President of Lane College a Witness in Senate HELP Committee Hearing
Dr. Logan Hampton emphasizing the importance of providing $1 billion for HBCUs and the need to double the maximum Pell Grant
Today, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing titled, “COVID-19: Going Back to College Safely.” The purpose of the hearing was to explore the current challenges and implications of decisions that leaders of institutions of higher education are making as they develop plans to safely reopen colleges and universities this Fall. The Committee was interested in hearing recommendations for how colleges and universities could effectively coordinate with state and local public health officials and take into consideration the needs of all students when reopening in August.
Dr. Logan Hampton, President of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, served as a witness representing the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community. Lane College is a UNCF-member institution and was founded in 1882 by a former slave, Bishop Isaac Lane of the Colored Methodist Church. In his testimony, he highlighted the following needs of the HBCU community for the next stimulus bill to be passed by Congress:
- An investment of an additional $1 billion in emergency funding for HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) that will allow these institutions to combat revenue losses and continue to provide quality academic programming and services;
- An increase in grant aid for students by doubling the maximum Pell Grant award that will help our low-income students properly afford higher education given the negative impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19);
- Funding to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff prior to re-opening the campus that includes effective COVID-19 testing resources;
- The need to provide liability protection for HBCUs, and all institutions of higher education, that will allow these institutions to have clear guidelines to confidently remain in compliance and out of fear of frivolous lawsuits;
- The removal the $62 million cap for the HBCU Capital Financing loan program to allow HBCUs to benefit from the deferment in payments of principal and interest during the full period of the COVID-19 national emergency;
- The creation of a technology fund to allow institutions and students to access broadband. This fund would supplement any additional funding received by HBCUs that will focus narrowly on broadband support;
- The ability of HBCUs, and all institutions of higher education, to be eligible for both the Paycheck Protection Program Loans and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans at the Small Business Administration regardless of the number of employees; and
- The need to allow all institutions of higher education to be eligible to receive loans in the Main Street Lending Program created by the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve System.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® For continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.