ICYMI: Senator Scott Joins Bloomberg and UNCF for Conversation on the Future of HBCUs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Bloomberg and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) this week for their event titled “HBCUs: The Path to Prosperity.” Senator Scott’s interview with Bloomberg’s David Westin centered on the importance of HBCUs and Sen. Scott’s efforts to bolster their transformational work.


Click to watch the full conversation 

On the importance of HBCUs … “If you think about the professional class of African Americans who are college educated … half of all the [African American] professionals in this country — doing excellent work in many different fields — comes from HBCUs. So when you support HBCUs, you support the engine that creates professionals [including] lawyers, doctors and military generals. … In South Carolina, we are home to a number — eight — HBCUs, and the truth is that our state is better because we have options for kids to be highly educated, incredibly competent, and then very productive in the workforce.”

On his IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act … “Everything needs an ignition, and one of the things that we do with the IGNITE Act is we literally provide HBCUs with the resources necessary to take care of [their] maintenance. … There [is] so much money invested in the structure itself, but too little resources set aside for the maintenance. … What we’re not asking for is special treatment of our HBCUs. What we are asking for is a level playing field within the structure of a higher education that did not exist previously. Now, we have a chance to do it right — not make up for the past, but to invest in the future.”

On funding HBCUs responsibly … “My thought was this: Let’s take a step back from being overly prescriptive on the amount of dollars that we need. Let’s evaluate the need, and then let’s fund that need over a meaningful amount of time so that we do the right thing. … We also maintain a responsible level of oversight to make sure that we are doing the best we can with tax dollars, which of course is really your dollars and the dollars of your friends and your neighbors and loved ones. …

“I’m a kid [who] grew up in the deep south [and] appreciates the fact that we’re all better together. And frankly, one of the ways that we get there is to make sure that every single American feels like this is our country and we are one American family. When we point the resources all across this nation in a responsible way, I think we have that sense of belonging and sense of responsibility that grows out of the sense of belonging.”

As co-chair of the bipartisan, Congressional HBCU caucus, Sen. Scott has long championed legislation to support and improve our nation’s HBCUs.

  • In 2019, his FUTURE Act was signed into law, permanently reauthorizing HBCU funding.
  • In 2020, his HBCU Partners Act was signed into law, strengthening the relationship between HBCUs and federal agencies.
  • In May of 2021, he introduced the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act to invest in infrastructure at HBCUs, enabling them to expand their transformational work.
  • In August of 2021, he introduced a resolution to formally designate the week of September 6, 2021 as “National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week.”