Southern University will receive a $5.3 million grant from the federal government, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., announced Tuesday.
“We have been preparing for this funding,” said James L. Llorens, chancellor of Southern University’s Baton Rouge campus. He added that the money will go toward “enhancing our academic programs, making equipment purchases and building the strength of the university.”
Llorens said the money will help offset reductions in Southern’s state funding.
Southern University received the largest amount of the $19.2 million awarded to six of Louisiana’s historically black colleges and universities.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities have a strong tradition in Louisiana,” Landrieu said in prepared statement. “These grants help ensure that these institutions of higher learning continue providing a world-class education to their students who make strong contributions to our state.”
The five-year grants, according to Landrieu’s news release, will include activities such as curriculum reform; counseling and student service programs; establishing teacher education programs to qualify students to teach; acquiring real-estate property in connection with construction, renovations, or additions that may improve campus facilities; and funding faculty and staff development.
The money is part of $228 million in grants the U.S. Department of Education is awarding to HBCUs in 19 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told The Associated Press that the grants will enable historically
black colleges to help students who grapple with financial challenges as they pursue post-secondary education.