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Table 1 Enrollment at Texas public colleges and universities Fall 1976 Total Women Black Hispanic Senior colleges 315,169 143,203 27,074 27,991 & universities Junior colleges 215,242 99,742 ‘ 23,967 35,423 Total . 530,411 242,945 51,041 63,414 Based on: Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System, 1977 Annual Report, Statistical Supplement. Figures include enrollments at predominantly black institutions. program; expand provisional admittance programs to include more blacks and browns; employ more minorities; and correct the “widespread negative impression” its racist past had fostered among minorities. The report also found that a UT anti-discrimination policy promulgated in 1964, the year when UT was finally desegregating its dining. halls and dormitories, had been “widely interpreted by administration, faculty and students as prohibiting . . . steps to eliminate . . . discrimination.” Three black professors resigned last fall, all disgruntled and highly critical of UT’s dealings with minorities. “Why hasn’t UT implemented programs to find and train minority scholars?” asked one of them, Douglas Daniels, former associate professor of history. “Claiming there aren’t enough minority Ph.D.’s to go around ignores the reality of social inequality, which is why integration was mandated by the courts in the first place.” John Warfield, director of Afro-American studies, believes that if Daniels and assistant speech communications professor Larry Coleman had been given promised financial support for their research on blacks in the rural South they would have stayed. Instead, four white researchers working in the same area were funded. Assistant government professor Donn Davis, the third black who resigned, criticized the university’s cutting of academic development money to the Afro-American studies center in 1975. Without that money, says Warfield, the center cannot bring in its own visiting faculty or initiate projects on its own. With a current budget of $45,524, AfroAmerican studies center projects are de Kenneth Ashworth, the commissioner of higher education who heads up the Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System, acknowledges the existence of these “discrepancies,” and he acknowledges the need for change, but says that the Coordinating Board has “a very limited role” in setting educational policy. He is right about thatthough it’s the closest thing Texas has to a statewide planning agency for higher education. \(The board’s primary “coordinating” authority concerns construction projects and standard-setting for curriculum and programs. It does collect data on minority enrollment and employment, but it doesn’t go out of its way to publicize them, let alone to impress their meaning upon college adminisworth’s personal view that a lot more could be done to foster minority representationspecial incentives in the form of more financial aid, tutorial programs, better training for high school counselors \(who have often steered bright minority applicants toward junior among his suggestionsbut, he says, the “day-to-day responsibilities” for affirmative action “are at the individual colleges and universities, where they should be.” These are, of course, the very institutions that have slighted minority re cruitment all along and, in fact, are now less concerned about it than ever. Commissioner Ashworth himself concedes that “to my knowledge there are not” special incentive programs of the type he favors at any institution in the system he oversees. If state officials lack the will to redress past wrongs, however, the federal government may have a way to force them to. Under the considerable pressure of a court order obtained by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare has been roused into action against states such as Maryland and North Carolina where, as in Texas, black students and faculty remain heavily concentrated in traditionally black institutions with meager funds and inferior facilities, and remain underrepresented everywhere else. HEW is threatening to choke off the flow of indispensable federal higher education funds to the two states unless they make a’diligent, statewide effort to integrate and to equalize funding. HEW currently is reviewing the desegregation measures taken in 18 Texas public universities, and the findings could lead to a similar challenge here. The prospect is abhorrent to state officials like Ashworth, whose recent book American Higher Education in Decline lamented infringements on university au tonomy by federal bureaucrats. Ashworth makes one of the arguments that North Carolina and Maryland have used to defend their systems: predominantly black schools like Prairie View and TSU are preferred by many black students, especially those from rural areas who don’t feel ready for the “big step” into an impersonal, white-majority environment; . such schools are needed, therefore, “maybe for another generation or so”; but strict integration requirements mean the demise of these schools, as whites become the majority at all institutions in the system and black faculty members are drawn away to other schools. But the affirmative action HEW has started insisting on is expressly aimed at bringing traditionally black colleges into parity for the first time with predominantly white schools; adequate financial support is not likely to change the ethnic composition of formerly all-black schools overnight, and the feds are not asking anybody to make a forced march away from a school he or she prefers. Indeed, if a federally mandated statewide plan eventually has to be devised for Texas, it is more likely to give “the next generation or so” of minority students and faculty an unprecedented equal opportunity to obtain a good education at predominantly black as well as predominantly white public college campuses. D THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5