The status of equity for black undergraduates in public higher education in the South: Still separate and unequal

Laura W. Perna, Jeffrey Milem, Danette Gerald, Evan Baum, Heather Rowan, Neal Hutchens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This paper uses data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System to examine the status of equity for Blacks in enrollment and bachelor's degree attainment at public higher education institutions in the South. This paper also examines whether the status of equity in these indicators varies based on the type of civil rights oversight. The descriptive analyses show that, despite some progress in some states, for some outcomes, at some points in time between 1991 and 2001, substantial inequities in enrollment and bachelor's degree completion for Blacks remain. The analyses also show that these inequities are unrelated to whether the state is currently being monitored by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), has been ruled in compliance by OCR, or is under federal court order to desegregate the state's public higher education system. Regardless of type of civil rights oversight, the status of Blacks varies by institutional sector, with Blacks generally experiencing the greatest inequity at the public flagship institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-228
Number of pages32
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is part of a larger project that is supported in part by a grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Institutional Research in San Diego, CA, May 2005.


  • Degree completion
  • Desegregation
  • Enrollment
  • Equity
  • Institutional type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'The status of equity for black undergraduates in public higher education in the South: Still separate and unequal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this