Alumni, Other Advocates Gather to Discuss Saving Cheyney University

Mark Hostutler
Michael Coard, left, is leading efforts to save Cheyney University, his alma mater. Image via Tom Gralish, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Cheyney University alumni and other advocates recently gathered at the Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia to discuss the future of the nation’s oldest historically black college, writes Mensah Dean for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A state education task force released a report that paints a bleak picture of Cheyney’s current financial state. It proposes a number of overhauls to put the university back on firm footing. However, many of the nearly 125 attendees believe these changes would only push the college closer to failure.

Attorney Michael Coard, a Cheyney graduate and co-founder of the Heeding Cheyney’s Call initiative, was instrumental in organizing the meeting.

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“The plan is a disaster,” he said.

Coard admitted that the university currently has the lowest student enrollment and highest budget deficit in its history. But he believes that is due to the state’s underfunding of Cheyney, to the tune of $100 million over the last 18 years.

“So, our position is that we want to force the state government to do the right thing,” said Coard.

Read more about the meeting in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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