September 26, 2023

Sen. Sherrod Brown proposed legislation Tuesday along with one other U.S. senator that would give Central State University, part of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a shot at getting additional funding and fostering scientific development in Black communities.

With this bill, Brown is pushing for Central State University to receive a Center of Excellence to continue and expand on the university’s research, according to the senator’s office. The bill would increase the allotted number of Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land Grant institutions from six to 10.

Central State is already an 1890 Land Grant Institution but does not have a Center of Excellence.

Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land Grant institutions are focused on increasing profits for underserved farming communities, addressing critical needs for training and development and increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics, often called STEAM. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awards the Centers of Excellence.

“Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions have fostered generations of African American students, farmers and scientists in our communities for years,” Brown said. “By expanding the number of Centers of Excellence, we will ensure institutions like Central State University can continue training the next generation of agricultural leaders.”

Central State already has an expansive farming center and funding from the USDA, but the additional funding could pay for more research and work for underserved communities.

The four new Centers of Excellence would focus on climate change, forestry reliance and conservation; food safety and bioprocessing; and value-added agriculture; and transdisciplinary social science, according to Brown’s office.

“Senator Brown’s leadership on the Farm Bill across the board, and especially on both the Centers of Excellence and 1890 Scholarship program, have been critical to our success,” said Morakinyo Kuti, interim dean of the John W. Garland College of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Agriculture at Central State University and director of 1890 Land Grant Programs.

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