Ohio moves to create 2nd land-grant college
A proposal being prepared in the Ohio Senate would convey potentially lucrative land-grant status on a second Ohio university, the historically black Central State University.
Such a move would open up the school to millions in federal dollars for agriculture research and construction, said Senate Finance Chairman Chris Widener, who’s championing the idea.
Widener’s proposal comes more than 120 years after a similar effort was scuttled with the help of Rutherford B. Hayes, the former president from Ohio who was sitting on the Ohio State University board of trustees at the time. Ohio State has been Ohio’s only land-grant university since 1870.
OSU President E. Gordon Gee has expressed support for the modern-day proposal, as has Central State President John Garland.
The nation’s network of publicly funded land-grant colleges was established under an 1862 law. Institutions were granted federal land that they could develop or sell to raise funds for an endowment. They initially focused on teaching agriculture, science and engineering — though many have now branched into other areas. Most remain public.
In 1890, Congress expanded the concept to include historically black colleges and universities. They wouldn’t receive land but would be eligible to receive federal money for their operations.