Land Grant Universities
Land Grant History
The Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, the predecessor to Michigan State University, was chartered February 12, 1855 as the nation's first land-grant institution, receiving a pre-Morrill Act 14,000-acre appropriation of state-owned land; the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania, later to become Pennsylvania State University, followed on February 22 of that year. The charters for these two schools served as a model for the Morrill Act of 1862. Iowa State Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) was the first existing school whose state legislature officially accepted the provisions of the Morrill Act, on September 11, 1862. The first land-grant institution created under the Act was Kansas State University, established on February 16, 1863. The oldest to earn land-grant status is Rutgers University, founded in 1766 and designated the land-grant college of New Jersey in 1864.
The mission of the land-grant universities was expanded by the Hatch Act of 1887, which provided federal funds to states to establish a series of agricultural experiment stations under the direction of each state's land-grant college, as well as pass along new information, especially in the areas of soil minerals and plant growth. The outreach mission was further expanded by the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 to include cooperative extension, the sending of agents into rural areas to help bring the results of agricultural research to the end users. Beyond the original land grants, each land-grant college receives annual Federal appropriations for research and extension work on the condition that those funds are matched by state funds.
While today's land grant universities were initially known as land-grant colleges, only a small handful of the seventy-some institutions which evolved from the Morrill Acts still retain "College" in their official names.
The University of the District of Columbia received land-grant status and a $7.24 million endowment (USD), in lieu of a land grant, in 1967. In a 1972 Special Education Amendment, American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, and the Virgin Islands each received $3 million.
In 1994, 29 Tribal colleges and universities became land grant institutions under the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act. In 2008, 32 tribal colleges and universities have land grant status. Most of these are two-year degree granting colleges. However, six are four-year institutions, and two offer a master's degree.
In some states, the land-grant missions for agricultural research and extension have been relegated to a statewide agency of the university system rather than the original land-grant campus; an example is the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
The following is a list of land-grant institutions
- Alabama A&M University *
- Auburn University
- Tuskegee University ** (Though Alabama A&M is Alabama's official 1890 Morrill Act institution, Tuskegee's mission is so similar to those of the 1890 institutions that it is almost universally regarded as one of them. Tuskegee is a land-grant member of NASULGC, as are Alabama A&M and Auburn; however, only Alabama A&M and Auburn formally participate in the now-combined Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), with Tuskegee listed as a "cooperating partner" in ACES.Ã‚Â Tuskegee is also explicitly granted the same status as the 1890 institutions in a number of U.S. laws.)
- University of California (the system is the state's land-grant member of NASULGC; UC Berkeley was its original land-grant college, but UC Davis and UC Riverside later assumed much of that role)
District of Columbia
- Iowa State University of Science and Technology (In 1862, Iowa became first state in nation to accept provision of the Morrill Act designating Iowa State as land grant institution.)
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (one of two privately-chartered institutions)
- Michigan State University (Founded in 1855, this was the pioneer land-grant institution and served as a model for the 1862 Morrill Act.)
- Cornell University (four SUNY statutory colleges receive ongoing Hatch and Bankhead Jones funding; proceeds of original land scrip sales are part of the private endowment)
- American Indian Higher Education Consortium
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Virginia State University *
An asterisk (*) denotes a historically black college or university.
Double asterisks(**) denote Tuskegee University (formerly Tuskegee Institute), a largely privately funded university, which, because of its unique history, functions as a de facto land-grant university and has received Smith-Lever funds since 1972 to operate its own Cooperative Extension program.
Land grant institutions are often categorized as 1862, 1890, and 1994 institutions, based on the date of the legislation that designated them with land grant status. For a map and list of all 76 land grant institutions, see the State Partners page hosted by the Cooperative States Research Education and Extension Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Of the 106 Land-Grant institutions, all but two (the Community College of Micronesia, and Northern Marianas College) are members of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). The 31 tribal colleges of 1994 are represented as a system by the single membership of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC).
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