT score needed for acceptance was higher at PWIs than at HBCUs and many Blacks with lower scores attended HBCUs.

Another policy weighed by the Supreme Court was "Mississippi's classification scheme for institutional mission" (Stefkovich & Leas, 1994, p. 413). Three of the PWIs were designated as "flagship" universities, providing these institutions with more financial resources. HBCUs, however, had more limited missions and funding, hurting their abilities to maintain their physical plant and recruit students. The third policy that the Court questioned was the unnecessary duplication of programs at PWIs and at HBCUs . The Court emphasized that such duplication was linked to de jure segregation (Brown, 1999; Stefkovich & Leas, 1994). With less duplication and placement of key programs of interest (but not duplicated) at both PWIs and HBCUs, students would have somewhat constrained choices of which institutions to attend. Theoretically, students would be drawn to an institution based on its unique curricular offerings rather than designation as an HBCU or PWI.

Despite common misconceptions and interpretations, Fordice does not propose merging or closing HBCUs (Brown, 2001; Stefkovitch & Leas, 1994). …

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