Claiming Racism, Cheyney Alumni Threaten Suit Over Funding

Source: Susan Snyder /

PHILADELPHIA – A group of elected officials and a coalition of Cheyney University students and alumni said they will restart a 33-year-old federal civil-rights suit against the state unless Gov. Corbett’s administration provides additional funding to help the deficit-plagued, historically black state school survive.

“We’re trying to make sure that Cheyney is treated not just fairly, not just equally, but equitably,” said Michael Coard, a lawyer, Cheyney alumnus, and part of a coalition calling itself Heeding Cheyney’s Call.

Because the university is small, compensating it under the same funding formula as the other 13 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is not adequate, the group said.

On a sidewalk near Philadelphia’s federal courthouse – where some of the same members of the coalition filed the federal suit in 1980 – Coard said the group would give the Corbett administration 10 days to meet its demands.

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