2. Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions
Recognizing that historically Black colleges and universities and minority institutions (HBCUs/MIs) are a national resource with high enrollments of underrepresented minorities, the Department of Defense has encouraged its agencies to develop programs which will enable these institutions to increase the number of minority graduates in the physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering.
It is Army policy that:
- At least five percent of RDA funds going to higher education institutions are to be awarded to HBCUs or MIs.
- Each RDEC/laboratory is to foster a linkage agreement with an appropriate HBCU/MI.
- ARO will facilitate research collaborations between HBCU/MIs and Centers of Excellence (COEs).
- All new Army COEs are to have an HBCU/MI member.
- Information sciences and training research COEs are headed by HBCUs.
- Each Army COE is to have a proponent laboratory/RDEC which provides the COE Executive Advisory Board Chairman.
The AMC has made considerable progress in achieving these goals. In addition to exceeding the 5 percent funding goal, several significant programs have been established.
- All proposals for Federated Laboratory partners (see Section VII.E) required significant HBCU/MI participation. Proposal evaluations considered plans for integrating the HBCU/MI's program with that of the other partners, and the likelihood of educating more highly qualified minority engineers and scientists.
- Cooperative programs have been established between major universities and historically Black colleges and universities. A major one is the Army High Performance Computing Research Center contract with the University of Minnesota, involving subcontracts with Howard University, Jackson State University, Alabama A&M University, and Clark Atlanta University at a funding level of more than $4 million for research, equipment, and infrastructure support. This initiative is a prototype for future cooperative research programs.
- The HBCU Center of Excellence program, launched in 1991 by ARO, brings together a critical mass of university researchers to advance militarily relevant technologies. In FY92, ARO awarded two competitive grants to establish the first HBCU/MI Centers of Excellence at Clark Atlanta University and Morris Brown College. Each Center was supported at $0.75 million per year for 5 years. Clark Atlanta specializes in information sciences to provide the Army with the support needed to collect, sort, integrate, manage, and evaluate increasing quantities of automated information used in battle management and combat operations. Morris Brown specializes in research on Army training and how future soldiers can maintain peak proficiency during combat operations.
In FY93, the AMC consolidated its HBCU/MI research and development program at ARO, which has resulted in some new approaches to working with the HBCU/MI community. In February 1994, ARO published the first edition of "AMC Guide to Programs" especially for HBCUs/MIs. The Guide synopsizes research programs of ARO, the Army Research Laboratory, and each AMC RDEC, and advertises other opportunities for the schools to work with the Command, such as summer programs, cooperative programs, and equipment transfers. Another facet of the ARO/AMC program is recognition of accomplishments derived from research programs with HBCUs/MIs. In that regard, ARO has prepared a full-color brochure of HBCU/MI accomplishments.
The Army Materiel Command"s research programs and other opportunities for HBCUs/MIs are the most innovative of the entire defense department. Through the "one-source" approach, the Command has collected and focused its efforts into a model program.