UNCF-Member School Xavier University of Louisiana President Testifies Before House Committee on Education and Labor
Urges Congress to fully fund programs impacting HBCUs
On Wednesday, May 22, Xavier University of Louisiana President Dr. C. Reynold Verret testified before the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, representing the fourth UNCF (United Negro College Fund)-member president to do so in the 116th Congress. The Committee held a hearing titled, “Engines of Economic Mobility: The Critical Role of Community Colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS), and Minority-Serving Institutions in Preparing Students for Success.” Dr. Verret represented the HBCU community and shared details about his institution and the urgent needs of HBCUs.
In his testimony, Dr. Verret shared the successes of his institution and informed the Members of Congress that Xavier University is unique in that, according to THE (Times Higher Education), it ranks first among the nation’s colleges and universities in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school. It is also first in the nation in producing African American graduates who go on to receive life sciences doctorate degrees and first in the nation for awarding African Americans baccalaureate degrees in physics and the physical sciences.
Dr. Verret also stated the importance of investing in our nation’s HBCUs by urging Congress to fully fund the programs impacting HBCUs in Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Additionally, he stressed the urgent need to pass the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act, a bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation introduced by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). This bill extends the mandatory funding in Title III, Part F for HBCUs of $85 million for STEM initiatives until 2021. Congress must pass this bill before funding expires on September 30, 2019.
Dr. Verret serves as the sixth president of this institution. Since its inception in 1925 by St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Xavier University of Louisiana’s ultimate purpose is to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global community.
UNCF (the 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, supports and 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 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.