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Aerial shot of the Langston University Langston Campus
Published 09/22/2023
From The Office of the President

Dear Langston University Community:

On Monday, September 18, 2023, the United States Secretaries of Education and Agriculture sent letters to governors of 16 states outlining what the Biden Administration describes as a pattern of inequitable funding by those states to their respective 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. The gaps in funding directly relate to each state’s responsibility to match federal funding, dollar-for-dollar, to support agricultural extension and research.

Langston University, the 1890 Land-Grant of Oklahoma and our state’s only Historically Black College or University, was identified in the letter to Governor Stitt as being under-funded by nearly $419 million since 1987. The Departments of Education and Agriculture reached this figure through a calculation and comparison with the 1862 Land-Grant Institutions in each state. The funding supports the land-grant mission of Langston University, including our agricultural cooperative extension and research initiatives. As many of you know, the work of our cooperative extension program enhances the lives of Oklahomans across the state, with the potential to influence additional communities with more funding. Research within the Sherman Lewis School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences has a local, state, national, and global impact.

It is important to understand that the State of Oklahoma has taken strides since FY23 to address the disparity in matching funds. Langston University received an additional $1.8 million from the State of Oklahoma toward the federally mandated match in FY23, representing an increase of approximately 20% over appropriations in the prior fiscal year. The increase in FY23 brought the state matching levels to an average of 68% matched for Cooperative Extension and 72% matched for Evans-Allen Research. Recently, the State of Oklahoma invested an additional $1.3 million toward the mandated match in FY24. At Langston University, additional funds from the state directed toward meeting the one-to-one match will support critical work within our Sherman Lewis School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, as reflected below.

Cooperative Extension Award Funded Activities

The Cooperative Extension Award will continue to fund a number of outreach activities for our Sherman Lewis School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. These activities include but are not limited to:

  • Expansion of Cooperative Extension programs in nutrition support, food safety training, food processing, and related programs for communities with limited resources.
  • Expansion of research into new service areas throughout the state of Oklahoma to support Cooperative Extension education programs.
  • Introduction of Cooperative Extension demonstration centers in various areas of the state.
  • Enhanced partnerships with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) around the state.
  • Expansion of the Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth and Urban engagement programs to support youth development activities in more communities across the state.
  • Additional partnerships with K-12 schools throughout the state to support youth development, nutritional and workforce development programs and activities.

Evans-Allen Award Funded Activities

The Evans-Allen Award will continue to fund a number of research activities for our Sherman Lewis School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. These activities include but are not limited to:

  • Introduction of new research and extension programs in horticulture, agronomy, climate-smart agriculture, precision agriculture and agribusiness.
  • Installation of two additional climate-controlled hoop houses, with rainwater harvesting technology to complement the new Horticulture Education and Research Center (HERC) on the Langston Campus.
  • Installation of weather stations at HERC and Aquaculture research sites.
  • Development of research fruit orchard at HERC.
  • Development of facilities for the introduction of Large Animal (Cattle) operation.
  • Installation and repair of fencing around pastures supporting animal research and extension.
  • Expansion and enhancement of product development programs including upgrades to milk production and processing facilities.
  • Introduction of Nubian goats to pair with existing Alpine goats for producing high-quality dairy food products.
  • Recruitment of additional staff members to support Sherman Lewis School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences Land-Grant initiatives.

While academic programs are not directly supported from research and extension funding, the overall effects of this funding serve to amplify Langston University and its academic mission, as well as local communities and the state of Oklahoma as a whole.

The letter from the Departments of Education and Agriculture urged each governor to consider making investments, either in the short-term or through a long-term budget strategy, to address the gap in funding and meet and potentially to exceed the mandated state match.

Langston University will continue to engage in discussions with state and federal leadership concerning this important funding. We remain encouraged that these discussions are progressing in a positive manner and appreciate the support shown by our community.


Ruth Ray Jackson, Ph.D.
Interim President
(405) 466-3201

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