ASU president: Pandemic reveals ‘inequalities’ in HBCU funding

Ross: Pandemic shows disparities amongst institutions

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama State University is moving forward with plans for a new normal amid the coronavirus crisis. President Dr. Quinton Ross says he knows everyone hopes to get back to business as usual in the fall, but that won’t happen.

Alabama State has moved to online instruction during the pandemic, but many students were forced to return to places that lack internet access.

Dr. Ross says the pandemic has exposed the inequalities among America’s institution and believes more federal support is needed if Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs are to survive this pandemic.

“It showed the disparities amongst the institutions because when you look at the number of historical black colleges that have closed because of financial reasons, and others, you know, they have diminished quite quickly," the president says. "And so I think during this time, there had been a recognition that we can’t let these institutions fall when you talk about first generation students, when you talk about individuals having the opportunity to come to an HBCU, because we wrap our arms around our students.”

Ross says it goes beyond technology. He says many students are food insecure or lack healthcare.

He adds ASU continues to support students and the community, even offering a drive-thru coronavirus testing clinic.

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