Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington UPDATE: U.S. Gives Ohio Time to Improve Central State U

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington UPDATE: U.S. Gives Ohio Time to Improve Central State U

Article excerpt

Washington UPDATE: U.S. Gives Ohio Time to Improve Central State U..

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced recently that it will postpone further investigation into federal Civil Rights Act violations by the state of Ohio and instead allow them time to devise a plan that will satisfy the U.S. Department of Education and address the financial crisis at Central State University.

The "verbal agreement" is the newest wrinkle in a decades-old on-and-off relationship between the Ohio State Board of Regents and OCR. In the early 1980s, the state of Ohio was found in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for unlawful segregation and unequal treatment of African-American students seeking higher education in the state.

Following a more than 10-year lull in efforts to investigate the violations, the case was revived in 1994 when the U.S. Department of Justice referred the case back to the OCR for re-investigation, said Raymond C. Pierce, deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

Ohio's case in some ways fell through the cracks as OCR turned its attention to a series of desegregation cases in the late 1970s and early 1980s against more than 15 states, including Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, Pierce said. "We wanted to ensure that the 1981 findings were still substantively the same."

OCR's 1981 investigation concluded that the state of Ohio maintained a dual higher education system that discriminated against Central State, its only historically Black state-supported university, and underfunded the institution.

Recovery, Compliance

The result of that underfunding, Pierce said, has been "a history of chronic financial instability with the further effect of preventing CSU from providing equal educational opportunities and services to its students" compared to other state-supported colleges and universities.

"In determining whether or not there are any civil rights violations with respect to Ohio's treatment of Central State University, it is important to view the per student funding formula in its entire context," Pierce added.

"We are working on two levels right now -- compliance review and with the [interim] president of Central State and his staff on resolving the university's financial crisis," said Dr. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.