Tag: 1890 land grant institution

Aerial shot of the Langston University Langston Campus


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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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LANGSTON, Okla. — The presidents and chancellors of the nation’s 1890 Universities announced plans for a weeklong celebration from August 24-31 of the 130th anniversary of the federal legislation that designated them as land-grant institutions. The Morrill Act of 1890 established a land-grant university system of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in states where African Americans were banned from accessing public higher education.

“Langston University is one of the nineteen institutions within the 1890s land-grant universities that were established by the 2nd Morrill Act of 1890. We take great pride in it and continue to uphold the integration of the original mission of intellectual development and lifelong learning with research, public service, and outreach. We are committed to continuing planting the seeds that will ensure a better quality of life for the people within our communities,” said Dr. Wesley Whittaker, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences.

Higher education leaders, elected officials and policymakers, business and community leaders will join in an online celebration of the 1890 land-grant universities anniversary, culminating with a two-hour online forum on Monday, August 31 from 1:00-3:00 pm EDT that will explore the history and accomplishments of these institutions and the important role they play in the nation’s future. Registration for that convening is open to all here.

During the week of August 24, leaders and members of the 1890 university community, policymakers, businesses, and community leaders will use an array of platforms to reflect on and celebrate the legacy of these land-grant institutions, including on social media using #Celebrate1890s. They will highlight innovative programs at the 1890 land-grant universities and their role in developing solutions for local, regional, and global challenges. This week of activities will also include points of pride and/or significant accomplishments for each of the 19 1890 land-grant universities.

The celebration will end with a virtual webinar on August 31, 2020, from 1-3 p.m. EDT. This would have been an in-person gathering were it not for the pandemic, but the 1890 land-grant universities are committed to having a very meaningful event honoring their history and celebrating their current work. The webinar will have two-panel discussions. One panel will feature Makola Abdullah, President, Virginia State University; Heidi Anderson, President, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Paul Jones, President Fort Valley State University; and Peter McPherson, President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The webinar will also feature a second panel with private sector leaders such as Fred Humphries, Corporate Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs; Kellie Adesina, Director, Government Affairs, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science; and Karis Gutter of Corteva Agriscience.

The webinar will also feature remarks from prominent dignitaries such as Scott Hutchins, Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics; Representatives Alma Adams, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee; David Scott, Lead Sponsor of the 1890 Scholarship Program; and Sanford Bishop, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee; Sherrod Brown, Co-Lead Sponsor of the 1890 Centers of Excellence.

After 130 years, 19 universities designated as 1890 land-grant universities continue to work together to provide essential research, education, and Extension/public outreach that both sustains U.S. food, fiber, and renewable fuel production and addresses the challenges of our time at local, regional, national and global levels. The 1890 land-grant universities have a legacy helping to fill a crucial need of educating first-generation and economically disadvantaged college students; enhancing the resilience of limited-resource farmers, families, individuals, and underserved communities; and pioneering the most advanced and advanced education, research, and engagement programs to improve quality of life. With very little investment, the 1890s educate nearly 100,000 students annually, contribute more than $4.4 billion to the local economies, and provide pathways of opportunity for thousands of Americans.

The land-grant philosophy is even more relevant today, given the dynamic complexity of the socioeconomic environment where an integrated, iterative systems approach provides the best likelihood of generating solutions that are responsive to the complex dynamism of our environment. The 1890 land-grant universities are a perfect platform for addressing the three interlocking disparities of education, health, and economic prosperity made more evident by the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking ahead, the 1890 institutions plan to focus on these disparities while continuing to play a foundational role in the higher education system and in providing access and enhancing opportunities for all citizens.

“Land-grant institutions, specifically Historically Black institutions such as Langston University, continue to play a pivotal role in the shaping of young adults as they prepare to enter an ever-changing society,” said Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr., President of Langston University. “Our mission and values remain focused on providing access to education and finding creative solutions to overcome challenges.”

The 1890 land-grant universities include: Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Central State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University in Missouri, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Southern University, and A&M College, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.